Guide to the Allan Anderson Papers

Finding Aid Authors: Priscilla Lopez.
© Copyright 2012 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the Allan Anderson Papers 1953/2010

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Allan Anderson Papers
Dates: 1953-2010
Identification: MS-0478
Creator: Anderson, Allan W., 1922-
Physical Description: 1.25 linear ft
Language of Materials: English Spanish;Castilian
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791
Other Information:
An oral history of Allan Anderson was recorded on July 17, 2009. Dr. Anderson's oral history documents his teaching philosophy, his love of language and literature, and his interests in Eastern philosophy and the wisdom tradition. Especially noteworthy are Dr. Anderson's readings of two poems from his children's book of poetry titled, Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and a Little Cove of Nonsense. Dr. Anderson also describes his ideal student-teacher relationship, and his teaching methods.

Biographical Information:

Dr. Allan W. Anderson was born in Hastings, New Zealand on July 18, 1922 but grew up in England. He moved to the United States in 1936 where he remained the majority of his life. He received a B.A. in history and general science in 1944 from Washington Missionary College, an M.A. in english literature from Trinity College in 1951, and a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Columbia University in 1960. He was an instructor at the National Academy of Broadcasting in Washington DC from 1947-1949, and was later a radio newscaster and announcer in Hartford, Connecticut, where he also worked as a social worker.
Anderson began teaching at SDSU in 1962 and retired in 1985. He was a founder of the Department of Religious Studies, established in 1969. He taught courses on philosophy of religion, metaphysics, ethics, scripture, and psychology with a focus on Hindu and Chinese canons. Additionally, he received the 1970 California State Distinguished Teaching Award and the Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award for 1982 and 1983.
His published works range from creative writing to children’s literature and fiction. Some of his works include Oracles of Love, Sonnets Toward Self-Change, The Hastings Papers, and Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and a little cove of Nonsense. Perhaps his most well-known works are the eighteen one-hour dialogues between Anderson and Jiddu Krishnamurti entitled A Wholly Different Way of Living. The talks were broadcast every Sunday on KPBS from January to April, 1975, and were later published as a book.
In addition to his accomplishments in academia, Anderson founded Metanoia, a group for the study of self-transformation in La Jolla. He also participated in the Berkeley Regional Seminar in Confucian Studies and lectured regularly for the San Diego Friends of Jung organization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Audio Recordings
Personal Papers

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in the materials found in this collection have not been transferred to San Diego State University.  Special Collections and University Archives can only grant permission to publish materials for which it is the copyright holder.  For further information, please consult the section on copyright in the rules for using the collections, or contact the United States Copyright Office at (202) 707-3000 or

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Allan W. Anderson Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Related Materials:

Jiddu Krishnamurti Papers, 1935-1975
Information about related materials is available at

Scope and Contents

The Allan W. Anderson Papers (1953-2010) document Anderson’s work as a poet and academic in religious studies. The majority of the material dates from 1970 to 1990 with sparse documentation from the 2000s on. These files document some of Anderson’s creative processes for his published works including the children’s book Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A little cove of Nonsense, as well as unpublished materials. His collection includes poems, lectures, correspondence, research papers, student work, newspaper clippings, and audio visual materials. Highlights include drafts of some of his most prominent writings such as Reflections on the I Ching and Self-Transformation and the Oracular, in addition to correspondence concerning the publication of his dialogues with Jiddu Krishnamurti, A Wholly Different Way of Living. The collection consists of three series: Poetry and Writings (1953-2010), Krishnamurti Foundation Correspondence (1974-1990), and Student Documents (1977-1983). The Poetry and Writings series has been divided into three sub-series: Titled Poetry (1953-2006), Untitled Poetry, and Drafts of Publications (1971-2010).
The Poetry and Writings (1953-2010) files are divided into three sub-series, Titled Poetry (1953-2006), Untitled Poetry (circa 1980s), and Drafts of Publications (1971-2010). These files document Anderson’s work as a poet and creative writer. The Titled Poetry sub-series, arranged alphabetically, contains drafts and revisions of his poetry. It includes a draft of Brother Sparrow, written in 1953, which is the earliest document in the collection. Arranged topically, the Untitled Poetry sub-series consists of edited poetry. Of particular interest are religious and spiritually themed poems, corresponding to his professional work as a religious studies professor.  The third sub-series, Drafts of Publications, includes drafts of the creative process for some of Anderson’s published works. Revised originals of his most recent publication, Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A little cove of Nonsense, can be found in this section. This sub-series includes documents and audio-visual materials.
The Krishnamurti Foundation Correspondence (1974-1990) series predominantly documents correspondence between Anderson and the Krishnamurti Foundation concerning his dialogues with Jiddu Krishnamurti in A Wholly Different Way of Living. Arranged alphabetically by folder title, the series includes letters from Anderson suggesting a title change for the dialogue and release forms for copyright purposes.
The Student Documents (1977-1983) series contains student writing assignments with annotations and recorded class lectures by Anderson while teaching at SDSU. The documents are arranged alphabetically, by student name, and then chronologically, and focus on the analysis of religious writings such as those used in Christianity, Taoism, and the use of I Ching hexagrams. The seventeen recordings of Anderson’s lectures and classes are arranged chronologically by cassette tape.

Detailed List of Contents


Poetry and Writings (1953-2010)


Titled Poetry (1953-2006)

Box 1, Folder 1


Box 1, Folder 2


Box 1, Folder 3


Box 1, Folder 4


Box 1, Folder 5


Box 1, Folder 6



Untitled Poetry

Box 1, Folder 7


Box 1, Folder 8


Box 1, Folder 9

Notes and References

Box 1, Folder 10


Box 2, Folder 1

Religious and Spiritual

Box 2, Folder 2



Drafts of Publications (1971-2010)

Box 2, Folder 3

Approaches to the Meaning of Ming, in the I Ching with Particular Reference to Self-Cultivation, Religious Studies 581-Power and Presence, 1982.

Box 2, Folder 4

Audio Visual- CD: Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A Little Cove of Nonsense, 2010.

Box 2, Folder 5

Audio Visual- DVD: Allan W. Anderson reading "A Tale from this Old Armchair," from "Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A Little Cove of Nonsense," Recorded June, 2010.

Box 2, Folder 6

The Book of Elfini Hou(r)

Box 2, Folder 7


Box 2, Folder 8

Herself: Poems in Celebration of Woman and the Feminine.

Box 2, Folder 9

The I Ching and Self-Change: A Way to Self-Transformation through the Classic of Change.

Box 2, Folder 10

Identity and Contrariety in the I Ching: On the Way Toward a Spiritual Anthropology, March 21, 1985.

Box 2, Folder 11

Lecture by Dr. Anderson on I Ching given at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Lectures 1-4 of 5, May 18, 25, June 1, and 8, 1971.

Box 2, Folder 12

Oracles of Love (1 of 2)

Box 2, Folder 13

Oracles of Love (2 of 2)

Box 2, Folder 14

Patience: The Spiritual Warrior's Virtue.

Box 2, Folder 15

Root and Flower, Versions 1 & 2.

Box 2, Folder 16

"Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A Little Cove of Nonsense." Drafts, notes and illustrations (1 of 2).

Box 3, Folder 1

"Songs from the Mifflinger Sea and A Little Cove of Nonsense." Drafts, notes, and illustrations (2 of 2).

Box 3, Folder 2

Sonnets Toward Self-Change.


Krishnamurti Foundation Correspondence (1974-1990)

Box 3, Folder 3

Krishnamurti Foundation-Correspondence on Publication of Dialogues, 1990.

Box 3, Folder 4

Krishnamurti Foundation of America-Correspondence, 1974, 1989.


Student Documents (1977-1983)

Box 3, Folder 5

Asaro, Barbara: Class Papers and Notes, 1978, 1980-1983.

Box 3, Folder 6

Langham, Melissa: Notes for "Understanding Religion" class Fall, 1981

Scope and Contents

Class notes for 14 "lessons."
Box 4

Recording, Part 1 & 2, February 15, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 3 & 4, February 15, 1977; Part 1, February 22, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 2 & 3, February 22, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 4, February 22, 1977; Part 1, March 1, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 2 & 3, March 1, 1977; Part 1, March 8, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 1 & 2, March 22, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 3 & 4, March 22, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 1 & 2, March 29, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 2 & 3, April 12, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 4, April 12, 1977; Part 1 & 2, April 19, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 1 & 2, April 26, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 3 & 4, April 26, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 3 & 4, May 3, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 3 & Unknown, November 16, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, December 7, 1977.

Box 4

Recording, Part 3 & Unknown, December 7, 1977.