The John R. Locke Memorial

flameJohn R. Lockeflame
BORN: MAY 30, 1933
DIED: AUGUST 28, 2000

If you adhere to what is taught by your teacher,
your life will be full of happiness.
Dhammapada 6:79 ("The Wise Person")

Him the sun does not illumine, nor the moon, nor the stars, nor
the lightning--nor, verily, fires kindled upon the earth.  He is
the one light that gives light to all.  He shines; everything

  Katha Upanishad 5.15; Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.10; Svetavatara Upanishad 6.14

There is a place where there is neither earth, nor air, nor fire,
nor water, where there is no consciousness, nor space, nor void
nor perception.  There is neither a coming nor a going, neither
a standing still, nor a falling away, without being fixed, nor
without moving, without basis.
It is the end of suffering.

Dharma Wheel

Venerable Ananda went to the house, leaned against the doorpost and wept,
saying: "I am still but a learner. I still have to attain perfection. But alas,
my master who is so compassionate towards me is about to pass away." Then the
Lord asked the monks: "Where is Ananda?" And they told him where he was and
what he is doing. Then the Lord said: "Go monk, and say to Ananda, 'Friend
Ananda, the Lord calls you.'

When he came, the Lord said to Ananda: "Enough Ananda, do not cry. For
have I not taught that it is the nature of all things beloved that we must
suffer separation from them and be severed from them? For that which is born,
come to be and compounded is also subject to dissolution. How could it be
otherwise? For a long time have you, Ananda, served the Tathagata with
thoughts, words and deeds of love, graciously, pleasantly and with your whole
heart. You have gathered great good. Now you should put forth energy and soon
you too will be free from the defilements."

from Buddha Vacana compiled by Venerable Dhammika;
published by the Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society

No Things

No things.
Just ings.
I am writing
You are reading.
We are ing.

--John Locke
from The Troika Technique:
How to See for Yourself

(title of the 1984 version)
© 1984, 1988, 2001

Michael Phillips on John Locke

John Locke, A man that I called Dad, is going to be truly remembered in my heart. John married my mother when I was about 5 or 6 years old. During the time they were married he taught me the lessons of life that I still live by today.

I keep remebering the summer he took me to Europe along with the class he was chaporoning. We left out of our driveway and he handed me the road atlas. He said we are going to Brooklyn, New York to visit my mother (La La Locke) before we leave for Europe. You are going to read the map and get us there. I did fine until we got to St. Louis. We got turned around and were headed to California. He never said a word. I realized my mistake after about 50 miles and turned us around. I was 8 years old. The great thing about John was that he would let me make mistakes, but most importantly he would insist that I correct them myself.

John was a true father to me during those years. He showed me how to be my own person, taught me how to learn and gave me the values that today I hold so dear.

I will miss you John R. Locke. My father and my teacher.

In Loving Memory

Michael Phillips

The Sanskrit syllable OM--believed to be the fundamental universal sound in Hindu & Buddhist traditions.

Who was John Locke and why is there a memorial for him?

Dr. John R. Locke, Summer 2000 (Photo: Maeve Maddox)Dr. John R. Locke, Founder & Director of Comparative Literature at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, was shot and killed in his office by a disgruntled graduate student on August 28, 2000. A week earlier, the student had been formally dismissed from the Comparative Literature program for lack of progress toward a doctoral degree after five years in the program. The office was quickly surrounded by police, and the student committed suicide about 15 minutes later.  The Arkansas Traveler, the University of Arkansas newspaper recalls the tragedy 10 years later: "Ten Years After Murder, Effects Linger on UA Campus."

A memorial (Memorial Program) was held on September 12, 2000, and in 2003 a meditation garden (Dedication Ceremony Transcript) was dedicated in front of Kimpel Hall where he taught for 33 years. The John R. Locke Memorial Library at the Office of Dr. Virgina Krauft, an area Analytical Psychologist, houses his 5,000 volume personal book collection and papers. A small memorial is also at Find A

Read memories and sentiments posted about this remarkable human being on this website's archived University of Arkansas Memorial Guestbook which was created shortly after Dr. Locke's death.

To learn from John R. Locke, read The Troika Technique (415 kb PDF download) which is his personal distillation of his teachings and philosophy.

Locke Handouts:

This online memorial is maintained by Joseph E. Becker, PhD (U Arkansas, Fayetteville, 2002), who was among the last doctoral candidates that Dr. Locke mentored and guided (from 1995-2000), and he is solely responsible for the memorial's content. Please feel free to comments/corrections/suggestions/additions.

Biographical and Professional Accomplishments

Kwan Yin, Boddhisattva of Compassion
Dr. Locke was quite fond of her.






John Locke joined the University of Arkansas in 1967 as an instructor of English and comparative literature. In 1973 he was promoted to assistant professor of English and comparative  literature and promoted again in 1981 to associate professor.


Dr. Locke, among an extensive list of educational accomplishments, received his Bachelors of English from the University of Virginia in 1960. He received his Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa in 1962. Also, he held a Masters and Ph.D. of Comparative Literature from the University of Iowa, 1969 and 1973 respectively.


Dr. Locke began his teaching career in 1961 at Culver-Stockton College in Canton Mo. He remained there as an assistant professor of English and modern languages until 1964.

He was a graduate assistant in world literature at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa from 1964 to 1965.

He joined the University of Arkansas in 1967.

Gaps in Dr. Locke's teaching history are indicative of additional and extensive educational pursuits.


Lao Tzu, Legendary Taoist Sage French interpreter, U.S. Army in Europe, 1953 - 1955

Arthur Murray Dance Teacher, Tampa, Fla. 1955 - 1956

Unit Leader, Camp Jug Hill, New York, 1960

Director of first-year French, University of Arkansas, 1968 - 1970

Director of Paris Program, Academy of International Studies, 1970

Director of Lausanne Program, Academy of International Studies,
summer of 1970 and 1971.

Associate Editor, STYLE, Fayetteville, Ark., 1970 - 1973

Referee, Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1988


Dr. Locke served on numerous committees while at the University of Arkansas. Among those: Asian studies, linguistics, French, essay writing, department cabinet of comparative literature, world literature, freshman English, M.F.A. search and hiring, dissertation reader of psychology and comparative literature, honors thesis director & reader.


Development and revision of applied French linguistics program, 1967 and 1972; revised first-year French program, 1969; introduced new courses in introduction to comparative literature in 1969, and language and reality in 1971.

John R. Locke Memorial Garden Koi Pool & Plaque
Summer 2010

Photo: Sloan Davis