Below is a partial transcript of a conversation between Joan and I on the topic of her death, with her typical blend of matter-of-factness, insight, irreverence and compassion.
The body is here and This is here – both/and… Both you are over there and there is one alive-space of us, and the room, and the walls, and everything else… If global sensing is primary, the experience of me will become non-localized. In other words, who I am is being interpreted right now as if I am a body-mind. But the experience after I die is that there isn’t a localization, that essence [called me] is just another flavouring of pure, dimensionless being.
When this body goes, does This go? I’m going to say it the way Jean [Klein] said it because perhaps his wording is better than anybody’s: the body is an expression of This. The ocean comes up and makes this Joan wave and then this Joan wave recedes back into the ocean. If you are looking just from the surface, yes a body has died and that person no longer exists. If you are looking from beneath the surface, you see that yes, there is no body, but This still exists. Whether I am here or not, It is here. This expression of It, this tip of the wave, has come back into the ocean… Right now you relate to the tip of the wave as well as the ocean. The big question now is: “What is going to happen?” In your outer experience there will not be my body, but is your outer experience the truth? What will happen in your inner experience?
There may be grief because the expression of This is going to be gone, dead, kaput, finished, bye-bye – the expression of This. This is not going to go away. And when it happens that the expression goes away, let’s see, let’s see what’s left. It is an experiment! We don’t know… This everythingness… this presence… what will happen to it? When you just stop and just close your eyes and listen within, when the background becomes foreground, what will happen then?