I first met Antoinette Radice demonstrating against the war in Viet-Nam in 1970 when we held a five week vigil daily in Duluth. She was a very unhappy person and not at all attractive to me.
‘Toni’ was a straight A art student who left school a quarter shy of her degree because she refused to be honored by ‘the (evil) system’. A year later I ran into the transformed Toni at the first ‘food coop’ in Duluth where a few locally grown vegetables were being sold in somebody's basement.
Nine months later I ran into her at Duluth Folk Festival on Lake Superior and she just bowled me over with her light. She had just returned from planting trees in British Columbia where she had “met Jesus” and had gotten pregnant as well. We sat out on some rocks and talked for hours in the midst of a bustling and colorful Folk Festival. When we finished to get up and leave there was nothing to leave. The entire Folk Festival had already finished and gone long before!
Toni and I were friends for a year. I considered myself a sophisticated theologian already having done my Eighth Grade major English paper on Zen Buddhism, practiced yoga, been a member of a local esoteric group from the 1930’s called the I Am Movement, as well as majored in Philosophy at UMD. I had difficulty sharing any of that and she had great struggles with fundamentalism. At one point she told me: “It’s either all true or none of it is true”. (Sigh) What is a person to do?
We finally decided things were not working out romantically between us so I left for Denver for a year and then move to Boston for five years. When I left Toni she was utterly alone except for her baby. I left mad thinking that If I ever see her again she will have to find me. I wasn’t going to go traipsing after her again.
In Boston I affiliated with a New Age Christian community of the Holy Order of MANS. MANS was a Greek acronym meaning ‘The mystery of how divine love brings wisdom to the mind’. About seven years after I had first met Toni at the Folk Festival a friend of mind mentioned that if I took my glasses off the Sun would heal my eyesight. I have no idea where he got this idea. But, three weeks after he said that I decided to just go on a long walk around Boston without my glasses. Walking up Harvard Avenue by Bread & Circus I heard a muffled voice behind me but just kept walking. This time a distinct voice called “John”. I turned around but couldn’t make out the figure crossing the street towards me until I became completely astounded as Toni ‘found me’ and approached with a seven-year-old boy flying a plane around her. This was the most incredible experience of my life up to that point.
Toni said: “John, I have been on the road for seven years”. She almost died a few times in snow storms and affiliated with the Rainbow Family Gathering that meets once a year in different state parks. She had changed her name to ‘Noguns’ after an incident in Arkansas which forces everyone she meets to say ‘no guns’ in addressing her. I greeted her son, Caleb, who, she said, now went by the name Startrek: “He picked it out himself!”
Things didn’t work out romantically between us again and she left after a month and we lost contact with each other.
About seven years after I had encountered Noguns in Boston I was attending a Presbyterian Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa when I passed through its library, picked up the Des Moines Register to brouse and found an article on the front page about the Rainbow Gathering in Texas where some yahoo had decided to drive his pickup through the crowd and endangering life and limb. Noguns had stepped out in front of the truck with upraised arm demanding that he stop. He didn’t and ran her over. I talked to her briefly in the hospital and sent her enough money to fly back to California to heal with friends. The repentant yahoo had come to visit her. He assumed she would jump out of the way. She assumed he would stop.
Three years later, Noguns and I agreed to meet up at the Boundary Waters Gathering in Minnesota. By this time we both knew we were going down different train tracks in life. She had some permanent and painful injuries from Texas.
Noguns went back to California and I went off to get married, have four children, and move to my Grandparents hobby farm in the North Woods.
When the era of email arrived I began to wonder what had happened to my friend and did an email search of the Gathering. I steeled myself for the prospect that she had probably passed on.
Immediately she emailed me and we began a fabulous and ecstatic exchange of food, stories, philosophy, ancient wisdom, her prophetic song and dance missions, and our reflections on current culture for several years. I never saw her again in person.
Noguns was living with her son, selling her fabulous textile artwork on the website she had designed and was very proud of, had taken a course of study in being a masseuse, and had gotten a job working for one. She was living a very quiet life and doing Tibetan yoga to over-come the pain of her injuries.
Then, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Of course she refused any and all conventional therapy such as chemo or even surgery. She utilized a ‘water’ therapy which was hydrogen peroxide that killed cancer cells. She lived for a few years painfully on it. She lived so long she was kicked out of hospice but finally passed away in 2008.
A few months before she passed on I had a dream. I was in my normal dream body. She was approaching me in her normal dream body. Everything was entirely normal inside and outside of me in this beginning but all of a sudden I was instantly transported into a wholly different ‘body’. It was just ‘air’ or an energy field. It was not ecstatic. I did not see or sense ‘God’ or the ‘light’ but these—it seems to me about a half dozen—rotating, whirling little vortices of energy or worm holes that I knew intuitively went down to lower dimensions or earthly lives.
Instantly, once again being taken totally by surprise, she embraced me. We contemplated each other’s being, soul qualities, and soul experiences in utter ecstasy.
We began descending in vibration in contemplating our earthly lives together. My memory is poor of detail but what surprised me was the ecstasy from that standpoint of our common lives.
We began descending together as in an elevator or down a wormhole. All of a sudden, I popped out into my normal dream body. Noguns, in her normal dream, body was reclining on my right breast with her eyes closed. I immediately exclaimed in disappointment: “Where did you go?” There she was but she was only a dream body!
Noguns had no similar memory of my dream-type experience but had felt close to me.
Many, many things surprised me about this experience. What could have caused it? I had been studying the Gospel of Thomas and this helped to inform what I had been studying.
Perhaps the spirituality of Noguns, our ecstatic relationship, and my studies had created the right chemistry for it. Perhaps it was just a gift from the higher world to encourage my study.
Why didn’t I have a sense of ‘God’? Maybe it was too brief an experience.
Why didn’t I have a sense of ecstasy in the initial dew drop-wormhole experience? It was maybe because it was just the consciousness of a bodily structure rather than of the soul.
Why did there seem to be only about a half dozen wormholes? Surely I have had many more life times than this. Perhaps it was because these were the only ones Noguns and I were together in. `
Are Noguns and I ‘twin souls’? Certainly I believe we have known each other for many life times and I love her greatly but we also seem to be different people. I would also have to say, importantly, that any two souls at that level would experience that ecstasy.
What is the over-all meaning of the experience—to try to get back there through psychomantium meditation?
My goal is to try to experience that ecstasy in my waking life through remembrance of it and Noguns, living up to my missions as I conceive of them, and living up to the divinity of every moment which Noguns taught in her prophetic way.