Future Schools of Meditation and Cwm Pennant.

Way back in november 2007 I visted the Cwm Pennant outdoors centre near Llanfihangel-y-pennant.

The lease was up for sale by Hillingdon Council but because there had been a lot of strange funding mechanisms the legal situation was complicted, the ongoing use of the centre was also regulated by the National Lottery funding. The council had also pissed off the locals who operated the kitchen and the office due to the uncertainty. Because I had a Cymru sticker on my car, I was welcome. We got talking and when they found out that some of my relatives were from a nearby village, the people were very helpful.

The idea was to take over this outdoor centre and turn it into a conference / retreat centre pointing towards an esoteric school.

The accomodation was rudimentary…

but the location beautiful…

A friend and I wrote a business plan, but when I did the cash projections even with some optimism it was not really viable…

Assassin’s Creed, Coypu and Pampas

Given the subject matter of yesterday’s dream it seemed only logical to watch the film Assassin’s Creed last night. In this the biological descendent of an assassin is put into a big electronic recapitulation gizmo so that the Templars can take him back to 1492 and find the whereabouts of the “apple”, suggesting that the memories of his forefathers are encoded in his genetics, and it should be possible to regress. There are a number of quasi-historical problems with the script. Unless the Templars went underground and thrived in secret, they had ceased to exist a number of centuries previous to 1492 but how else could the Americans get a USA angle in? The gist is that the Templars are working for a new world order in which they are the boss.

Anyway, I did, like in the film, re-enact the night of my accident, by dragging myself around the house.

Yesterday I did some repairs on the anti-Coypu fence around the pond. This morning the river is up, and the little bugger has undone some of my repair and left me some turds to say Hi. On the left you can see where it went in the water. The pond is pretty full and is now leaking quite a bit, probably due to that South American blighter. The repair we made works for low pond levels, but there is more to do tomorrow, to adjust for winter pond levels.

Early this year we took two trailers full of pampas out of the pampas grass. It has rewarded us with a nice display…

Malta, Sicily and Déjà Vu

The dream which I had this morning is consistent with the hypothesis of my putative life, two lifetimes ago. This life was based in France but had elements of travel to the Holy Land for purposes of crusade and the acquisition of knowledge.

In this lifetime I was an ordained priest, a scholar and also a trained warrior. I was very often accompanied by the same man who was my confidant and assistant. His name was Cédric. The life involved sailing from somewhere near Perpignan on occasion, but was based further North, in a green land and near a watermill. There was a small village, a church and a mill race. When the normal village priest was away on business, I would stand in for him at the church.

As a child when I flew from Zambia to boarding school in England it was customary and necessary to stop on the way for fuel. On my first such flight, barely aged 10 by a day or so, we landed in Malta at dawn. I woke my mother who was taking me that first time to school and remarked at the beauty of the dawn over Malta. I was also having a truly massive attack of déjà vu. Somehow, I knew this place. I have been back a couple of times as a tourist. It feels so darned familiar. A similar baseball bat strike of déjà vu hit me when I went to Erice in Sicily for the first time. Bam! I have been here before…Bam!

Visions possibly associated with this life broke through a little after the Buddhist ones. There was an arrival by sea to Malta. There was study on the misty mountain top at Erice. I was in some kind of liaison role and for whatever reason I was generally acceptable to both the “Arabs” and the Jewish kabbalists, from whom we sought knowledge.

All was fine until one time me and a small band of fellow travellers got captured by a rogue group and paraded through the town, virtually naked. They took our chain mail and our white tunics with the rosy cross. It was a sea-front town, a small port, which they had recently captured. Everywhere there were torches burning some kind of dense tar like substance. The smell was powerful, almost noxious, the noise of celebration and “music” was loud. They led us down to a beach. There was much argument about what to do with us. They tied us to makeshift wooden crosses. They lit a big fire on the beach. They then inverted the crosses and placed them in the sand. They only did a few of us like this. The others sat huddled, praying and watched.

They, our captors, danced around the fire whooping and hollering in victory. The smell of the tar, the bitumen, burning was intense. It was difficult to remain conscious upside down. So, I drifted in and out.

When they were bored of the dancing they came over to us swearing, mocking and cursing. My wounds sustained in the capture were unstitched and much blood had run out of me. They prodded us with spears to antagonise, not to puncture. Some whipped us. The frenzy of the torment raised up a notch and they started to break the skin. They slit my throat. I can feel it now.

Soon I was above the beach looking down. I could see the fires and the half-crazed victors. I saw them moving towards the others and then I looked up and there were stars. Lots of stars.

The smell was at last gone.

Plage de Trestraou

Tide is out these boats do trips around the seven islands…

pastel beach huts…

you can tell by the way I walk…stayin’ alive…

reflections in a wave

trippy sand… man

what submarine deal? A long way to sail in a dinghy

at full tilt…

beautiful impermanence

no vaccination certificate, no coffee for you!! This is 2021 don’t you know…

Medieval Vestment Dream 18-09-21

Here is this morning’s dream it is in stark contrast to the subject matter I was researching last night.

It feels like the 12th or 13th century. We are both on horseback, my companion and I. He is something like a batman to me. We are not wearing our usual uniform with the rose cross. We are simply adorned in chain mail and are carrying battle axes. Our swords are in scabbards around our belts. Under my mail I have a vestment which is a sacred relic. I explain to my companion that the best way to attack with a battle-axe is from slightly behind, one needs to manoeuvre the opposition to be in front by pulling back on the reigns of the horse.

We have to get the vestment over the border and into the protection of the bishopric. We are being pursued and our pursuers are gaining on us, but we are close to the border and the pursuers will not dare breech it. I decide that my companion needs to make a loud diversion whilst I slope off into the forest, there is a path known to me there which leads to a wall in which I can hide the vestment. My companion giddies up the horse and heads off into the distance making a lot of noise. I slip off the trail and into the wood quietly. Soon I pick up the path I know. I arrive at the clearing and by the wall I dismount. I am over the border and at the edge of the bishopric. I remove my mail and secrete the vestment in the wall. It is yellow and red and highly ornate. It is by way of a waistcoat to be worn over a priest’s robes. It is not mine, but it has been OK for me to carry it because I have been ordained.

As agreed, I rendezvous with my companion in the local town, and we go off to see the bishop there to acquire a guard of men and with which we will retrieve the garment. The setting feels like England, but it could well be Breton. It is green, verdant and pleasant.

When I awake this dream is very reminiscent of a lifetime two lifetimes ago.

Remote Viewing – Joseph McMoneagle

Washington Post, 04 December 1995

LINTON WEEKS

Washington Post staff writer

Up Close & Personal with a Remote Viewer

Joe McMoneagle Defends the Secret Project

NELLYSFORD, Va.

Joseph McMoneagle may be watching you read this.

After all, that was his job for 15 years— watching people he could not see for the Pentagon. He was called a “remote viewer.”

Remote Viewers have been in the headlines recently because it’s come to light that several of them worked on the “Stargate” program, a top secret, multimillion-dollar project at Fort Meade, Md., using their supposed paranormal know-how— and know-where— to help locate American hostages, enemy submarines, strategic buildings in foreign countries, and who knows what else. A new report, commissioned by the CIA, was critical of Stargate and called further expenditures unjustified.

Yesterday, at his light and airy home in Nelson county Va., McMoneagle [?] defended remote viewing, which he explained as the act of describing or drawing details about a place, person or thing without having any prior knowledge of that place, person or thing. He said that true remote viewing, unlike crystal-ball gazing and tea-leaf reading, is always conducted under “strict scientific protocols.”

Granted, it still sounds squirrelly. And it doesn’t really help to know that McMoneagle, a retired Army officer, has also trafficked in near-death experiences, out-of-body travel and unidentified flying objects. In 1993 he wrote a book called “Mind Trek—Exploring Consciousness, Time and Space through Remote Viewing.”

But he put his skills on the line last week on national television— when ABC became, for an hour, the other psychic network— and the demonstration was impressive. Since then the phone’s been ringing.

Despite a bad back and the exhaustion that comes with flash-point celebrity, he was eager to talk about his expertise. He was stretched out flat on his living room couch, wearing a green V-neck sweater, bluejeans and brown loafers. He’s got a thick neck, gray-white hair and a trace of bitterness in his voice.

“My career was destroyed in the Army,” said McMoneagle, who joined in 1964 and was severely injured in a helicopter accident in Vietnam. He said he knew when he first joined the Stargate project—which was then called Grillflame—in 1978 that he would never again be taken seriously for any other job in the military. But he felt the assignment was too important to national security to decline.

“Everybody’s got it all backward,” he said of the criticism and ridicule the project is receiving today. He explained that the government was not using psychics to find people or things. They were using remote viewers, about 15 of them, who operated under strict guidelines developed in the laboratories at SRI International, a California contractor, to provide additional information to be used in conjunction with intelligence gathered by satellites or spies or any other traditional means.

He said the reported cost of $20 million for the 20-year product was minuscule compared to its value, and estimated that remote viewers saved the government about $240 million by helping find lost Scud missiles in the Persian Gulf War. Research has shown that remote viewing works 14 percent of the time or more, he said, “There is a huge percentage of intelligence collection systems that don’t do as well.”

The information provided by remote viewers, he reiterated, was never used without other types of corroboration. He said nearly every agency with an intelligence wing–including the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secret Service, the Coast Guard and Customs— employed remote viewers at some time or another.

On a typical workday, McMoneagle said, he reported to an old, leaky wooden barracks at Fort Meade, where he went into a one-person office. He sat at a desk with a typewriter and a mug of coffee. The cup said This End Up and had an arrow pointing the wrong way. He was then presented with sealed envelopes—sometimes large brown ones, sometimes small white ones—and he was asked to supply information about whatever was inside.

There might be a photograph of a person, he said, and he would be asked to describe where the person was locateed. In that way, he said, he helped the Army locate hostages in Iran. He said he predicted almost precisely where Skylab was going to fall, 11 months before the spacecraft returned to Earth in 1979. He named the city in Italy— Padua— and described the second-floor apartment where Brig. Gen James Dozier was held hostage by the Red Brigades in 1981. The information arrived in Italy on the day Dozier was released.

Over the years, McMoneagle said, he was involved in about 450 missions. One of his favorites was in 1980, when CIA personnel captured a suspected KGB agent in South Africa. They wanted to know how the agent was communicating with the Soviet military. They put an envelope on McMoneagle’s desk, and without knowing anything of the man, McMoneagle told the CIA that the man liked to use a small pocket calculator. The calculator turned out to be a disguised shortwave radio.

McMoneagle retired from the Army in 1984, but continued to work as a Stargate consultant.

Last week he appeared on “Nightline” and on the ABC special “Put to the Test.” “It’s not like he handed me a perfect photograph of the location,” said independent producer Ruth Rivin, of Elemental Productions, when asked about McMoneagle’s performance. “Some of the descriptions were pretty remarkable,” she said. “We followed all the scientific protocol laid out by Edwin May, a nuclear physicist [at SRI] who’s been researching remote viewing for the last 20 years.”

Rivin flew McMoneagle to Houston, a city he had never visited. She hired a location scout and instructed her to take photos of several Houston landmarks. One of the spots was chosen by a roll of the dice, and Rivin sent an official of the Houston tourist bureau there. McMoneagle was locked in a windowless room, shown a photo of the tourism official and asked to describe where the woman was. He spoke of a natural river that had been improved by man and of a bridge with foot traffic. The woman was standing near the ship channel in Houston. A bridge— for automobiles— was in the distance.

Today, McMoneagle runs his one man-company, Intuitive Intelligence Applications, from a bedroom equipped with a Zeos computer, windows facing the Blue Ridge mountains and a color photo of the Sphinx. He said he can help a wildcatter find an oil well or a quarry operator know where to mine.

But he’s still quietly angry about the way his service to his country is being portrayed. He said he was never paid more than a man of his rank—chief warrant officer. And as a consultant until 1993, he made even less.

“The project was approved on a year-to-year basis,” he said. “This approval was based on our performance. So why the hell are they running for cover now?”

Strange Dream, Waders, A Magnifying Glass and Heel Lifts

It has been an odd day so far. It started in a most unusual way. I had a very prolonged dream concerning someone I have not spoken to/with in over fifteen years. When I last knew him, I thought him to be kind, generally nice but a tad undecisive and chaotic. This person, J, was on my “one of the good guys” mental list. In this dream he sought me out because he was being investigated for some form of corruption or malpractice. Because of my prior role in pastoral care, I am good at listening and my confidentiality is very confidential. If students faced a tribunal, it was me that prepped them and assisted their defence, often. In this dream J discusses with me at some length how he should present his evidence what angles might work, and things he should not say. The dream, in dreamtime, was long. I can’t remember any of the details, now.

When I woke, I thought to myself that was weird! If J is being investigated for something dodgy my guess would be that he had done something by accident and not artifice. We were not exactly close, acquaintances yes. A while back I had another “corruption” type dream in which the ex-wife had done something iffy.

Are things coming home to roost?

It has been puzzling me on and off all day.

During the last bamboo session in the river, the leak in the right leg of the waders got worse and one appeared in the left leg too. By the time I had finished I had a litre or so of water in each boot. It is surprisingly hard to walk on dry land in waders which are full of water, especially if you have a gammy hip. We don’t know how old they are. So, it not surprising that they have started to perish. I did some research, and we went this morning to the local Decathlon store. This store is pretty impressive it covers all sports, hunting, fishing etc.. I tried on and subsequently bought a new set of chest high waders. We will need them for pond maintenance a little later on in the year. Not bad for 45 euros.

A while back I made my first proper “nanna” purchase it is a magnifying glass with a dual lens 3x and 45x magnification. It has an on-board LED light to provide a few extra photons. It is brilliant for reading batteries, electronic fuses, best before dates and expiry dates. So, I have done a clean out of the medicine cabinet. By definition anything which has Boots or Waitrose on it is about three years old. I am not so worried about lotions but stuff you swallow needs to be checked. The labelling in France is smaller than the UK so this device is a god send.

And now I have finally gone a done it, I have ordered some heel lifts at 5mm and 10mm to go in my left shoe to see if they help with my gait, which is still a tad spastic. I treated myself to some spongy trail running shoes today too, at Decathlon. The idea is to see if I can ease the juddering in my pelvic girdle when we walk on cobbles etc.

Bit of an odd day…

Hypertrophic Actinic Keratosis

Looks like frequency doubled Nd:YAG pumped dyes lasers operating in the 260-320nm range are likely to be the culprit!!

The histopathology has come back, and he said that what he cut out {~4mm diameter}, the day after my birthday, of my left hand was Hypertrophic Actinic Keratosis and that it had been entirely excised.

 I am guessing that I will have a few more of these blighters in due course.

It is mildly ironic that I was looking at hydrogen bonded complexes and molecular dimers using ultraviolet lasers …

From Wikipedia

Actinic keratosis (AK), sometimes called solar keratosis or senile keratosis, is a pre-cancerous area of thick, scaly, or crusty skin. Actinic keratosis is a disorder (-osis) of epidermal keratinocytes that is induced by ultraviolet (UV) light exposure (actin-). These growths are more common in fair-skinned people and those who are frequently in the sun. They are believed to form when skin gets damaged by UV radiation from the sun or indoor tanning beds, usually over the course of decades. Given their pre-cancerous nature, if left untreated, they may turn into a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Untreated lesions have up to a 20% risk of progression to squamous cell carcinoma, so treatment by a dermatologist is recommended.

Actinic keratoses characteristically appear as thick, scaly, or crusty areas that often feel dry or rough. Size commonly ranges between 2 and 6 millimeters, but they can grow to be several centimeters in diameter. Notably, AKs are often felt before they are seen, and the texture is sometimes compared to sandpaper. They may be dark, light, tan, pink, red, a combination of all these, or have the same color as the surrounding skin.

Given the causal relationship between sun exposure and AK growth, they often appear on a background of sun-damaged skin and in areas that are commonly sun-exposed, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, chest, backs of hands, forearms, or lips. Because sun exposure is rarely limited to a small area, most people who have an AK have more than one.

If clinical examination findings are not typical of AK and the possibility of in situ or invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cannot be excluded based on clinical examination alone, a biopsy or excision can be considered for definitive diagnosis by histologic examination of the lesional tissue. Multiple treatment options for AK are available. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is one option the treatment of numerous AK lesions in a region of the skin, termed field cancerization. It involves the application of a photosensitizer to the skin followed by illumination with a strong light source. Topical creams, such as 5-fluorouracil or imiquimod, may require daily application to affected skin areas over a typical time course of weeks.

Cryotherapy is frequently used for few and well-defined lesions, but undesired skin lightening, or hypopigmentation, may occur at the treatment site. By following up with a dermatologist, AKs can be treated before they progress to skin cancer. If cancer does develop from an AK lesion, it can be caught early with close monitoring, at a time when treatment is likely to have a high cure rate.

Signs and symptoms

Actinic keratoses (AKs) most commonly present as a white, scaly plaque of variable thickness with surrounding redness; they are most notable for having a sandpaper-like texture when felt with a gloved hand. Skin nearby the lesion often shows evidence of solar damage characterized by notable pigmentary alterations, being yellow or pale in color with areas of hyperpigmentation; deep wrinkles, coarse texture, purpura and ecchymoses, dry skin, and scattered telangiectasias are also characteristic.

Photoaging leads to an accumulation of oncogenic changes, resulting in a proliferation of mutated keratinocytes that can manifest as AKs or other neoplastic growths. With years of sun damage, it is possible to develop multiple AKs in a single area on the skin. This condition is termed field cancerization.

The lesions are usually asymptomatic, but can be tender, itch, bleed, or produce a stinging or burning sensation. AKs are typically graded in accordance with their clinical presentation: Grade I (easily visible, slightly palpable), Grade II (easily visible, palpable), and Grade III (frankly visible and hyperkeratotic).

Variants

Actinic keratoses can have various clinical presentations, often characterized as follows:

Classic (or common): Classic AKs present as white, scaly macules, papules or plaques of various thickness, often with surrounding erythema. They are usually 2–6mm in diameter but can sometimes reach several centimeters in diameter.

Hypertrophic (or hyperkeratotic): Hypertrophic AKs (HAKs) appears as a thicker scale or rough papule or plaque, often adherent to an erythematous base. Classic AKs can progress to become HAKs, and HAKs themselves can be difficult to distinguish from malignant lesions

Causes

The most important cause of AK formation is solar radiation, through a variety of mechanisms. Mutation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, induced by UV radiation, has been identified as a crucial step in AK formation. This tumor suppressor gene, located on chromosome 17p132, allows for cell cycle arrest when DNA or RNA is damaged. Dysregulation of the p53 pathway can thus result in unchecked replication of dysplastic keratinocytes, thereby serving as a source of neoplastic growth and the development of AK, as well as possible progression from AK to skin cancer. Other molecular markers that have been associated with the development of AK include the expression of p16ink4, p14, the CD95 ligand, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and TRAIL receptors, and loss of heterozygosity.

Evidence also suggests that the human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a role in the development of AKs. The HPV virus has been detected in AKs, with measurable HPV viral loads (one HPV-DNA copy per less than 50 cells) measured in 40% of AKs. Similar to UV radiation, higher levels of HPV found in AKs reflect enhanced viral DNA replication. This is suspected to be related to the abnormal keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation in AKs, which facilitate an environment for HPV replication. This in turn may further stimulate the abnormal proliferation that contributes to the development of AKs and carcinogenesis.

Ultraviolet radiation

It is thought that ultraviolet (UV) radiation induces mutations in the keratinocytes of the epidermis, promoting the survival and proliferation of these atypical cells. Both UV-A and UV-B radiation have been implicated as causes of AKs. UV-A radiation (wavelength 320–400 nm) reaches more deeply into the skin and can lead to the generation of reactive oxygen species, which in turn can damage cell membranes, signaling proteins, and nucleic acids. UV-B radiation (wavelength 290–320 nm) causes thymidine dimer formation in DNA and RNA, leading to significant cellular mutations. In particular, mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene have been found in 30–50% of AK lesion skin samples.

UV radiation has also been shown to cause elevated inflammatory markers such as arachidonic acid, as well as other molecules associated with inflammation. Eventually, over time these changes lead to the formation of AKs. Several predictors for increased AK risk from UV radiation have been identified:

Extent of sun exposure: Cumulative sun exposure leads to an increased risk for development of AKs. In one U.S. study, AKs were found in 55% of fair-skinned men with high cumulative sun exposure, and in only 19% of fair-skinned men with low cumulative sun exposure in an age-matched cohort (the percents for women in this same study were 37% and 12% respectively). Furthermore, the use of sunscreen (SPF 17 or higher) has been found to significantly reduce the development of AK lesions, and also promotes the regression of existing lesions.

History of sunburn: Studies show that even a single episode of painful sunburn as a child can increase an individual’s risk of developing AK as an adult. Six or more painful sunburns over the course of a lifetime was found to be significantly associated with the likelihood of developing AK.

Biopsy

A lesion biopsy is performed if the diagnosis remains uncertain after a clinical physical exam, or if there is suspicion that the AK might have progressed to squamous cell carcinoma. The most common tissue sampling techniques include shave or punch biopsy. When only a portion of the lesion can be removed due to its size or location, the biopsy should sample tissue from the thickest area of the lesion, as SCCs are most likely to be detected in that area.

If a shave biopsy is performed, it should extend through to the level of the dermis in order to provide sufficient tissue for diagnosis; ideally, it would extend to the mid-reticular dermis. Punch biopsy usually extends to the subcutaneous fat when the entire length of the punch blade is utilized.

Histopathology

On histologic examination, actinic keratoses usually show a collection of atypical keratinocytes with hyperpigmented or pleomorphic nuclei, extending to the basal layer of the epidermis. A “flag sign” is often described, referring to alternating areas of orthokeratosis and parakeratosis. Epidermal thickening and surrounding areas of sun-damaged skin are often seen. The normal ordered maturation of the keratinocytes is disordered to varying degrees: there may be widening of the intracellular spaces, cytologic atypia such as abnormally large nuclei, and a mild chronic inflammatory infiltrate.

Specific findings depend on the clinical variant and particular lesion characteristics. The seven major histopathologic variants are all characterized by atypical keratinocytic proliferation beginning in the basal layer and confined to the epidermis; they include:

Hypertrophic: Notable for marked hyperkeratosis, often with evident parakeratosis. Keratinocytes in the stratum malphigii may show a loss of polarity, pleomorphism, and anaplasia. Some irregular downward proliferation into the uppermost dermis may be observed, but does not represent frank invasion.

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