AA ARTICLE De Eenheid van het Leven – 2007 NL

The unity of life in connection with all cells and organs – Interview with Jaap van der Wal, by O. van Nieuwenhuijze. The embryo according to Jaap van der Wal. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2007


Every cell in our body is part of a unit. The place of each cell in our body is determined by a common origin of all these cells. A disturbance in a cell is always connected with a disturbance of the cohesion between the cells. This is clear from embryology. The embryologist van der Wal studies the relationships that play a role in this. These are not determined by a black box that controls the body like a computer. The coherence of the body has evolved over millions of years and takes place in dynamic exchanges between the cells of our body. This can be seen in how the body evolves from a single-celled organism to a “group of cells,” a simple multicellular organism, which in turn evolves into an interplay of organs in a holistic body. Since we are all connected through our parents and ancestors, there is even a case to be made that each person is a cell in the body of humanity. The connection between the cultures of humanity can thus be compared to the connection between the organs in our bodies. As an embryologist, Jaap van der Wal focuses on how the cells of our body developed from a single cell ・ or rather, from a single-celled organism, the zygote). His website, www.embryo.nl, brings this into focus. In his view, the cohesion of an organism does not have a cause or is not determined by anything, it is its cause. The unity of living nature is the organism, is the whole, not the parts or the center. Therefore, the “whole” is not composed of parts (or organs or cells), but the whole organizes itself in these (sub)parts, these organs, these cells. The following article gives his view of the human embryo.

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