The Power of the Middle – The embryo as stature in time. An interview with Jaap van der wal. In: Seasoner No. March 2013 by Evelien Nijebooer: “The body is a concrete and ongoing creation story.”
Mineral, plant, animal While growing as an embryo, we go through a mineral, a plant and an animal existence. In the first week, a human embryo is still a kind of “mineral”: a clump of cells floating free and already growing in the oviduct – like a planet or spaceship in the cosmos. The body we now know of ourselves is not yet in existence at that time. According to Jaap, the embryo is an organism and not just a pile of cells – the entire embryo is our “body,” including what will later become the placenta. In the second week, with implantation, a vegetative stage follows and, among other things, two ‘poles’ are formed. The embryo roots itself in the uterine wall, so to speak, and gains a cavity inside. In this ‘root area’ metabolism takes place and from the cavity is shaped. This bipolarity resembles the organization of a plant. In the cavity, an independent center or middle then grows at the “root pole,” from which our later body will be formed. With this then follows the third, animal embryonic stage. Man and animal Jaap: “In the third week of pregnancy, the embryo unmistakably goes through an animal stage. You see a tail, gills, a snout. But it’s a stage, we go by it.’
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