This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
On the Nature of the Soul (2)
photo by Abardwell
This second part on the nature of the soul is somewhat unusual, hence my
recommendation that you read it several times. It examines the stages of
creation of the soul from a mystical-theological viewpoint. It could also have
been entitled: “From gamete to homunculus” or “God’s interventions from the
unfertilised egg cell to the tiny person that still has to be born”. This is a miraculous story, one that calls us to give thanks. It turns our thoughts to the
abortion hecatomb, which has already claimed more than 100 times the
number of victims of the Shoa or Jewish Holocaust. Hence I pray with the
psalmist: “My soul follows close behind you; Your right hand upholds me. But
those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth”.
1 – The four stages of creation and the ten utterances of creation
The first verse of the book of Genesis says: “In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth.” According to the original text this verse can very well be
translated as: “Through the principle, God created heaven and earth” instead of “In
the beginning”. And that principle, in and with God, is of course the Word made
flesh in Christ, also called the First-born in Colossians 1:15-16): “He is the image
of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation. For by Him all things were
created…” The Jewish expression in this context would be “the first fruits of
The creation of a human being, out of nothing – that is, out of the image of that
person in the mind of God, the image to which he is called – can be compared to
Nature Soul II
this creation process, just mentioned, since here too ‘the human being’ is made in
God’s image. Despite all the frantic efforts made in our society to ruin that image,
we are and remain – in Christ Jesus – God’s creation. (Eph. 2:10) So let us take a
look at what insights we can gain from the process of creation and generation as
presented in the Old Testament.
Jewish tradition states that the process of creation, as it appears in the first Bible
chapter, consists of the four invisible and inner movements of creation, here an
allusion to Isaiah 43:7, that distinguishes:
Someone who is named after My Name (Genesis 1:1-2);
whom I generated (Genesis 1:3-10);
whom I formed (Genesis 1:11-31); and
whom I made / ‘asa’ (Genesis 2:2-3).
In that sense the 4 movements refer to the four Hebrew letters of God’s sacred
Name, the name Yahweh. The word ‘Son’ in Hebrew also has a value of four. At
the beginning of his gospel the apostle John writes about the Son: “All things were
made by Him: without Him was not anything made that was made.”
The Jewish tradition extrapolates the image of the four stages of creation to the ten
utterances of the creation as being a representation of the outer movements of
creation. The Talmud notes that there are but nine utterances and suggests that the
all-embracing “In the Beginning” is also an utterance, in fact the utterance. (Megillah 21b) It can be approached differently, because “In the Beginning” is not an
utterance of ‘speaking’ or commanding, but an inner movement of thought in terms
of He ‘spoke’, identified with: “someone who is named after My Name”, which
Psalm 33:9 reasserts: “He spoke and it was”, i.e. with one divine call, and thereafter: “He commanded and it arose”. The first movement – not uttered but pronounced in the thought of God from the beginning until the end in the one breath
Aleph-Tau (from a till z) – consists of making in terms of ‘bara’, also used in Genesis 1:1). It is a capsule that contains everything else. It is the one seed of all
future generations. Thus it is that Isaiah 41:4 states: “Who has performed and done
it, calling into existence the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the
first; and with the last I am He.” This capsule of creation therefore embraces all the
creation stages and should not be added to those stages seperately.
Nature Soul II
We find the same kind of approach in the Ten Commandments that God engraved
on the stone tablets. (Ex. 34:28) The manner of counting seen in Exodus 20:1 20:17 has always been a subject of discussion. In fact there are nine commandments
since the first two belong together and thus constitute a single commandment: “I
am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods before Me.” Because of this
question the Samaritan sect regarded as the supplementary commandment the order
to proclaim the Ten Commandments on Mount Gerizim. (Deut. 11:27-29) A usual
explanation is that in the one breath when “God spoke all these words” (Ex. 20:1)
all possible commandments and bans are to be found, and thus also the very extensive corpus contained in the book of Leviticus. As the great Thomas Aquinas used
to say: “Our intellect does not simultaneously understand everything, or with one
act, but by many different acts; therefore the words of our intellect are many. But
God understands everything simultaneously by one single act, because his understanding must be one, since it is his very being. It follows therefore that in God
there is only One Word.” (1)
Despite the opinion of the Talmud concerning the stages of creation, mentioned
above, it is easy to identify the ten utterances or commandments within the six days
of creation. It simply depends on what we define as an act of creating creation or an
act of (re)making creation – which lies in the distinction of ‘bara’ and ‘asa’. Two
consist of a blessing (to bless is also an act of creation!), one on the 5th day and one
on the 6th. Eight of them are acts of creation, but those acts could not have taken
place without the “in the Beginning” that preceded them (‘in the Beginning’ is preceded by nothing except God). These acts we recognize too within the 8 stages, or
eight-days-realisation (2), but then in terms of to make or ‘asa’. Two of them fall on
the 3rd and two on the 6th day. The creation of MAN falls outside this, because that
is in terms of ‘bara’, but his blessing (and simultaneous vocation) is most certainly
counted (verse 28): “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it”.
2 – The objective and subjective condition of being
Our focus now is on the 10 utterances: multiplied by the 4 movements (of creation)
makes 40, a very important symbolic number. The number forty, we learn, is linked
to creating. That offers surprising insight into the unfolding of newly conceived
life. Just listen. Leviticus 12 stipulates that a mother who gives birth to a boy is
unclean for 7 days and afterwards must remain 33 days apart. She should observe
periods twice as long if she gives birth to a girl. The Jews call this the ‘days of niddah’ (the niddah is a menstruating woman). And what do we find: 7 + 33 = 40 and
14 + 66 = 80 = 2 x 40!
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan quotes the Jewish wise men, who say that the 7 + 33 days here
represent the time for an embryo to take on the first phase of human form and thus
to take on the condition of a foetus. This is the point alluded to by David in Psalm
139:16: “Thine eyes did see my substance (the substance of David) not yet being
The foregoing is not obvious because the ‘days of niddah’ start for both boy and
girl at the very moment of birth (it is difficult to imagine otherwise), while in the
symbolic interpretation, related to the development of the embryo and the foetus,
the numbers 40 and 80 must be placed one after the other and not overlapping. That
is why the rabbis have recognised the meaning of 40 but not of 80, even though it is
obvious that 80 hides a meaning regarding the process of the creation of a human, a
meaning probably lost in the course of the centuries. (3) The prescribed 7 and 14
days of uncleanness could indicate the required period after conception for adplan-
Nature Soul II
tation (7 days) and the implantation of the ovum until the beginning of differentiation (14 days) marked by the formation of the primitive streak. This also marks
the end of possible embryonic duplication.
You who plumb my essence…
- Text H. Jongerius; translated MJC
You who plumb my essence and heart,
The words that are kept hid in my mouth,
Know all my ways and walk at my side:
How wonderful is your secret to me.
You who have seen me while still in the womb,
Called me to life in the red light of dawn,
Have known and loved me from my first beginning:
How your great name awakens my awe.
Wherever I go, ’t is not far from You,
You are there in my heartbeat, here and now,
As breath that gives strength and makes me advance:
Who am I if You do not call me by name?
Give me then power in both word and deed,
Re-make me again in the darkness of night:
So that I may live as a Man in your light
And some time may look on your eternal face.
Psalm 139:16 is the only place in the Bible where the word ‘golem’ appears, translated as the ‘substance not yet being formed’. This verse has taken on important
significance in Jewish mysticism that has always related it to the ‘inwardness of
creation’ – a term from Gershom Scholem. The term homunculus is inspired by the
better part of this tradition and not by something else.
This “Thine eyes did see my substance” does not apply to the moment of conception, for that falls under the Name of God and not of David. Nor does it apply to the
embryonic stage, immediately subsequent, because that exists in the objective condition of being. If it did not exist in the objective condition of being, the embryo
could not split into twins or the converse: two distinct and fertilized embryos could
not recombine in one ‘mosaic’ body (the first 14 days are placed within the embryonic stage). The beginning of human life should in my view be situated at time of
the penetration of the plasma membrane by the spermatozoid . The ‘interaction’ of
the sperm with the plasma membrane of the ovum, and not the subsequent fertilisation, stimulates its development
into an embryo. For example, it is
easy to induce an unfertilised frog
egg to begin development by pricking it with a fine needle dipped in
blood. Note that blood cells are
necessary for mytosis to proceed
normally. Even adult rabbits, that
are mammals comparable to us,
have been produced from unfertilised eggs by similar procedures.
These and other experiments are
Nature Soul II
artificial, yet indicate that the moment of conception is not determined by fertilisation, which means the union of two gamete nuclei (4) (see also the article “From
penetration to fertilization”).
3 – In His Name
In view of some ethical considerations that have been in vogue during the long
history of our Church, and in view of the argument that the immortal ensoulment
does not take place during the embryonic and immature stages, it might be inferred
that the objectionable practice of abortus / partus provocatus – although objectionable – is not yet an act of murder: this would only be termed as such after the
moment of immortal ensoulment. My answer is as follows. It is a fact that the life
of each human being begins at conception or the cell penetration, although at this
moment and afterwards, during the so-called embryonic development, it is impossible to predict if this human life will definitely grow into a human (or homunculus); conversely it is sometimes possible to find out if a development goes wrong
and will result in a spontaneous expulsion, which as a legitimate medical treatment
can be aided. Therefore, any forced termination of pregnancy (5) as from conception or penetration, should be seen as an attempt to take away the life of a child
wanted by God, because God does know what would have been the result of that
new life – made in His Name. Each child brought forth, as from the very beginning,
is wanted and loved by God, especially so because the ensoulment into homunculus
is a supernatural and heavenly intervention every time, a new act of creation from
individual to individual, from God to child, every time. This explains why a forced
termination of pregnancy is, to say the least, an attempt at murder, committed by
people who thus become murderers (in the moral sense of the word), with the exception of the extra-uterine pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy) where exclusively the
life of the mother can be saved and not of both or the child only. The Dublin Conference of September 13, 2012 confirmed “…that direct abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a woman. And that’s good news for mothers and
Nature Soul II
their babies.” said Professor O’Dwyer, who attended the conference. His comments allude to the difference recognized in Christian morality between a forced
termination of pregnancy, and the unintended though foreseen death of the child as
a secondary consequence of certain treatments. See article: “Abortion is Never Medically Necessary”. See in particular §57-62 of the 11th Encyclical of Pope John
Paul II that appeared in 1995: “Evangelium Vitæ”, which also discusses broader
ethical issues of life such as euthanasia and in vitro fertilisation. An excellent book
on the philosophical defense of human life in earliest stages is from Robert P.
George and Christopher Tollefsen: “Embryo: A Defense of Human Life” (Doubleday Publ. # 2008), of which a review appeared at Zenith: “Life at four Cells Old”.
In the ancient religious belief, man is made in the abyss. As to Psalm 139 verses 14
and 15, David was made wonderfully, indicating the moment of conception, and he
was wrought in the hidden and lowest parts of the earth, which indicates the embryonic development. Only when it has become a foetus, at day forty, does it enter
the subjective condition of being, the condition meant by verse 16, already referred
to. Once a foetus, the laying down of the hundreds of fundamental tissues, has been
completed and the rudiments of primitive organs and organ systems are already present. “All my members are written, which in continuance are fashioned.” During
the subsequent 80 days the foetus evolves into a homunculus (little human), the
stage at which all the organs have started to become functional, but when the little
human still needs life support. (6)
Once a homunculus – thus after 120 days – and after having conversed with God
(J.N.S.R. 31-7-2009), the immortal soul is infused, which fits Genesis 1:27. That
specific moment is the incarnation, to which the Jewish tradition subscribes: “And
God created Adam. This is the eternal Just. He has formed him from a heavenly
Nature Soul II
formation and from an earthly one” Take note: also like the God-man Jesus Christ.
In the legend of Sanhedrin 38b Adam is called ‘golem’ (literally ‘clay figure’),
meaning that in the first hours of his existence he was an earthly formation without
a soul. The word ‘golem’, or its derivative, denotes incompletion, an intermediate
phase in the development towards a genuine creature. And therefore the ‘golems’
created by rabbis in the Jewish legends could not speak. They had not received the
breath of life in an alliance with God.
4 – The meaning of cell differentiation
In the scientific literature I know of, the
definition of the developmental stages in
human embryos is based on the appearance
of clusters of cells (i.e. the Carnegie stages).
I am interested in the first differentiation
(starting at 1 germ cell) that at a later stage
will give rise to new tissue or a rudimentary
organ. The first differentiation precedes its
clustered form. We may safely state that the
first stage of the laying down of the hundreds of fundamental tissues, which I tentatively place at around day 40, precedes the
beginning of the easily visible foetal stage.
The embryonic calendar of Blechschmidt
places the early development of almost all definitive organs in the second lunar
month. He places the beginnings of foetal development in the third lunar month;
some place it at day 49. He calls it ‘foetus’ until birth. After the fourth month
(therefore, around day 120) he talks about the “late intrauterine development until
birth”, which agrees with our concept of homunculus. His scheme is mainly ontogenetic and does not contradict mine, being based on different premises. Nevertheless it seems appropriate to apply the concept of homunculus to the ontogenetic
division, because it indicates that growth does not stop at the moment of birth. Terminology is really important: ‘homunculus’ invites greater respect for the human
being as yet unborn.
In this way, the genesis of human life progressively evolves from one stage to another within the modus of 40 days and in line with the man-woman or object-subject duality. The male ingredient represents the systematic and schematic condition
and therefore the development of the embryo until day 40. Only after the involvement of the female ingredient the male side can start to become viable. The female part only starts to function after the other has completed its task. The female
part encorporates the richness of forms as if it were giving flesh to the skeleton.
That is why it supports the fashioning of forms of the foetus that finally leads to the
homunculus at day 120, or 3 x 40. Once homunculus, a process of growing or transformation (asa) follows which, incidentally, does not stop at birth. By no means.
The conclusion that a homunculus commences 120 days after conception (or 19
weeks after the beginning of the last menstruation), is no justification for a forced
termination of pregnancy. As noted, the conception of a human is in the ‘Name of
God’, so even the so-called ‘morning-after pill’ is taboo, as well as the ‘Intra Uterine Device’ (the so-called spiral that prevents the implantation of a fertilised egg).
The large percentage of spontaneous abortions in the first days – more than half –
provide no argument because the motive for intervention disregards any such possi-
Nature Soul II
bility (otherwise there would be no need of it); the motive is simply to remove any
possibility - large or small - of a pregnancy coming to term.
The bio-genesis just described, the terms of which should not be understood too categorically, compares with the traditional stages of creation, namely:
in the beginning (conception);
transformation (homunculus / human).
(see image sequence: “Watch me Grow”)
It cannot be denied that 40 and 4 are charged with religious significance, in this
case as regards the process of creation in general and of the coming into being of a
human in particular.
5 – After birth
The (trans)formative process continues after birth first within the ‘womb’ of the family and later on of society, following similar principles as seen in the foetal and
embryonic development, but with distinctive focus now on the qualities of the
mind. These principles imply that the impulses for development now come from the
outside. They are bound to be incorporated by the growing child in an effort to preserve its identity, that is: a sense of emotional stability, imitation for the plain joy of
it. Another important principle implies that if something has not been initiated early
on it cannot advance to a higher level in the adult (a child that is given no love has
difficulty giving love as an adult). Similarly, something that has been perversely
initiated will at a later stage be perversely exercised, as witness the psychological
ills of many, which originated in the initial period of life.
According to Cliff Anderson’s remarkable theory of maturation (7):
«« …the mind at birth is in a primitive, undifferentiated state, unable to build
even the most elementary understanding of the world. And it will require some
three decades of nearly continuous development for the mind to establish
enough psychological abilities to construct a fully correct understanding of the
(outside) world. (…) What we are now calling the midlife crisis is what
actually marks the transition from immaturity to maturity. (Furthermore:)
Nature Soul II
These psychological advances are not accomplished in the classical
evolutionary sense. Rather, they reflect movement down a preexisting path —
a template every bit as inherent as the physical one that creates the brain, the
heart, and the muscles in the arm. »»
Jewish tradition subscribes to this view, because it teaches that a person should only
start to explore the inner world, the world of mystical experience, at age 40. Only
then is that person reckoned to have reached sufficient maturity and emotional
6 – The symbolic number 40, image of two worlds
The systematic use of the number 40 in the Bible means that its significance is not a
mere symbolic curiosity. In the Hebrew language 40 refers to water (mem). The
knowledge of God is compared to the waters that cover the seabed, to use a quotation from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (1935-1983). The bor, Hebrew for spring or source,
must contain 40 sa’a (se’ah), a biblical measure, with 1 sa’a equal to 7.3 litres. It
would seem that this quantity is required because 40 has something to do with the
body, especially the ‘entire’ body, which makes us think of the Jewish ritual bath,
known as the Mikveh. It is not merely a question of the (woman’s) body that must
be fully immersed in the Mikveh. (8) Symbolically speaking the Fall in Paradise
involves the body of the human collectivity, i.e. the entire body. Since the manipulation of that body, known as the power of mass ecstasy, is the snake’s or demon’s
greatest triumph, it is said that the body has become trapped in the pit or prison
(Lam. 4:20). The plan of creation aims at freeing us once again, to rid us of the
collective traumas and to free us from the power that is dogging us. Mikveh and
womb represent the image of water. Return to the amniotic fluid – where ‘form’
was missing in the beginning and everything was contained in promise – is a notion
that fits with the process of (re)-creation. In Hebrew, ‘womb’ points to burial (qabar). In neither can breath be drawn, but grave stands for dying and womb for
(re)birth. In consequence the water in the central part of the Mikveh, the bor, as we
learn from the teaching, must contain the ‘entire’ body of 40 sa’a.
Nature Soul II
- 10 -
Then I read in the writings of Rabbi Kaplan that the largest (spiritual) body in
existence contains 20 sa’a, not 40 but 20 sa’a. And thus 40 represents a double totality. We could also say: two worlds, one of which will end in burning. (9) The room
of the Holy of Holies (where they kept the stone tablets) measured 20x20x20. What
does that mean in relation to our point of discussion? Could it be as follows? If
something mixes with its antagonist of the same volume it can be considered, as a
rule, to be compensated; its former properties will be annulled. (10) Hence, the
amount of water before annulment of the character of the first body should be twice
as large and equal 40 sa’a. Therefore the two tablets with the Ten Commandments
also weighed 40 sa’a. For these represented the heart of stone which, at the time of
the restoration of the paradisiacal state, is going to be changed into a heart of flesh.
Rabbi Kaplan contends, in what is probably the remnant of an oral tradition, the
meaning of which has been lost, that the water in the Mikveh is not allowed to flow.
The water used for the Mikveh is drawn from living or flowing water, but after it
has flown into its cistern it should retain its shape. Could that mean that the mixing
with the pharmakon athanasias or “the medicine for immortality” (11) has to wait
until a certain critical point in time? The two, the human form and the ‘God with
us’, are together in one body measuring 40 sa’a, but each world (each time a totality) keeps its constitution as long as there is no mixing. Twice a totality, it appears
as if God is the god of good and evil. In paradise He tells Adam and Eve that
henceforth men will know Him as such. It seems as if He is His own adversary. In
the body of 40 sa’a, image of humanity, He dwells with what is from Himself and
what His Love continually reaches out to. He too is in the depths, together with us,
but separated. As long as this situation lasts, we have to do with the ‘fallen Man’
who, though created by God, has not yet reached the childhood of walking in His
will (see also my article “Your Will be done”).
A reader wrote: “Many thanks for your impressive article on human development in the womb. I was impressed – and also touched – by the large
quantity of ‘symbolism’. This is a word used in our Western notions to place
something outside our reality and logic while, as your article shows, it is
even introduced physically by God. It would seem that wherever God brings
distinctive (life) into being, we humans run the risk of bringing death or at
least deadliness into being through the method applied to distinctions (analysis, reduction).”
(1) “De rationibus fidei contra Saracenos, Graecos et Armenos ad Cantorem Antiochenum” (Ch. 3).
The creation consists of 8 days
(2) The creation consists of 7 days plus 1, or 7x7 plus 1. It evolves towards the 8th day
of creation in what is called now, in our age, the ‘olam assia’. At present we are in
the seventh day of creation, or day of the making (see my article “Olam ha-Assia”)
Christian theology regarding the 40 and 80 days
(3) Most theologians from the Middle Ages until the middle of the 19th century held
the opinion that the male soul is not created in the body until the 40th day after the
Nature Soul II
- 11 conception. They also believed that the female soul is not created in the body until
the 80th day after conception.
Christ’s blood should lack the Y-chromosome
(4) In the XY gender-determination system, females have two of the same kind of
chromosomes (XX), called homogametic. Males have two distinct chromosomes
(XY), called heterogametic, of which the Y is received from the sperm. Not being
fertilised by a man, Christ's blood should lack the Y chromosome, but then He could
not have been a male! From parthenogenesis (virginal conception) one expects 23
chromosomes. To seek evidence, therefore, of Christ's virginal conception, one
could do a count, which should result in a chromosome number of 22+1 (the 1
would miraculously be a Y), instead of 44+2. The 44+2 count includes 22+1 spermchromosomes and 22+1 ovum-chromosomes. Interestingly, there is a unique case of
partial parthenogenesis described in an article of the New Scientist (issue 1998, Oct.
1995), entitled: “The boy whose blood has no father”, which was probably due to
the spontaneous mytosis ¶ of an unfertilised ovum, that subsequently was partially
fertilised in the usual way.
The number of chromosomes in Christ’s
blood can be investigated, for there are blood
samples of Christ from – for instance – the
Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, Italy, which
dates from the 8th century (to investigate the
chromosomes in Christ’s blood it has to come
to life again – in dead blood there are no chromosomes). Various ecclesiastical investigations
or “recognitions” have been conducted on this
sample since 1574. In 1970-1971, and taken up
again partly in 1981, there was an investigation by Odoardo Linoli, professor in anatomy and pathological histology, and in cheX & Y Chromosomes (L and R)
mistry and clinical microscopy. Perhaps some
enlarged 10.000 x
blood left over from the investigation closed in
1981 could be used for a count – after first having been warmed up to body
temperature, and following prayer. See YouTube film: “Ron Wyatt talking about
Jesus blood sample”, and subsequently “Eucharistic Miracle.Buenos Aires”.
¶ Mytosis is the process by which a cell separates its duplicated genome into two
identical halves. It is generally followed immediately by cytokinesis which divides the cytoplasm and cell membrane. This results in two identical daughter cells with a roughly equal
distribution of organelles and other cellular components.
The terminology of the termination of pregnancy
(5) The termination of pregnancy may be reconsidered as follows: until 100 days,
‘abortion’, 100-120 days: ‘partus immaturus’; 120-250 days: ‘partus præmaturus’
(the days being counted from conception). After a provoked partus, it is remarkable
that a 120-day-old homunculus, if abandoned, will fight for its life for several hours.
Præmaturus would thus seem to be a suitable term. Currently, the term is used only
after 180 days because of the better chances of survival. However even an older
baby will die if abandoned.
Hospital dumps dead baby in rubbish
(6) The Dutch daily newspaper “De Telegraaf” of 16th July 1997 carried the following report (reproduced here in its entirety) under the headline “Hospital dumps
dead baby in rubbish”. The article was written by René Steenhorst. It serves as an
illustration in our discussion but can also contribute to the government’s attitude to
an unfolding human life, an attitude which witnesses to a very sad mentality. The
blasphemous abortion legislation is an extension of it. The developments in the
months following this incident have proven that the lax way of behaving is not an
isolated case. Which should not come as a surprise. The one fits with the other.
Nature Soul II
- 12 «« Doctors working in the Oosterschelde Hospital in Goes appear to have
dumped in the hospital refuse the mortal remains of a baby born dead. Instead
of being cremated, as the parents had been promised, the baby was destroyed
at the Rijnmond waste disposal facility.
Annelies and Ruud Stornebrink of Bergen op Zoom, the parents of the baby
Ilona, made this ghastly discovery a short time ago after the mother had made
enquiries at the hospital as to the whereabouts of her dead child’s ashes.
“Immediately after the birth I was allowed to hold Ilona in order to say
good-bye to her”, says the anguished Annelies Stornebrink (34), who works as
a group leader in the mental health care sector. “The child was perfect: ten
little fingers, ten tiny toes, eyes, a nose and a little mouth. I even have a photo
of her and regard her as my child. She was too beautiful to be thrown away
like a piece of rubbish. We are both absolutely distraught.”
Formally the hospital cannot be blamed. The medical lawyer Mr. P.A.M.M.
Dingemans (Breda), engaged by the parents, had to admit that this was so. The
legislation covering the care of corpses states that a dead foetus or baby has to
be cremated or buried if the pregnancy has lasted for 24 weeks or more or, if
the duration of the pregnancy is not known, if the baby weighs at least 500
Yet Ilona Stornebrink died after 19 weeks, and so, under the terms of the
law, is considered a medically provoked ‘abortion’. The counting of 19 weeks
pregnancy accords with 120 days after conception, which is our focus of
Nonetheless Mr Dingemans called the hospital’s behaviour totally distasteful.
“I will most certainly make my objections known to the hospital. This should
never have happened. And certainly not after a promise had been made to
cremate the baby.”
The desire to know where Ilona’s ashes had been scattered arose when the
Stornebrinks saw their two other daughters - Elouise aged nine and Jamie aged
two - growing up. Says Annelies: “We were always making comparisons:
Ilona could have been like that too. Our grief increased, as did the need to
visit the place where something of her still remained. That’s why I finally got
in touch with the hospital. I have never been so shocked in my life. They acted
as if I ought to know what usually happens to foetuses born dead...”
Mr Dingemans comments: “I regard this sordid affair as a typical case of
collective blindness, and I intend to ask the politicians to take note of it ¶: the
‘material’ was submitted to post-mortem examination and then simply
dumped. This mechanistic attitude to human tissue is unworthy of a hospital.”
The complaints officer at the Oosterschelde hospital, Mrs. A. Liem-Buirma,
stated that she could well understand the parents’ grief. “The fact that we
acted according to the law does not take away the pain. On the contrary: it
simply should not have happened. (…) We intend to contact the parents and
also the Zeeland pathology laboratory: perhaps some mistake was made
there. Over the last few years we happen to have worked out a policy
designed to prevent this sort of unhappy occurrence. We have even made
arrangements with the undertakers that a funeral be held for a foetus only a
few weeks old.” »» (see: “Life at 21 weeks”, and also: “Born at 22 weeks”)
¶ Within a week of this article being published a shock wave of reactions in the national
press persuaded the Health Inspection Service to set up an official enquiry into the way
Dutch hospitals and pathology laboratories deal with the remains of foetuses and babies that
come into the world dead.
(7) Clifford Anderson: “The Stages of Life (A groundbreaking discovery: the steps
to psychological maturity)”. The Atlantic Monthly Press - New York # 1995.
The Mikveh bath
(8) The so-called Mikveh bath is a place where (orthodox) Jewish women go for purification after a menstrual period, but it is sometimes used by men and for conversion to Judaism. An unmarried woman who goes to the mikveh and sleeps with
Nature Soul II
- 13 her boyfriend is committing a lesser offence, according to Jewish law, than a married Jewish couple that have sexual relations without the woman first going to the
mikveh (from Rabbi Telushkin’s Jewish Literacy, p. 619). Therefore, in orthodox
circles an unmarried woman is not permitted to go to a mikveh, to ensure that premarital sex does not ensue.
Our world will be burned up
(9) The end of the Bible, called judgement day, is not necessarily the end of the
world. It is merely the closing chapter of an important episode and the end of the
world as we know it today. ‘World’ may be understood as a moral entity or as a
composition of matter. The meaning of the second letter of Peter 3:10-12 is then
placed in a totally different light: “The day of the Lord will come (…) in which the
heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent
heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. (…) (Whilst the
saints are eagerly) looking for and hastening the day of God, because of which the
heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent
heat.” That it concerns a moral entity, appears also from the word ‘elements’ derived from the Greek ‘stocheion’, which represents an orderly arrangement like exists
with a military march.
Distinction by separation
(10) “If something mixes with its antagonist of the same volume it can be considered, as a rule, to be compensated; its former properties will be annulled.” This is a
deep thought. It seems that creation out of nothing (ex nihilo) is based on separation that causes distinction (i.e. Genesis 1:6). Everything appears to have its antagonist, even the universe seems to have a twin universe, which is enantiomorphic with
an opposite arrow of time and is made up of antimatter (i.e. electrons with a positive rather than a negative charge), at least according to Nobel laureate Sakharov
(from 1967 onwards) and Jean-Pierre Petit (Comptes rendus de l’Académie des
Sciences de Paris, 28th March 1977). Enantiomorph means that something has a
complementary twin and that both cancel each other out.
The pharmacon athanasias
(11) The term ‘pharmacon athanasias’, ‘the medicine for immortality’, was used for
the first time in the “Ad Ephesios” (20:PG5, 661) by the martyr Ignatius of Antioch,
bishop of Antioch in the first century of our calendar, by which he meant the Eucharistic bread, also called by him the “antidote against death”.
See: “A child is born” by Lennart Nilsson
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.