The Embryo In Us - Human as Embryo

Understanding ourselves as Embryo and how that relates to our consciousness and psychosomatic being

The Embryo In Us - Human as Embryo
Understanding ourselves as Embryo and how that relates to our consciousness and psychosomatic being

A four-day course divided into two 2-day webinars

August 30-31 and September 6-7 2024
9am - 6pm EST

Recordings will be available afterwards, for review and in case you miss a session.
Registration now open!

We are Mind, Motion and Matter.
The body developed out of us, not we from it.
We made the body, cell by cell we made it.

- Rumi

Seize this opportunity, without burdening our planet with an even larger ecological footprint than you may have been doing until now, to participate in a new ONLINE Course that is LIVE brought to by Jaap Van Der Wal in collaboration with Kate White of the Center for Prenatal and Perinatal Programs.

Why online? Since 2003, barring a single year, Jaap van der Wal, MD PhD, anatomist-embryologist and philosopher-phenomenologist has annually traveled from his homeland Holland to the USA to give one (sometimes several) of his four-day seminars/courses: The Embryo in Us. Jaap would very much prefer to continue to present the class in person, because these courses are about more than information transfer, it is also an experiencing and experiencing "the embryo in us". However, since 2021, in an effort to make his contribution to the climate, he no longer wants to fly transcontinental. At the Center, and the Online School, he has found a good home from which to bring his course online yet 'close as live as possible' to the USA. Moreover, this also saves you from having to make any necessary domestic flight you might otherwise have to make to join Jaap. He is now 76 and this may be your last chance to experience this once in a lifetime event.

So, come to a feast of amazing information about our earliest beginnings, and engage in the mystery of the Embryo with master teacher and storyteller, Jaap van der Wal. The Embryo in Us ~ Human as Embryo is Jaap's seminal course that will help you understand our deepest mysteries held in our bodies.

It is the fourth time that this webinar has been presented by the Center. This time the course will be taught live over two two-day webinars (with a break of about a week): Friday and Saturday August 30 - 31 2024 and continuing on September 6 - 7 2024.

Each day there will be three sessions:

9:00 am - 12:00 am EST, Lecture with a short break (5 – 10 minutes)

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST. Lecture with a short break (5 – 10 minutes)

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST, Lectures & Activities plus room for Questions & Answers

For these times in your time zone see:

As a bonus for registering, participants will have free time-limited access to a Dropbox page where they will find all the articles and chapters Jaap has ever published. All the videos and animations shown during the course plus the entire PowerPoint presentation that is used, can be viewed and downloaded as well.

About Online Teaching

We are fully aware that online teaching via zoom has its limitations. Nevertheless, we will do our utmost to approximate the live experience of this course as closely as possible. Therefore, Jaap will also try to highlight the usual meditative movement exercises he performs live with participants as well as an occasional drawing exercise. The question-and-answer sessions, often so desired by participants, will be limited due to Jaap's increased hearing impairment which makes it difficult for him to communicate especially in a language other than his native language. To compensate for this, Jaap will send the answers to all questions asked via chat to the entire group, in principle in writing, the following day. Each session will begin with a review during which there will also be an opportunity to exchange experiences.

Course Contents

A detailed overview of the course content can be found on Jaap's website, in particular

Day One: The Undivided Embryo (8/30)

  • The Body that we are
  • The Speech of the embryo
  • The Embryo in Us – Shaping the Body?

Day Two: The Polarity Embryo (8/31)

  • Life as the thew breathing In-between and Middle
  • In the Beginning conception - Cosmos & Chaos?
  • First week, the Angels Landing - Nidation

Day Three: Threefold Embryo (9/6)

  • Birth - From There to Here plus
  • From Vegetable to Animal Life
  • Incarnation, creating the Inner and the Third
  • The animate Body: be(com)ing aware

Day Four: The Universal Embryo (9/7)

  • Triune Human: its is all about the Third
  • The Human: coming to your Self in balance
  • Evolution of humankind: the Embryo of Freedom

Throughout the course we will be discussing the five evolutionary levels of human being/existence:

  • The human physical body
  • Human as a living being
  • Fascia - 'fabric' of innerness
  • Human as sentient being
  • Human as self-aware Being

About The Embryo In Us

In the human embryonic development we are dealing with what could be mentioned as ‘still functioning in forms’. By this is meant that the gestures of growth and development that the human embryo is performing could be interpreted and understood as human behavior. And as a kind a pre-exercising of what later on will appear as physiological and psychological functions.

It looks as if the embryo, and therefore the human being, is in a kind of empathetic equilibrium between antipathy and sympathy with the environment and the world. This polarity seems to be essential for the human being and suggests to be an indication of the twofoldness of spirit and matter. Phenomenological embryology helps us to see the human body is an expression of as well body as well as mind (dynamic morphology). The search is made for possible answers to questions like Where do we come from? and What is the human being? The approach practiced here leads to a kind of process morphology that may overcome the Cartesian anatomy: a real morphology of mind and body with the whole body as expression of the human soul. The gestures of growth of the embryo could be interpreted as a kind of echo of the development of mankind (evolution): in this way becoming human and the evolution of humanity, biography and biology come together.

The embryo also provides insight in the laws and priciples of human development. The way in which the human shape gets its form in the prenatal phase is an expression of the essential feature that the human being ‘is citizens of two worlds i.e. mind AND matter, heavens AND earth and that in this tension field the human being develops (embryology) and manifests itself (morphology).

What do we do when we are embryo?

As a kind of ‘brainless’ being the human embryo is a challenge for those who search for spirit in the human existence and body. Spirit in this context defined as everything that modern science - including modern genetics, neurophysiology and psychology - are compelled to deny as non-evident and therefore non-existent. Jaap van der Wal tries in this course to go on the search for spirit in man and nature following another scientific pathway. That means searching for sense, meaning, goal of our existence. The question like What we actually doing when we are embryo? is only relevant for the embryologist who is on the search for such qualities.

An effort is made to come to the essence of spiritual being of the human embryo and to bring the relationships between spirit, soul and body to light. New perspectives are presented with an outlook on a polarity morphology, threefoldness of the human body, on microcosmos and macrocosmos, and on human existence in development and incarnation. The human body is considered here as a dynamic process that only can be understood as a living organism. Effort will be made to overcome the current poor philosophical ‘nothingbutism' (a term coined by Rupert Sheldrake: “the human being mind/soul is nothing else than just material brain-processes and software and so on”) and to extend it to a real holistic and spiritual human biology.

Paulo Coelho quote

The approach that will be followed is a scientific one i.e the Goetheanistic phenomenology and is based upon our primary perception and experiencing of our reality. This means: NOT “I think therefor I am” but rather “I experience myself as a thinking, feeling and willing being, therefor I am and exist in, by and thanks to this body”. As Paulo Coelho stated it: I’m not a body with a soul, I’m a soul that has a visible part called the body”.

You will find even more information about The Embryo In Us course on Jaap's website. The site is available in English, Dutch and German.

Main Page:

Course Info:

Your Instructor

Jaap van der Wal
Jaap van der Wal

Jaap van der Wal PhD MD is a physician and until his retirement in 2012 he worked as associate professor of Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands.

After his medical training in 1973, he specialized in Functional Anatomy of the Postural and Musculoskeletal System with (later) emphasis on the architecture of connective tissue and fascia and its role in proprioception. Gradually, he developed as a teacher in the philosophy of science and in medical anthropology. “My passion, however, was and still is human embryology. The human body is a process that develops and functions over time. The embryo moves and behaves in forms. It is in this area that I came across Goethe’s phenomenological approach. I apply the method of dynamic morphology to understand what we actually do as human beings when we are embryos. I respectfully find in the embryo tentative answers to questions about the SIGNIFICANC’ of human existence."

After his retirement in 2012, he devotes himself entirely to Dynamension, a worldwide project to teach Embryosophy. Check out his website: He now teaches his “Embryosophy” mainly in Europe and the US at trainings for Craniosacral therapy, osteopathy, polarities therapy but also the courses are open to prenatal psychologists and trauma therapists and S(omatic)E(experience) practitioners and so on. Inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, the courses, seminars and webinars are open to anyone who is in search of spirit AND body in man with an open mind: building bridges between science and spirituality.

Also check out the website: (trilingual)

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course will take place over two-days, July 29 and 30, 2023. Recordings will be added to the course as they are completed and accessible to all students.
How long do I have access to the course?
You will have 6 months to review the videos and other course content.
Will I be able to download the videos?
You will not be permitted to download the videos, but they are viewable online when you are logged into the course. You will be able to download other material associated with the course
Are refunds available after purchase?
We're sorry, we are unable to offer refunds for this course after purchase.

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