Anita Willoughby writes about beginnings in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 71, Winter 2011:
In the Beginning was the…?
In sharp contrast, the sperm, in the shape of a tadpole, is one of the smallest cells in the body. And for its size, it moves quickly, travels lightly, and carries no survival supplies other than the genetic information from Dad. While Mom contributes one ovum from her ovary, Dad contributes an average of 100 million sperm per day from his testicles. During a man’s life approximately 400 billion sperm are manufactured, while a woman has approximately 1/2 million immature eggs nesting in her ovaries and releases only one egg each month. The sperm is designed for maximum movement and action, carrying the male DNA in the head in the nucleus. Streamlined for movement, the sperm has a cap which secretes enzymes which will help dissolve the zona pellicula, or the boundary of the egg, if the sperm is lucky enough to get that far. The journey of the sperm is so arduous, that only about 40-50 sperm reach the female egg in the fallopian tube.
If the timing is right, one lonely, aggressive, “egg-getter” sperm survives the journey in this dark confined space and meets with the egg, manages to break through the barrier by releasing an enzyme and then lets go of its tail and explodes its center, its nucleus, inside the egg. The first cell is 2, the joining of the egg and sperm, the joining of male and female, the union of Mom and Dad. Inside the egg, the union of these two opposites, the pronucleus of the mother and the pronucleus of the father, merge into one cell, which immediately precipitates the division and subdivision of subsequent cells.
When there are approximately 6-8 cells in the same size space as the original one ovum, there is an announcement, “I am here”. (This happens at approximately day 3.) (Beginning Life by Geraldine Lux Flanagan, p. 28) These cells subdivide by “drawing themselves in at the middle” much like a circle with a cinch belt which creates the figure 8. Remember the joke: “What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice belt.” Yes, we are connected to the number 8, the number of miracles and magic, from the first moment of our existence. This dynamic duality is a dance between the egg and the sperm. The sperm gives and the ovum receives, a basic principle of life (giving and receiving). In the beginning, the egg unites with the sperm, inside the cell, inside the 6th Depth circle, inside the womb, also known as “the place of space”. (Sensing, Feeling and Action by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, p. 166)
Now my interest in piqued: Is this the beginning of an embryo? But what does embryo mean? From the dictionary, “embryo” means “to team within, thing newly born, growing in.” Embryo relates to the word “enbryein”, which means “to swell, be full; an animal in the earliest stage of its development in the uterus or in the egg; specifically in humans, from conception to about 8 weeks; an early or undeveloped stage of something.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary)
Looking further into the roots of words, “teem” means “to produce offspring, to bear; to be full, as though ready to bring forth young; abound; swarm.” And as a different form of the verb, it also means “to empty, to pour out.” So when we study embryology, we are studying the teeming activity within, which eventually pours out.
To be continued…