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Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology


Neuroendocrinology Letters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology and Chronobiology, Editorial.
ISSN 0172–780X Copyright © 2000 Neuroendocrinology Letters

NEL VOL. 21 No. 4

2000; 21:261–262

“The visible is not the only truth, nor is it the whole truth; The invisible must be penetrated with the aid of the visible”
Marc Chagall

The questions of subjective and objective reality, of the truth and of the conscious versus unconscious experiences in human life as well as in the creative processes like science, art and health itself are delicate, invisible phenomena which we are confronted with in our very existence from the very beginning.

All integrative processes on the biochemical, hormonal, immunological, psychological, etc., levels start already at conception. The intrauterine experience is also a learning process for the individual. This learning is a vital prerequisite for survival since it makes it possible for the organism to adapt itself to new circumstances. Without adaption there would be no survival and one cannot adapt without making and having had experiences upon which to base the adaption. Such a process requires memory—whether consciously retained or subconsciously imprinted. These prebirth memory imprints are revoked as informational sources during later life (Fedor-Freybergh 1974).

There is a need for radiacal rethinking of the standard human-embryo development paradigm wherein structure is presumed to precede function. Quite the contrary, there is a primacy of function over structure, the morphological organ. It is the morphological structure which develops as a result of the inborn primal functional urge. An organ would not develop if there were no functional urge compelling it to do so. In the same way, the mental capacity of the human is not posterior to the completed morphological structure of the brain, nor to its subsequent introduction into and experiencing of a particular social cultural evironment after birth. The unborn already has its psychological process functioning long before birth. In a philosophical sense, consciousness precedes being and not the other way around (Fedor-Freybergh 1983).

Thus the prenatal stage of life represents a unique opportunity for the primary prevention of psychological, emotional and physical disorders in later life. At this stage we also can develop preventive procedures to decrease premature birth and perinatal morbidity and mortality, and diseases by a prenatal and early postnatal neuro-endocrine-immune prophylaxis.

It is not a coincidence that the founder and former Editor-in-Chief of this Journal, Professor Derek Gupta, in the last years of his life, devoted his research more and more towards the neuroendocrinology of the fetus and the prenatal conditions of human life. Two years before his unexpected death, he became President Elect of the International Society of the Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM) and for many years he served as a co-editor of the International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine.

In this issue of the Journal, I cordially invite three solicited papers which deal with the above theme from different angles: the Guest Editorial by Professor Günter Dörner, the Philosophy Behind Science by Dr. Zephyros Kalifatides and the Science Behind Art by Dr. Johannes Fabricius.

It is a great privilege for me to announce that the following colleagues have graciously accepted to join the Editorial Board of the Neuroendocrinology Letters:

Professor Igor M. Kvetnoy, M.D., Ph.D, Head, Laboratory of Experimental Pathology, Medical Radiological Research Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Obninsk, Russia;
Professor Karel Maršál, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Lund, Sweden;
Professor Gian Benedetto Melis, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Pathophysiology of Human Reproduction, Medical School, University of Cagliary, Sardinia, Italy;
Dr. med.habil. Csilla Rúzsás, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, University Medical School Pécs and Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Janus Pannonius University, Pécs, Hungary.

Let me to close this editorial with a reflection:
There are many truths in life as well as in science. Ancient truths are resurrected while new prophets burn on stakes. One has to be partially blind in order to see the essential. The only maxim of the scientist and doctor is tolerance and understanding based on the past, looking into the future. It is not important for something to be true today but that the person stating the truth believes in it and that the truth will produce constructive help to others (Fedor-Freybergh 1976).

In another context, I would like to quote Fichte (1800) [1]: “In vain you would try to create the reality by your knowledge, from your knowledge and by your insight. The truth cannot be found there, since the truth itself is absolutely empty. If you do not have another tool to apprehend it, you will never find it.”

What Fichte means by the tool of practical reason is in Benedetti’s [2] interpretation the communication with the patient.
Or could it be so that the truth lies in the encounter in the sense of Martin Buber? Or is it revealed by intuition in the ever-rolling stream of time (Bergson).

Peter G. Fedor-Freybergh

1 Fichte JG. Die Bestimmung des Menschen, 1800. Linzenzausgabe, 1980 im Verlag VMA Wiesbaden, mit Genehiminug des Verlages Philipp Reclam jun., Leipzig.
2 Benedetti G. Schizophrenie und Pränatale Psychologie. In: Fedor-Freybergh PG, editor. Pränatale unde Perinatale Psychologie und Medizin. Begegnung mit dem ungeborenen. Stockholm: Saphir; 1987. p. 205-217.

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All rights reserved. No part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or ortherwise, without prior written permission from the Editor-in-Chief