Discuss: Embryo Video

Take a look at this six minute video. It’s a compilation of film, TV show and TV news clips spliced with a baby growing inside its mother. The clip is titled Embryo, or Эмбрион in its original Russian.

If it loads slowly, watch a fast-loading low-quality version at Youtube. Or, click the “HD is off” icon in the embedded Vimeo video on Thingamababy to see it in high definition.

What message does this video convey to you?

At the beginning we see the cryptic statement: “Man — Small World” and “World — Giant Man.” Then we watch the evolution of life on Earth from dinosaurs to early man to present day and then various potential catastrophic global events, all while a baby grows and is born. (Bonus, at 5:23 you can catch 2 seconds of the US military swarming over a small town near me from the so-so 1995 movie Outbreak.)

A message near the end reads, “Humanity’s suffering is pushing it to its birth.” Well, that’s not confusing in the least! I had to do some digging to see what more I could turn up.

The Russian website credited at the end, illuzia.net (read via Google Translate) is filled with quirky, usually speechless mini-scenario videos that then cut to some guy speaking in, I presume, Russian. That guy, I’m guessing, is Michael Laitman, president of a Kabbalah organization, though not necessarily associated with this website.  I found the Embryo video linked on many Kabbalah websites under a different title, 7,000,000,000 (a reference to their belief that man was originally divided into seven billion partial souls). It’s an emerging mainstream viral video; I don’t normally scour Kabbalah sites.

If anyone reads Russian or is a Kabbalah believer, weigh in with whatever light you can shed on this.

The song heard in the video is Yuudachi (meaning afternoon/evening shower) on Japanese musician Hiromitsu Agatsuma’s album Agatsuma (you can listen to it in a standalone Flash player if you like). If you’re an iTunes user, send me an iTunes link.

Does any of this matter? Not really. There are many ways to interpret the video. I was hoping for a concise explanation on illuzia.net, (what I believe to be) the videographer’s website, but instead was forced into more head scratching (granted, this is Google’s translation):

“The history of mankind is divided into 3 main phases, the development of the embryo is also divided into 3 terms.

Throughout history, we have developed in breadth, won and built, destroyed and rebuilt. And so shred all around the ball, have not yet reached such a state that seized it. This comes as the fruit reached 38 weeks of development ….

For a child womb is the most comfortable place, but this is only an intermediate step, because the aim is the birth and stay in the womb is no longer possible. The organism produces a large number of mothers of adrenaline during childbirth to help your child be born, to the fetus is very painful childbirth. Also, we have developed to its peak stage, and can no longer exist on the principles that have built over the entire period of its development.

We do not know what to do next, but that does not mean that there is no common vision of our development. In nature has its own program and it works on us through the crises, natural disasters, epidemics, war, forcing us to all be born. Having been born, the child continues to develop, understand very different world outside the womb. So we finally have to understand your vision.”

Now, I’m not a practioner of the Kabbalah faith, so I roll my eyes a bit. But I think the video still has a powerful message…

We’ve come this far. Where are we going?


I’m born. What kind of future will I have?

What’s your reaction to the video?


11 Responses to “Discuss: Embryo Video”

  1. Amber says:

    I grew very uncomfortable with the images of things blowing up, armies, etc threaded around the baby growing. I think I actually got protective of the non-existent, digitally enhanced baby I watched on my computer! I feel so silly.

    The response for me is twofold, though. For one, there was my discomfort with the idea of all the violent things in the video and the growing and birth of a baby. It’s like the best and the worst of our species.

    For two, there was the hope–the baby grows steadily, isolated from the knowledge of what else there might be outside its small world of the womb, eventually becoming cramped and taking a harrowing journey to find love and comfort and light when it opens its eyes.

    Making that squeezed, no doubt confusing and frightening trip to “freedom” that a baby makes when it’s done growing analogous to the building and growing and suffering that we both go through and create on this planet is quite the message of hope. We will get through all of this–and emerge into light and knowledge of a wider world at the end.

    January 16th, 2009 at 6:34 am

  2. Phil says:

    I speak German so I can provide the German translation of “Humanity’s suffering is pushing it to its birth.” The German reads: “The goal of suffering: to be born.”

    With the context you’ve provided, it seems likely to me that the producers have some religious or philosophical expectation that we’re on the verge of a major transformation. All human history up to this point has just been gestation: we’ve only been “in the womb” so far. We’re about to “be born” into a cold, new, strange place. Everything’s about to change. No idea what Kabbalah might predict is coming.

    From a Christian standpoint, I could see some of my fellow Christians drawing parrallels to the second coming of Christ, or the end-times etc.

    From a purely secular point of view, you could look at all the threats to civilization and say “Yeah, I see it. We’re on the brink of something big. Nothing will ever be the same.”

    The video is unsettling to me. But intriguing nonetheless.

    January 16th, 2009 at 8:04 am

  3. AJ says:

    Wow, interesting. I’d been thinking the word “inspiring,” but you guys see it as a little more depressing. Hmm.

    January 16th, 2009 at 8:16 am

  4. David says:

    “we’re on the verge of a major transformation.”

    Maybe they’re really into that whole Mayan 2012 end of the world thing. According to exitmundi.nl, “The Maya’s didn’t really believe in endings: their conception of time was circular, with every end being the beginning of something new.”

    January 16th, 2009 at 11:28 am

  5. Edd says:

    Well it’s an ok video montage. Nothing special. Pretentious deep.

    I was just wondering where all the video material is from… did they produce all that, is it bought? copyrighted?

    January 16th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

  6. Natalie says:

    The first part was pretty cool – a parallel between the creation of all life and one little life. It reminded me of how I had never really considered how amazing it is that Mr. Sperm and Ms. Egg join and somehow become a new little person, until I was pregnant.

    The rest seemed to say our evolution is part of us and who we are, which included advances in our civilization and our creation/building, as well as our propensity to fight and go to war and to destroy fellow humans.

    So yes, there is some inspiring stuff there, but given the amount of war footage, I’m not sure it was an optimistic video.

    To me, wanting and having a baby was an optimistic thing to do, but I do worry (obsess?) about the world my little one is inheriting.

    January 16th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

  7. Mama Peach says:

    I agree with Amber, it seemed quite the paradox to me. The best and worst of mankind. That everyone starts the same way, egg fertilized by sperm, yet we don’t end up the same at all.

    I find what Phil said to be very interesting…puts a whole new spin on it.

    I must add, being 6 months pregnant, this video was incredibly disturbing (and beautiful) to me. I felt a bit lost and sad by the end of it.

    January 16th, 2009 at 7:02 pm

  8. Amber says:

    Edd: Pretty sure it’s all from film/documentary. I recognized at least one clip from Braveheart.

    January 19th, 2009 at 11:13 am

  9. Allison says:

    I thought it was kind of cool video. I didn’t find it depressing but I did find myself playing name that movie :)

    As for the message. I would like to believe that the human race can avoid self destruction but I don’t think our current state of world affairs is driving us towards a mystical rebirth…I think if we do solve our problems like war, hunger and global climate change the process will be a slow, gradual change driven by many individuals working towards a common goal.

    January 19th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

  10. Marketing Mommy says:

    I thought at first it was going to show some kind of parallel between the history of the earth and the gestation of a baby, but the clip skipped awfully quickly to the dawn of mankind–which, according to most accounts–is almost unimaginably recent. (If the earth was 24 hours old, humans would have appeared in the last minute—or was it second?)

    Anyway, I thought it pretty much a hack job.

    January 21st, 2009 at 2:08 pm

  11. Melanie says:

    I saw the comparisons of humanity’s greatest accomplishments; the crowning accomplishment being, of course, the ability to create life itself. It is a power, just as the earth is powerful in its storms and seasons, how ideas and inventions are powerful, people are powerful -and corrupt, really- but all are shadowed by the fact that the ability to creat life, human life, is naturally inherent in all of us. And if we have to start over again, that power will always be with us. It is too bad people don’t understand that and respect it as it should be.

    February 4th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

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