Carlos Hojaij: Kurt Schneider’s Metagenesis Concept and Energy Hypothesis for Schizophrenia

Despite significant progress in contemporary brain studies, the failure to disclose somatic markers for the identification and aetiology of schizophrenia reinforces the need for a continuous psychopathological investigation. However, for one reason or another, even psychopathology is not offering a sustainable hypothesis for schizophrenia.

Considering mental disorders, Kurt Schneider separated disorders distinguished by their quality (authentic diseases) from disorders distinguished by quantity (variations from the normality). For the first group, there is a somatic basis and, consequently, an evident aetiology (genuine epilepsy, dementia, intoxications, brain trauma, etc.); the symptomatology could be acute (consciousness affected) or chronic (disintegration of personality). For the second group, a description of the mental state would be enough to completely identify the disorder, since no characteristics of a disease could be found, but only variations on intelligence, psychopathic personalities, abnormal reactions of anxiety, depression, etc. Kurt Schneider allocated schizophrenia to the first group, an authentic disease. However, although providing a psychopathological description, Schneider was not able to give evidence of a somatic base for schizophrenia. Instead, he simply added an interrogation marker in front of the psychopathological description. According to Schneider, the ultimate goal would be to find the somatic cause for schizophrenia, in order to consider it as a real medical disease.

However, facing the schizophrenia enigma, Schneider adopted the concept of metagenesis to accommodate his scientific inquietude. Metagenesis would be a kind of psychological deviation without any somatic or psychological cause. It is possible that Schneider’s concept of metagenesis came from the Karl Jaspers' concept of psychic process, i.e., a psychopathological structure and development similar to an organic process, but without a somatic base and without a psychological motivation.

The origin of the concept of metagenesis could be found in the Aristotelian idea of metaphysics: something beyond matter, something supra material.

Modern quantum physics describes how energy emanates from matter and how from that it develops, independently and in an organized manner, from the matter that created it.

By adopting Schneider’s metagenesis concept, we may have an opportunity for developing a theoretical energetic approach to the understanding of schizophrenia, which may overcome the unsuccessful search for its somatic basis and frustrated psychological comprehension of the disease.

May 18, 2017