Piero Scaruffi(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"
The British biologist Richard Dawkins gave this definition of life: living beings have to work to keep from eventually merging into their surroundings. That is the whole point of life.
There is a natural tendency towards merging seamlessly with the rest of nature. We have to work in order to maintain our identity. When we stop working, we die: then we merge with our surroundings.
A living being is characterized by different values for all fundamental quantities, whether temperature or density, than its surroundings.
The living being has to perform work in order to maintain that "differential" that is ultimately the essence and the meaning of life.
When the living being dies, the differential rapidly disappears and the dead being slowly dissolves, as all quantities (temperature, density, electricity, etc) become those of the surroundings.
Our habits of eating and drinking are merely a way of working to sustain that differential, in terms of energy and matter.
Living beings are never in equilibrium with their surroundings, unless they are dead.
On the contrary, nonliving things, that cannot defend themselves from the forces of nature, that cannot work "against" nature, are condemned to live in a state of equilibrium with their surroundings.
There is no border for a mountain or a sea: they flow seamlessly into a plain or a beach, whereas there is a clear border between an animal and the forest or the river it inhabits.
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