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  • Glaucus

The inanimate-animate transition in organic matter

It seems that most of the work over the past century that seeks to infuse the life force into inanimate systems comes under the general heading 'origin of life'. There are almost as many suggestions on how living things first came to be as there are living things! To date none have come close to achieving the creation of life. Some of the most recent thinking is that life emerges from complexity. In other words, if you have a soup made up of a large - or likely very large - number of chemicals, then life emerges spontaneously. Quite how one would know that the contents of a flask have become alive is not clear.

All these approaches take a simple and combinatorial approach to the processes that might lead to life. The Växt approach, in line with long-standing alchemical understanding, is to consider what attributes a substance picks up from other substances or energies to which it has been explosed. The transformation of matter thus carries traces, and sometimes more than traces, of the charactersitics of the materials or conditions with which it has interacted intimately. This elaboration of matter can lead to a substance with properties that are completely different from the original substance, and though elaborated matter is more noble than its origin, it will still carry, and ultimately be limited by, the defining spirit of its starting condition. Hence to achieve a life force in inanimate matter could perhaps require the right mix and sequence of elaborations, which build an internal complexity of matter. It is possible that matter tho which the life-force has been imparted will still retain many of the characteristics if the original substance. For example, if iron was the base substance, then the living elaborated matter would likely be metallic in appearance or ductility, or perhaps hardness.

Image: Good Wives and Warriors

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