Hints Towards the Formation of a More Comprehensive Theory of Life

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Lea and Blanchard, 1848 - Life - 94 pages
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Page 50 - ... in higher and higher dignities. I restate the question. The tendency having been ascertained, what is its most general law? I answer polarity, or the essential dualism of Nature, arising out of its productive unity, and still tending to reaffirm it, either as equilibrium, indifference, or identity.
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Page 42 - I define life as the principle of individuation, or the power which unites a given all into a whole that is presupposed by all its parts.
Page 50 - I have shown, moreover, that this tendency to 3 individuate cannot be conceived without the opposite tendency to connect, even as the centrifugal power supposes the centripetal, or as the two opposite poles constitute each other, and are the constituent acts of one and the same power in the magnet. We might say that the life of the magnet subsists in their union, but that it lives (acts or manifests itself) in their strife.
Page 86 - In Man the centripetal and individualizing tendency of all Nature is itself concentred and individualized —he is a revelation of Nature ! Henceforward, he is referred to himself, delivered up to his own charge; and he who stands the most on himself, and stands the firmest, is the truest, because the most individual, Man.
Page 86 - Nor does the form of polarity, which has accompanied the law of individuation up its whole ascent, desert it here. As the height, so the depth. The intensities must be at once opposite and equal. As the liberty, so must be the reverence for law. As the independence, so must be the service and the submission to the Supreme Will! As the ideal genius and the originality, in the same proportion must be the resignation to the real world, the sympathy and the inter-communion with Nature. In the conciliating...
Page 51 - Thus, in the identity of the two counter-powers, Life subsists ; in their strife it consists : and in their reconciliation it at once dies and is born again into a new form, either falling back into the life of the whole, or starting anew in the process of individuation.

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