Some Early Morning Thoughts About Life

It is early in the morning and my brain is pondering on the nature of life.  It occurs to me, that from a physical point of view, life is fundamentally an agitation, a disturbance.  Many nonorganic physical systems tend towards equilibrium; sugar dissolving in water is such a system.  Eventually, the rate of dissolving equals the rate of absorption.  But life resists any attempt towards equilibrium, because such a state would reduce life to water and a pile of chemical ashes.  The way life avoids such a catastrophe is to introduce order(water and food), which agitate and disturb the system, triggering a whole series of responses.  Life must resist equilibrium in what is a noble, but losing battle.  At some point, the oxygen, which helped put the living system in order, reverses its role and contributes to life’s dissolution.  The physical approach has implications in other areas such as philosophy and religion.  Heraclitus recognized the importance of dynamic change, but didn’t have the knowledge or scientific precision to prove some of his philosophical postulates.  Religious thinkers and monks that aim to bring life’s passions under control, and often employ the most stringent diets to achieve their aims, still must drink some water and eat some food to avoid death.  As soon as they do so, the same reactions are triggered in their bodies as would be by a gourmand’s enjoyment of a sumptuous meal.  Fundamentally, there is no difference;  life is a dynamic system that feeds on order.

Life is an extremely complex system as recent science has shown through the magical structure of the double helix and the ever intriguing mysteries of cell division, which may hold the secrets to many disorders.  Can life be reduced to a series of mathematical equations?  D’Arcy Thompson asserts that what is essential to a living system is that it resists all attempts to mathematical reduction.  There is also J.T.Fraser’s notion of the biological clock, which has neither been proved nor disproved, and Henri Bergson’s “experiencing” of life, recreated in the impressionistic novels of Marcel Proust.  Is there such a thing as time’s arrow?  Western civilization affirms it, Hindu civilization denies it.  An example of the dynamic conflicts implicit in human life forms?  And so the questions continue as I enter the final phase of my life, trying to make sense of what has gone before….  Early morning thoughts about life.