The Gnostics were right, to know yourself is to know the divine.
Life is a strange thing. Even today we have yet to establish a clear definition of life from inanimate matter. We know life to experience it, but there is no concrete physical trait that identifies it for what it is.
There is one theory, though, that says that life is identifiable as a system of active energy distribution. Something that generates some degree of negative entropy. In the early history of humanity, they didn’t see things as we do today. Rather than viewing everything as a step up from the inanimate, they instead saw life as a rule.
Negative entropy? You mean growth? Negative entropy being conservation of order, displaying processes that sustain and repair stability in the system.
Yes, I was thinking one identifier of life is self-organization and self-healing.
There is even a theory now linking conservation of long term memory to formation of prion-like proteins in the brain. More and more it’s also looking like the concept of genetic memory is more than just a concept. These two discoveries are certainly linked I think.
If long term memory is encoded as prions in the brain, then arguably any protein molecule, any molecule at all could perhaps be a form of memory. Just based on the laws of physics, we have no reason to believe that carbon based molecules are more likely to preserve memory than any other.
Yes, I think our cells have memory.
In alchemy, the active agents in their formulas were often referred to as spirits. Spirit to the alchemists was the fundamental basis of reality itself, the prima materia from which everything else emerged. They were identified more by their action or pattern of behaviour than by their physical composition. They understood the spirit based on what it did.
The difference between a base spirit and a more conventional living being was degree of consciousness which could be argued to be a degree of progress in evolution. The classical elementals would be a very basic variety of alchemical life. To the alchemists thinking, for life to take root at all it had to be present in every substrate that so called higher life emerged from. Is this so unreasonable an assumption?
The reason alchemy gave rise to chemistry, but nothing gave rise to physics, is because concepts of physics were understood under the study of alchemy. They saw every physical process as the action of agents on patients, interaction between spirits. Their reagents were just vectors to reproduce naturally occurring processes or to entrain otherwise naturally occurring processes to behave in a more refined (evolved) form.
The various alchemical spirits differed not so much in degree of worth, as all things were considered to share in the same source of worth, but instead in degree of magnitude. Small processes were like children, not yet mature enough or influential enough to display much power beyond their limited special condition, whereas large processes in nature and the earth bordered on being seen as gods like the dragons so often spoken of. When the dragon stirred, the whole world changed its behaviour. The dragons movement now being understood to be geophysical and geomagnetic movements.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.