The recursive character of life
In these cases the crux of the whole thing, then, is what happens when one center helps another come to life. The particular form the helping takes is different each time. But the fact that each time the helping occurs, and each time the centers being helped become more alive — these are the only common factors. That is the nature of the phenomenon of life. In a mechanistic frame of mind we seek a different mechanism for each example of helping — and focus mainly on the differences. However, I have gradually come to the conclusion that it is the fundamental similarity of all kinds of helping between centers which is most important, even though this appears to be an un-analyzable concept which cannot clearly be expressed in terms of anything else.
In each case, the life which exists in each center itself becomes more intense as a result of the other centers, and their life, and the way that they become more intense. This effect is both geometrical and functional. It happens in the space. But it works in such a way that the common or ordinary life in the thing is what we see intensified.
Thus life itself is a recursive effect which occurs in space. It can only be understood recursively as the mutual intensification of life by life. The field of centers, which intensifies centers by virtue of their pure geometry, then creates life through this helping action in the geometric field.
#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/11 The awakening of space#