The Breath of Life

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Author: John Burroughs
Published: 1915
Language: English
Wordcount: 73,560 / 217 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 56
LoC Category: B
Downloads: 2,581
Added to site: 2006.05.08
mnybks.net#: 13530
Genres: Philosophy, Nature
Excerpt

aining to higher forms? Because, it may be replied, it was life, and not mere matter and motion--something that lifts matter and motion to a new plane.

Under the influence of the life impulse, the old routine of matter--from compound to compound, from solid to fluid, from fluid to gaseous, from rock to soil, the cycle always ending where it began--is broken into, and cycles of a new order are instituted. From the stable equilibrium which dead matter is always seeking, the same matter in the vital circuit is always seeking the state of unstable equilibrium, or rather is forever passing between the two, and evolving the myriad forms of life in the passage. It is hard to think of the process as the work of the physical and chemical forces of inorganic nature, without supplementing them with a new and different force.

The forces of life are constructive forces, and they are operative in a world of destructive or disintegrating forces which oppose them and which they overcome. The physical and chemic

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