Bernard, Professor Claude - The Great Work
Type of Spiritual Experience
There is, Bernard said, a vital drawing that outlines the plan of each being, each organ, so that, considered in isolation, each event of the organism is dependent on the general forces of nature; taken in their succession and as a whole, they seem to reveal a special link, they seem to be directed by some invisible condition, in the road they follow, in the order that connects them.
Finally, in even more explicit terms: Life is an idea; it is the idea of the common result in which all the anatomical elements are associated and regulated, the idea of the harmony that results from their concert, the order that governs their action.
The following has been translated from French
A description of the experience
Claude Bernard - Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine and in Experimental Science: Definition of Life
If we had to define life I would say: life is creation... What characterizes the living machine is not the nature of its physico-chemical properties, but the creation of this machine according to a predefined idea....
This grouping is made as a result of the laws that govern the physico-chemical properties of matter; but what is essentially the domain of life, what belongs neither to physics nor to chemistry, is the guiding idea of this vital evolution.