Kant, Immanuel - Quotes - What is Life?
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
from Notes in Dreams of a Spirit Seer
Whatever in the world contains a principle of life, seems to be of immaterial nature.
For all life rests on the inner capacity to determine one’s self by one’s own will power
But the essential characteristic of matter is that it fills space by a necessary force which is limited by counteraction from without. Thus the state of everything that is material is externally dependent and forced.
But those entities which are said to contain the cause of life, which act from themselves and from inner power, in short, the intrinsic nature of which is to be able to change themselves at will, can hardly be said to be material.
It cannot reasonably be expected that we understand, in their sub-divisions, under their various species, such unknown beings,—the existence of which we know for the most part only by hypothesis.
We can see, however, that those immaterial beings which contain the cause of animal life, are different from those which comprise reason in their self-activity, and are called spirits