What is alive?

Only one thing was clear: the experience of pleasure, that is, of expansion, is inseparably linked up with living functioning.

The living expresses itself in movements, in "expressive movements."

Let us put down four important principles of a functional concept of nature: 1. Every living organism is a functional unit; it is not merely a mechanical sum of total of organs. The basis biological function governs every individual organ as it governs the total organism. 2. Every living organism is a part of surrounding nature and functionally identical with it. 3. Every perception is based on the consonance of a function within the organism with a function in the outer world; that is, it is based on vegetative harmony. 4) Every form of self-perception is the immediate expression of objective processes in the organism (psychophysical identity). Nothing is to be expected of the philosophical speculations concerning the reality of our sensations as long as the principle is not recognized that the perceiving subject and the observed and perceived object form a functional unity.

--Wilhelm Reich