This highly unusual book began as a serious inquiry into Schrodinger's question, What is life? , and as a celebration of life itself. It takes the reader on a voyage of discovery through many areas of contemporary physics, from n-equilibrium thermodynamics and quantum optics to liquid crystals and fractals, all necessary for illuminating the problem of life. In the process, the reader is treated to a rare and exquisite view of the organism, gaining vel insights t only into the physics, but also into the poetry and meaning of being alive. This much-enlarged third edition includes new findings on the central role of biological water in organizing living processes; it also completes the author's vel theory of the organism and its applications in ecology, physiology and brain science.