“Life is simply the determination of force and action, of relation and interaction of energy from many fixed centres of consciousness,–fixed, not necessarily in place or time, but in a persistent coexistence of beings or soul-forms of the Eternal supporting a cosmic harmony.” Sri Aurobindo notes here a dramatically different definition of “life” than we normally conceive it to be. He is attempting to capture thereby the eternal principle of the Life Energy and not simply restrict his view to the specific form of that energy we find in our world under present circumstances. Life Energy in fact can be conceived to take on totally different forms of action than we see here, and he prefers to widen the concept to the sense of the terms “vayu” and “prana” found in the ancient Vedic teachings. This encompasses a “will to grow” that permeates the entire cosmos in one form or another, the “breath of the universe” one might almost call it, that moves various forms into patterns of existence and inter-relation with one another both concurrently and through time.
reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Chapter 27, The Sevenfold Chord of Being