This highly unusual book began as a serious inquiry into Schr dinger'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 non-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 novel insights not 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 novel theory of the organism and its applications in ecology, physiology and brain science.