Most revered Herr Geheimrath,

       Your description of the living world seems to accord well enough with that of Charles Darwin.  His formulation was soon regarded  as the more productive, his name associated with an important natural law which one was able observe in actual operation. You seem content to meditate upon life developing from interworkings among the widest variety of elemental conditions; you relate its astonishingly various forms to "unique patterns."  Thus you seek in nature certain fundamental models around which you arrange the phenotypes more in radial fashion, by their interrelationship, than in Darwin's historical, evolutionary vector.

       I recognize that you also take an historical view.  You observe how, from the petrosphere and the hydrosphere, there arises a veritable "sea of life," the biosphere. Not content with the incredibly rich multifariousness in this living realm, you envisage an even more various world:  the noosphere, where cognition and consciousness transcend living forms in the same sense as life transfigures matter and energy.

       All this is in accord with your contention that the literary record constitutes a higher, objective reality where you strive for your place beside Homer, Dante, Katherine Anne, and the others.  You enter into this world of letters as the abode of our spirit since Ancient times.  You have no doubt noted how my contemporary Karl Popper speaks of a "World III," in which the enduring institutions of humankind subsume the outer, material world (I) as well as the inner world (II) of perception and psychological representation.

       In which realm shall we seek the individual human personality, and that subjective state called consciousness?  There was an effort in my day to explain consciousness on the basis of extension and energy, or Popper's World I. This may strike you as a regression, philosophically speaking.

                                      Still wistfully bathing in your literate borne, I remain

                                                                           Your faithful and reverent servant,

                                                                                                                     J. W. Worthy

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or see the correspondence with Goethe.