A mechanical system simply acts according to its instructions. But a living system, with its internal intelligence and complex feedback organisation, reacts to the meaning it finds in the information. The system selects the messages to which it listens and then evolves its own response.1
Human beings are a prime example of living systems with internal intelligence and complex feedback responses.2
1 John McCrone, Review: Hidden Connections by Fritjof Capra, The Guardian, 2002.
2 Philip Harland, The Power of Six, (Wayfinder Press, 2009), p. 51.