it collects for itself other materials to dwell in — When Ludlow took a trip across the continent to California, he had an opportunity to visit a petrified forest and consider this idea further:
Though all the once live material of the tree has been replaced by what we call inorganic matter (as if anything could be inorganic in a world which is all one network of systematic relations!) the work has been so gradual, accomplished by such infinitesimal accretions, that the stone tree has obeyed all the laws once vital in the wood…. [T]he tree has a soul which survived immortal after its body was dead, and controlled the new atoms by the same law with which it governed the old ones, marshalling them around it into a nobler body which should express its invisible essence by the same character as of old. There is a great lesson of immortality in petrified trees.