An essence of life is the continuation and gradual improvement of the self-sustainment capabilities of the information pattern that is conserved; that is, the genome.
Individual organisms are temporary containers (guardians) of the pattern, ensuring that the pattern survives (remains embodied in local matter and energy) for some more time. But each individual is almost always a redundant guardian of the information. There are many backups.
The inevitability of either accidental catastrophic destruction of the organism container, or of slow entropic decay of the complex structure and complex process of the container, is why life a) creates multiple copies of the pattern, and b) has a "reproduction of the container" mechanism, whereby the physical container's complex structure and process can be periodically rebooted. The container of the information is recreated in its simplest possible physical form, that uses the least material, and is again at a relatively simple and uniform beginning of its structural evolution. The beginning (embryonic) stage of the form, being simpler and smaller and newer in arrangement of atoms, is refreshed and cleaned of defect (like a rebooted computer), ready to begin its new round of combatting accident and entropy.
Another essence of life is entailed in the simultaneous creation of multiple almost identical but subtly varying containers of almost identical but slightly varying information patterns. This does not have to be specially engineered, because the variation (by accident and entropy) would be the natural expected outcome of multiple concurrent complex physical construction processes. It is generally the prevention of the variation that is remarkable, and was among the first results of the evolutionary selection process. By creation of multiple co-existent almost identical copies, a game playing field is set up, and competition (and co-operation strategies) ensue, and evolutionary selection creates more viable forms, and forms more viable) that become able to inhabit more general physical environments over time.
Endless perpetuation of one individual organism instance is not an essential feature of this evolution of self-maintaining information patterns, and may arguably be counter-productive to the larger maintenance of life agenda of life.