What life is can only be decided as the cosmos and our understanding of it develops. The dimensions and powers of matter and life in the case of any specific type of living organism are something that can only be ascertained by bold and imaginative experimentation and observation as free from prejudgment as possible. The belief that people cannot live in constant union with the spiritual God throughout their daily life shall one day appear as odd as the belief that metal bodies cannot float on water or fly through the air. We must simply observe the living subject under all possible conditions to understand it deeply. For the matters at issue, that means that we human beings must lead our lives before God in an open, adventurous, and reflective manner. Only then shall we find what is actually possible for us as physical organisms. The wise words of Archbishop William Temple are: “We only know what is matter when spirit dwells in it; we only know what man is when God dwells in him.”
From The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. Copyright © 1988 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.