Life is associated with the body (the material world) for what use is the spirit of life without a body to give it expression? A body without the spirit is dead and is it not therefore also true that the spirit without a body is also dead? And yet God is described as spirit and as life but never as a body!
In the Bible the first man is described as being made from the earth, moulded as it were from the clay or dust of the ground. In this state the first man was nothing more than a lifeless statue or corpse. It was only when God breathed the breath (spirit) of life into the nostrils of Adam (the first man) that he became a living being (soul). God’s breath turned earth into flesh and blood. God’s spirit dwells within all living creatures but when it departs, the body returns to earth. Man is a composite of body and spirit. The body comes from the earth and the spirit comes from heaven (the cosmos).
In the symbolism of the Bible we note that body and spirit are two separate entities that exist together, or should I say can only exist together! It is not that the body generates the spirit of life but the spirit of life animates the body.
Adam was not flesh and blood until he received the breath of life which is the spirit of God
A newborn baby as soon as it is born will take it’s first breath but it isn’t the breath that gives it life. The baby grew in the womb sustained by it’s mother for nine months before birth. During this time it is alive, growing and developing to a point when it is able to take it’s first breath. It is the spirit of God that is the lifesource of the baby and every body. The spirit of God animates the body, enables intelligence, emotion and willpower. This energizing source also empowers the body to breathe in and out. Without a supply of oxygen the body will die just as it will die without food or water. However, these things are not the source of life they are simply what is required for the living body to be sustained until the source departs, or to put it another way, until the spirit of life returns to the source.
The spirit of human life is divine at it’s source and will remain forever with God
Man is made in the image of God (substitute God for Tao if you prefer) this verse from the Bible is telling us that man is something like a lesser version of God. But very few men realise their true identity, the exceptions to the rule are men like Jesus Christ and The Buddha. These enlightened beings wake up to the knowledge that they do not simply have or experience life - they are life! Nor is it that they know God more intimately than most, it’s deeper than that - they know themselves as God! This is of course very good news for everyone because what is true for them is true for everyone. Our real identity, our true self is not the impermanent body but the eternal spirit. It isn’t easy to get beyond the illusion of the body as self and realise one’s true self. Nevertheless while we are in the body, during this lifetime, there is nothing of greater merit than to aim for God realisation.
There are only really two choices for a fulfilled life: one, become a man of great status, wealthy, powerful and influential - a man of the world. Two, be the opposite of this and become nothing - a man of heaven in tune with the divine