Life is Spiritual
My view: Life exists only in the spiritual realm; the universe is inert.
The ancient philosophershad an improper view of the physical vs. spiritual, and of the domain of each. Modern science clearly specifies that the physical realm is composed only of matter, space, energy, time, and the natural laws operating on these — everything else is spiritual. The ancient philosophers included certain spiritual elements in the physical, and this is the source of confusion. Sadly, Christianity has inherited some of this thinking, for example, in the understanding of the word "flesh"in which the power of our physical body controls our moral choices; and we must resist this.
In many philosophical systems,non-physical principles such as mind, consciousness, and thought are said to possess a sort of tangible existence with discernable structures, sometimes residing in a non-physical realm. The physical universe interacts with these or, in some views, the physical realm is merely imagined to exist as a separate entity.
Materialistic science usually assumes that all that exists is the material universe with its matter, space, time, and natural laws, and that all of experienced life must somehow be explained in terms of these. This seems wrong because the physical universe simply does not possess these things. For example, the molecules of a chair do not possess the form of "chair-ness", and consciousness is not some sort of quantum wave function collapse.
In my view,the physical universe is inert. All the philosophical constructs are located in the spiritual realm. In addition, sin and evil exist only within the spiritual realm — the physical universe is not evil.
All living creatures have various attributes and appetites depending on their species or kind. Animals have emotions. All life forms have the appetite of procreation and of beingness, the will to be.Plants perhaps lack higher consciousness.
The evil spirits residing in the spiritual realm affect events in this universe. God gave them creative powerover aspects of the universe before they rebelled and he honors his covenant with them.Thus, all the bad things that happen such as animals eating each other, falling tree limbs hurting people and animals, life-destroying floods, are orchestrated by these evil spirits. In the new heavens and new earthbad things will no longer occur because God will guide all physical events ensuring no harm is caused. Thus, tornados will still exist, but people will ride them uninjured. Trees will fall over but will never crush any living creatures. In their glorified bodies, carnivores will have no need to eat.
When God creates a soul he creates the spiritual space around it in the spiritual realm. In other words, souls take up space, spiritual space.
In pondering the essential motifs of the various systems of philosophy, they hammer into our thinking the same weak, flawed assumptions...
The spiritual realm defies rational description. Souls and spirit beings fly around, gauzy and translucent. Symbols exude tangible substance. Deity pervades all. Life and living rule supreme, nothing else exists. Spiritual bodies live, not as inert blobs as in the physical realm.
This physical universe has no life, no motion. Merely configurations of motionless matter representing wishes and dreams imposed from the spiritual realms. If a tree exists at all, someone (perhaps God) first wished to interact with one.
Why even have a material universe at all? Answer: Interacting with it and changing its form bring joy and satisfaction to the soul. Being outside of the spiritual ream, reaching to the boundary between spirit and material, the soul derives deep satisfaction from molding this clay-like substance forever distinct from the essence of the spirit artist; taking us outside of ourselves.
So what is going on when someone acts out a clearly demonic behavior?
First we should note that there is a wide range of bad behaviors from small sins, to major, habitual sins, to demonic possession. In my view these are all explained the same way.
We are living in the kingdom of darkness, that is to say, our souls reside in a part of the spiritual realm that is also inhabited by the spirits of darkness, a part of the spiritual realm closely connected with the universe.
Our souls are weak and are tangled up with the wicked spirits to various degrees. But we are also protected in various degrees from these influences. This is why the baptism of infants is a good idea; it provides for more supernatural protection (of course, other factors such as parents who are steeped in sin can neutralize this grace).
Consider someone who is otherwise holy who has a severe hormonal imbalance or who is taking the wrong medication. They can suddenly exhibit the most horrible behavior and speech. It seems we are not totally in control of our thoughts and behavior if it can be modified by drugs or chemicals.
There is a sense in which we are all puppets, with the powers of darkness pulling the strings and controlling us. But there is a war in the spiritual realm, in heaven, and the good angels are also vying for control, to help us in our walk of holiness.
This is what original sin is and why it is passed-on from generation to generation from birth. When Adam and Eve chose to bring children into the world, they brought them into this same sin-controlled world they lived in. In the garden of Eden, God protected them from the powers of evil (but allowed for temptation). If they chose to reject the influences of the tempter, God would have declared victory over the wicked spirits, cast them into the lake of fire, and ushered in the New Heavens and New Earthright then.
So there is a sense in which "the devil made me do it" is a correct explanation for sinful behavior. However, we are to train and discipline ourselves in living the virtuesand avoiding vice to strengthen our ability to resist these influences. But even so, it is as if we are driving a car at high speed and fighting for control of the steering wheel with the demonic spirits.