36:6.1 Life is both mechanistic and vitalistic—material and spiritual. Ever will Urantia physicists and chemists progress in their understanding of the protoplasmic forms of vegetable and animal life, but never will they be able to produce living organisms. Life is something different from all energy manifestations; even the material life of physical creatures is not inherent in matter.
36:6.2 Things material may enjoy an independent existence, but life springs only from life. Mind can be derived only from pre-existent mind. Spirit takes origin only from spirit ancestors. The creature may produce the forms of life, but only a creator personality or a creative force can supply the activating living spark.
36:6.3 Life Carriers can organize the material forms, or physical patterns, of living beings, but the Spirit provides the initial spark of life and bestows the endowment of mind. Even the living forms of experimental life which the Life Carriers organize on their Salvington worlds are always devoid of reproductive powers. When the life formulas and the vital patterns are correctly assembled and properly organized, the presence of a Life Carrier is sufficient to initiate life, but all such living organisms are lacking in two essential attributes—mind endowment and reproductive powers. Animal mind and human mind are gifts of the local universe Mother Spirit, functioning through the seven adjutant mind-spirits, while creature ability to reproduce is the specific and personal impartation of the Universe Spirit to the ancestral life plasm inaugurated by the Life Carriers.
36:6.4 When the Life Carriers have designed the patterns of life, after they have organized the energy systems, there must occur an additional phenomenon; the "breath of life" must be imparted to these lifeless forms. The Sons of God can construct the forms of life, but it is the Spirit of God who really contributes the vital spark. And when the life thus imparted is spent, then again the remaining material body becomes dead matter. When the bestowed life is exhausted, the body returns to the bosom of the material universe from which it was borrowed by the Life Carriers to serve as a transient vehicle for that life endowment which they conveyed to such a visible association of energy-matter.
36:6.5 The life bestowed upon plants and animals by the Life Carriers does not return to the Life Carriers upon the death of plant or animal. The departing life of such a living thing possesses neither identity nor personality; it does not individually survive death. During its existence and the time of its sojourn in the body of matter, it has undergone a change; it has undergone energy evolution and survives only as a part of the cosmic forces of the universe; it does not survive as individual life. The survival of mortal creatures is wholly predicated on the evolvement of an immortal soul within the mortal mind.
36:6.6 We speak of life as "energy" and as "force," but it is really neither. Force-energy is variously gravity responsive; life is not. Pattern is also nonresponsive to gravity, being a configuration of energies that have already fulfilled all gravity-responsive obligations. Life, as such, constitutes the animation of some pattern-configured or otherwise segregated system of energy—material, mindal, or spiritual.
36:6.7 There are some things connected with the elaboration of life on the evolutionary planets which are not altogether clear to us. We fully comprehend the physical organization of the electrochemical formulas of the Life Carriers, but we do not wholly understand the nature and source of the life-activation spark. We know that life flows from the Father through the Son and by the Spirit. It is more than possible that the Master Spirits are the sevenfold channel of the river of life which is poured out upon all creation. But we do not comprehend the technique whereby the supervising Master Spirit participates in the initial episode of life bestowal on a new planet. The Ancients of Days, we are confident, also have some part in this inauguration of life on a new world, but we are wholly ignorant of the nature thereof. We do know that the Universe Mother Spirit actually vitalizes the lifeless patterns and imparts to such activated plasm the prerogatives of organismal reproduction. We observe that these three are the levels of God the Sevenfold, sometimes designated as the Supreme Creators of time and space; but otherwise we know little more than Urantia mortals—simply that concept is inherent in the Father, expression in the Son, and life realization in the Spirit.
36:6.8 [Indited by a Vorondadek Son stationed on Urantia as an observer and acting in this capacity by request of the Melchizedek Chief of the Supervising Revelatory Corps.]