Material world and spiritual world, worlds apart. The Explanation shows that these worlds not only meet, but they are related.

Material world, spiritual world. How are they related?

The material world and the spiritual world; How are they related?

The material world relates to the spiritual world. Reality or hoax? Relating the physical universe to spiritual heaven is difficult. First, just trying to define and describe God is already a tricky proposition. Yes, there’s much about God in the Bible, but many prefer to stay in the haze. “You can’t pin down God,” “who is puny man to think he can begin to fathom the Almighty God?”
(Origin of Humankind, chapter 4.7)

From a biblical point of view, Genesis 1:1-2 reveals the relationship of the spiritual to the material (God (spiritual) formed man (material)). Or the Spirit of God moved on the waters (material). In the Bible, this correlation between the spiritual and the material worlds is genuine.

The real difficulty lies in demonstrating where and how the PHYSICAL relates to the SPIRITUAL. Science, in general, rejects the spiritual. On top of this, the spiritual cannot be seen or measured, prerequisites for material science.

I have given you a couple of clues of how the physical relates to the spiritual.

  1. Physical bodies, in quantum physics, quantum fields vibrate. I’ve related this to how the Spirit of God moved on the water. The fluttering of an eagles wings and shaking of bones are real biblical examples associated with the biblical Hebrew verb רָחַף râchaph (H7363 in Strong’s Concordance) which carries the sense of vibrating.
  2. We’ve discussed the modulating frequency emitted by physical phenomena; this compares with the modulating attributes of the Spirit of God, the ruach. Breath, air, tempest, blast, wind, whirlwind.

Stop to think about the translation move in Gen. 1:2, meaning flutter and shake and their apparent proximity to vibrating. Personally, I think it’s quite amazing. When we realize that it’s Louis Victo de Broglie who introduced the idea of vibrations and energy fields some 100 years ago, in 1924: “we proceed in this work from the assumption of the existence of a certain periodic phenomenon of a yet to be determined character, which is to be attributed to each and every isolated energy parcel.”

This post goes a step further in relating the physical to the spiritual. We’re in Genesis 2:7 with a very succinct description of God creating the first man. It gives us only two clues.

  1. God formed man from the dust of the earth.
  2. God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. On top of this, the breath is a rather poor rendition of neshama as we’ve seen and has led many to miscomprehension of what God’s telling us here.

There are two aspects to this creation. First, the physical from the dust. Second, the more ethereal involving the in-breathing of the neshama. I say ethereal, but I should say spiritual. Ether was believed to be the invisible substance that permeated the universe. It caused the vibrations, which gave rise to light and the other various types of electromagnetic waves. Now we know this is untrue, but ethereal means: nebulous, invisible, cloudy.

The relationship of the spiritual to the physical is seen as impenetrable by many. Even religious and spiritual believers are hesitant to define God and rarely touch on issues that interface the spiritual and the material.

However, the creation of Adam does go to the crux of this matter. It states a physical aspect in the form of a human body (made from dust) and a breath of life, the neshama. I’ve spent quite a bit of space defining the neshama, a spiritual aspect of humans, the essence of God, akin to the mind, coupled with the ruach, a spirit God also formed in man. If you’re reading this for the first time, it behooves you to click on those links and learn what the neshama and the ruach are. You cannot see the relationship between the physical and the spiritual environments without understanding the neshama and the ruach.

We saw that the ruach moves, flutters, and shakes from the biblical Hebrew. Does other biblical Hebrew vocabulary confirm this? Yes.

Judges 13:25

And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him [Samson] at times (H6470) in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

You know the story of Samson and how God used him to battle the Philistines. From time to time, the Spirit had him accomplish feats. How is this expressed in Hebrew?


פָּעַם pâʻam paw-am’; a primitive root; to tap, i.e. beat regularly; hence (generally) to impel or agitate:

KJV – move, trouble.


פַּעַם paʻam pah’-am; or (feminine) פַּעֲמָה; from H6470 (פָּעַם); a stroke, literally or figuratively (in various applications, as follow): KJV – anvil, corner, foot(-step), going, (hundred-) fold,  now, (this) + once, order, rank, step, + thrice, (often-), second, this, two) time(-s), twice, wheel.


פַּעֲמֹן paʻămôn pah-am-one’; from H6471 (פַּעַם); a bell (as struck): KJV – bell.

God’s Spirit moving Samson refers to regular intervention. Strong expressed it wonderfully in H6470 with beat regularly; this is picked up notably in H6471 with the notion of time and its repetition, twice, thrice and steps. When we walk, we do so with a regular gait. A bell (H6470) doesn’t have to be struck regularly, but often is when used to tell time. Paam (H6470) is also used in Psalm 77:44, “You hold my eyes waking: I am so troubled (H6470) that I cannot speak.” Often when we’re troubled, we have spasmodic breathing and a marked beating of the heart. Again, the concept of increased and more amplified frequency.

There are many ways to express the idea of move (push, budge). The Biblical Hebrew has not just used ONE verb, but TWO (flutter, shake (rachaf) and what we see in this post, move at times (paam)) that include the notion of regularity and vibrations. I think it is safe to say God’s Spirit advances in such a way. I don’t believe that it’s an exaggeration to attribute this characteristic to God’s Spirit in the spiritual world.

Material World

Now let’s come down to the material world. Genesis 1 refers to this regular fluttering (some translations have hovering) Spirit that Yahveh used to create (Psa. 104:30). What is the fundamental nature of the creation?

The answer is quantum fields. And we’ve already demonstrated this relationship. I dare say most readers are not profoundly familiar with quantum field theory; it isn’t a regular conversation topic! Well, it just so happens that this week’s post in Audit of the Universe Chapter 14 discussing Science delves into this subject. Some easy-to-watch videos will bring you up to par with the notion of quantum waves and quantum fluctuations.

Again, I’m NOT saying God’s Spirit is a quantum field, that’s ridiculous. What I am saying is that scientists are dumbfounded to realize that the material world is composed of energy packets that move around in quantum fields. What we call electrons, quarks, leptons, and considered as particles are ALL packets of immaterial energy. The way they move around is via the fields with which they’re associated.

The material world is composed of energy packets that are in continual movement in the form of waves. When you sing in the shower, the air vibrates over your vocal cords, and you produce sound waves. If you’re good enough, your song will be heard via sound waves emitted as radio waves. Keep in mind that these are all regular beats. We’ve all played with magnetic waves and use electricity in the form of electromagnetic waves. The air is filled with Wi-Fi, microwaves, mobile phone, and other waves. Even smell is actually via waves. See this serious video towards the bottom of that page.

We sense different colors and the gamut of sounds because the waves vibrate at different speeds and have different amplitudes. As you know, this is referring to the frequency, which is calculated as vibrations per second. One vibration per second equals 1 Hertz (Hz). Below you can see that we humans have a hearing range of about 15-20 kHz. The diagram below shows that 7 Hz and below are annoying and even dangerous. Brain waves are about 0.5 Hz to 42 Hz, which is why those infrasounds we can’t hear can still hurt us. We shall return to brain waves in a future post.

Notice that a dog whistle is in the 23-54 kHz frequency range, and we can’t hear that. Whereas wind turbine noise is below our hearing frequency, dog whistles are above our range. A lot of animals have a much broader range than humans.

Sound waves, audible frequencies

We’re indirectly discussing sound waves because that is how our human senses capture information. We like to say we humans are stardust. Now we have to realize that dust is energy packets moving on quantum fields. Humans are waves, and we capture information via waves. God’s Spirit moves like waves, and He breathed the neshama in the first man and formed the spirit in him as well.

I submit to you that there’s a relationship between the spiritual world and the material world. The Spirit’s movement and human movement in the largest sense of the term. We are waves and as humans, we exchange waves of different frequencies with each other and with the universe.

Here’s another diagram with a much more extensive range of frequencies showing the shortest and longest that affect us. Notice that although we’re affected by all these frequencies, there are only two groups indicated on the graph that we sense, we hear radio waves and see visible light waves. The fact is, even within the useable range of frequencies, humans’ senses capture just a very, very small portion of the wavelengths and frequencies. We are a very limited species. We shall return to our five human senses and vibrational waves because we now know they include smell. What about touch and taste?

Electromagnetic spectrum of wavelengths that affect humans

The movement of God’s Spirit represents the spiritual world. We now realize that the material world isn’t as material as we thought. The movement of waves characterizes our world. We are composed of trillions of packets of energy, each vibrating at a particular wavelength. Our material world is much more spiritual than we ever realized.

I want to leave you with one thought to which we shall return. Notice the Frequency bar at the very bottom of the above image. These are the frequencies with which humans are concerned. On the left, lower than 10 to the power of 4 Hz, which is 10000 cycles per second to far beyond ten, followed by 20 zeros on the right. From a very low frequency to a very high frequency.

But, here’s the point. That bar, with even lower and higher frequencies, is without limit at both ends! There can be both higher and lower frequencies ad infinitum. On the above electromagnetic spectrum, human senses only occupy the radio (hearing) and visible (seeing) frequencies and wavelengths. I want to be careful how I say this because God and His Spirit are in the spiritual world and are not concerned, in that sense, with the electromagnetic spectrum.

But the Spirit flutters, shakes, and beats regularly. Hmm, sounds like some sort of vibrational frequency? Humans are made in the image of God. There is a relationship between the spiritual world and the physical world. Could it even have to do with frequencies and wavelengths? After all, the universe and humans are quantum fields and packages of energy.

This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 4.7 of the book Origin of Humankind.


Dig Deeper into The Explanation

Join The Explanation Newsletter to stay informed of updates. and future events. No obligations, total privacy, unsubscribe anytime, if you want.

The Explanation series of seven books. Free to read online or purchase these valuable commentaries on Genesis 1-3 from your favorite book outlet. E-book and paperback formats are available. Use this link to see the details of each book and buy from your favorite store.

The Explanation book covers

Online Study Courses to Unlock Bible meaning via Biblical Hebrew… with no fuss. Free video courses that put you in the driver’s seat to navigate the Bible as never before. Join now

Since you read all the way to here… you liked it. Please use the Social Network links just below to share this information from The Explanation, Material World, Spiritual World. Are They Compatible?