Sadhu Sundar Singh, in his book, With and Without Christ, tells this parable of a scientist searching for the source of life in the body of a bird. In the story, a logical and scientific approach to understanding such a profound mystery did not serve the scientist well. Here Sundar aptly illustrates that purely physical methods cannot be successfully applied to the spiritual pursuit of a deep inner life with Christ.

A scientist had a bird in his hand. He saw that it had life, and, wanting to find out in what part of the bird’s body the life was, he began dissecting the bird. The result was that the very life of which he was in search disappeared mysteriously. Those who try to understand the inner life merely intellectually will meet with a similar failure. The life for which they are searching will vanish in the analysis.