How do you define "being alive"? The answer depends on who you are asking. One would say it is "being in a state in which the organs perform their functions", and another would phrase it as "having capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction". While it is hard to say what the best description is, we'd also like to propose "being spiritually sound" as a valid definition of "being alive".
Perhaps, the word "spiritually" may sound too abstract and vague, though. And for that, there is no better place we can go to for info than the ultimate authority in the spiritual world. Let us take a look at a few Bible verses. (John 15:4-6)
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
What has this old passage from a couple of thousand years ago got to do with our lives today?
By this age of modern science through studies and findings in such fields as ES cells and satellite observation, we've come to know a lot about devices in nature and functions of things and so on. While finding things itself may be a wonderful thing, the history of sciences has basically divided us into two groups; the ones who believe those devices and functions to be products of random chances and the others who believe them to be creations of intelligent design.
The Bible, which is filled with powerful words of wisdom, has its clear main message that the supreme intelligent creator, God himself, literally loves us to death and that the said love is extremely powerful, powerful enough to overcome even death. Does that sound unreal or ridiculous? Actually, even the Bible itself says it would be to many people.
After all, it is truly incredible that such a great and mighty and the supreme being has such an affection towards such insignificant beings like us. Nonetheless, the choice for us is either or not to accept this incredible message as truth so that we may be connected with the "vine" from which we as branches receive all the nutrition and energy, that is to say, wisdom, power, joy, peace, encouragement, etc. Perhaps, we may imagine how far the best effort by a cut-off branch could bring itself to.