I will tell you this from personal observation: the whole universe is alive, even "dead" matter, even photons. Much of it is not conscious except in a very rudimentary sense, but it is alive. And life feels, and yearns and desires.
What I have come to understand personally is that both theists and atheists are correct:
Life is a divine spark from the infinite which came down into matter.
Life is the blind urge upward through matter becoming more complex systems of chemicals which develop awareness.
Both statements are true, and the real truth is both at once. Life once separated seeks to reunite. Life once united seeks to reseparate.
It is the ghost danse.