Ian McEwan sums up what Michael was getting at

"…we have undernourished our capacity for empathetic and magical participation in creation, we are both alienated and stunted by abstraction, removed from the profound and immediate apprehension, which is the hallmark of a whole person, of the dancing interpenetration of the physical and the psychic, their ultimate inseparability."

- Ian McEwan, The Child in Time (Picador, 1988), p.76