it must come naturally through deep meditative insight..or quantum physics
If it doesn't reduce suffering, then it's not worth pursuing...the Buddha did advise not to spend too long on questions you can't answer.
There are many question that are useless but this is not at all one of them. In fact, contemplation about this topic is said to be the reason for achieving stream-entry http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... tream.html
What I seem to be intellectually stuck on, is how certain atoms come together in an attempt to survive, but others do not, such as those in a rock which simply come together. This force ("clinging, craving") separates living from the non-living. However, I do not see this force as something that a person can look at and see directly at least not with an unenlightened mind. I wouldn't say it's permanent either because this force would be extinguished upon parinibbana. At any rate, it can hardly be said to be an inherent self because it can easily be created by other causes and conditions.
They "come together" in an attempt to survive through the process of Pratītyasamutpāda. But they don't actually "come together" because they were like that from the beginning. The self been "attached" to the body is not something that happened at a certain point. Things are like that from the beginning.
And the rocks, trees, bodies that you see are not real either. They are just phenomenons that appeared and ceased according to conditions. But you still assume there is something "solid" behind a thought, something "solid" behind the seen. This means you should continue to contemplate the subject until:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
" In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."