Most of us have been taught to think of the physical and the spiritual as two distinctly different things or places. There's the prevalent idea that we're here in the physical and are stuck here until death, at which point we're transported to the spiritual. Some people choose not to believe in the spiritual, but few, if any, have disbelief in the physical. This idea of what spirit is disconnects us from thinking we have access to it; for, it is there and we are here and there is no way to get from here to there. Religion claims to be the path to the invisible spiritual. However, a definite problem arises when we realize most religions claim to be the only correct path to the spiritual. How confusing! To top it off the more religions one looks at subjectively the more it can be realized they all lead absolutely nowhere. This has caused science to argue against the existence of the spiritual and that in turn has caused the religious to fear science.
The argument is invalid.
I propose a holistic view: Instead of assuming that the physical is one thing and the spiritual is another we look at them as different sides of the same coin. When thought about this way we can realize there is only one coin, and there is nowhere to go. This also opens the door to the view that the spiritual is not invisible at all, and is instead the force that animates. The beating of your heart, the wind chimes swaying to and fro, the sound traveling through the air, the plants following the sun, swaying trees, the clouds rolling through the blue backdrop of the sky, the tides, the rotation of our planet, the travel of our sun and solar-system though space, the expansion of space, to the infinite. You may be thinking “oh come on, all of those things can be reduced to physical processes,” and that is exactly the type of thinking I am trying to dismantle. Nothing can be in physical space and not be animate, vibrating, at it's core. The more we try to pick apart matter by smashing atoms together the more smaller and faster particles we find until eventually everything disappears into a sea of movement and flux. Everything we see and experience emerges from this ever-changing sea of movement. We are all eternally bound to that sea, both mind and body. What we call the “physical” is nothing more than the result of a process that takes this sea of movement and filters it into experience. This sea is spirit, possibilities, physical, the creator and the creation all rolled into one. In this view, if there is an afterlife it too emerges from this same sea.
The key is perception.
Our perception of the world around comes primarily from our upbringing and surroundings. We are taught how to view the world around us. Ultimately though, we are responsible for the perceptions we hold. We can change them any time we want with a simple choice. One person may see a dog in a park tied to a bench and think “poor thing,” while someone else may think “that dog looks well groomed and cared for.” In the same way someone may hear an ambulance in the distance and think “oh no, someone is hurt,” while another may think “thank goodness someone is getting help.” Both points of view are equally legitimate and correct but one makes you feel happy and the other sad. We make decisions everyday about how to feel, even if we don't realize that we're making them.
How does the world look to a dog? Obviously, we have no idea how a dog perceives it's environment and can only offer speculations. When I was a teenager we had two dogs and since I was the only one home during the day they liked to hang out with me in my room. Both of them would sometimes appear to be looking at something in the hallway and turn their heads simultaneously as if watching something move past. This would happen somewhat often and in different places throughout the house. I would try to see what it was that they could possibly be looking at and I could never see anything. Were both of my dogs just pranksters screwing with me? Possibly, but it's somewhat doubtful. I eventually just accepted that they must see something that I simply did not - that they were on a slightly different wavelength than I. The dogs and I both shared most of our experiences of the world around us - but not all of them. Is it possible that I could see things that they could not (color)?
The Band of Possibilities
Think of a radio, there are several stations that the radio could be playing, but you have to pick just one. Our perception is is like that radio in that there are tons of possibilities but we have to choose which to tune-in. Those who choose to view spirit and physical as separate are limiting themselves to that “station” and are limited to the possibilities within that station. Those who hold strong disbelief in “paranormal phenomenon” are limiting themselves to that band of possibilities and will never experience the paranormal. Just as you can reach out and turn the nob of a radio to change its station so can you also reach within and change what station you're tuned to.