Thanks to the probing of Musycks and Skeptic44 I now think that I understand many believers' position on the spiritual world.
The spiritual world exists separately from the physical world but can influence the physical. This can happen in two ways. Wholly supernatural entities such as god (and for some believers angels and such) can cause changes in matter and energy in the real world by exerting their will. Human souls can cause changes in the physical world only through their physical bodies.
The physical world does not have causal effects on the spiritual world but information from the physical world does pass into the spiritual world.
How information passes to the spiritual world without having a causal effect I don't understand.
How certain physical interactions can trump the soul's control of our bodies I also don't understand. Clearly in some circumstances the body can be made to perform actions that are not at the command of the soul and eventually the soul looses control of the body altogether at death.
Until death it seems to be that the soul only has glimpses of the spiritual realm, its real attention remains focused on the physical realm. Presumably at death the soul is wholly occupied with the spiritual realm.
This asymmetry of causality is what I had not grasped because of the handicap of my scientific outlook.
Presumably a soul is created out of a physical act at the moment of conception but otherwise the physical realm does not causally influence the spiritual.
Does god have a direct hand in this moment of soul creation or is it just the physical act of conception?
Could believers please confirm or deny my lines of reasoning?