"Once the last breath has been taken, the soul has left the body through the crown or head chakra and is on its way to the astral plane. In our culture, it’s not uncommon to hear stories from those who have had “near-death experiences” detailing how, when they were dying, they saw “a white tunnel” or “my friends and family were there to greet me” or “I saw absolutely nothing.” All are true and all are valid in that each person creates their own version of reality following death.
Because many of us are fearful of death and what lies beyond, it is natural that we try to grasp the “hereafter” from the vantage point of the physical plane, listening to recounting of various experiences from those who have journeyed there and back again. From the time we are small children, concepts of heaven, hell, purgatory, and limbo, all well-meaning religious explanations of what happens when we die, are presented as being absolute, undeniable, and unquestionable. Or, depending on who you are talking to, you may hear that nothing happens, or “this is all there is.” Lots of folks talk about this with as many questions as answers. Many spiritual teachings include the fundamental concept that you are part of something greater
and that there is a higher place you go to after you die, but while we are alive in human bodies, the illusion of separateness is very strong, and you usually can’t see beyond it except during moments of stress or expanded consciousness. It is not until after death that these illusions drop away, and we can all reconnect with “all that is” or “the infinite spirit of the divine” of which are all a part".
c. 2011 Victoria Marina-Tompkins excerpted from from "Spiritual Turning Points" (March 2011 release) All Rights Reserved