"I was in a Fiord, near the water. My family was there, and Tante Wahlborg! There were colors that don't exist and flowers that don't exist. (sigh) That was the real world. This one is fake!"
(my father in 1979 following his 4-minute death and resuscitation)
Every time you sleep, you experience a bit of the ethereal and surreal. Perhaps this is why sleep is referred to as a slice of death. Perhaps our best vision of what "Heaven" (or whatever you want to call the afterlife destination) comes from those who have passed on and been brought back, the near-death experiencers (NDEs) who tell about their journey into the astral plane.
I believe the best way to understand the concept of the afterlife is with the use of dimensions.
In our knowledge of our working dimensions - a 2D being would include a photographic representation of yourself. This has no intelligence and no sense of depth, it is flat and though it exist in our 3D world, it is limited by the dyes on the paper. And, you can perceive it. It cannot perceive you without a mind and senses.
We in our 3D form, are intelligent, but that intelligence is limited to what we see and feel and perceive in our world through our senses. This is a world where I am an individual defined by the limits of my skin barrier and other items around me are individual, divided by space. All things are separate.
As I pass on and move into the next realm, leaving the physical limitations of the 3D form I had, I realize that I was a facsimile of what I am in the next realm, just like that photo was a facsimile of me in my physical 3D form.
The photo had no intelligence, I had limited physical intelligence, and in the next realm - I have complete intelligence.
As I travel into "Heaven," it becomes apparent that I was limited by having only 5 senses to perceive things and only knowledge limited to my dimension. Now, I gain the abilities of another dimension and all the new information and processing that involves that gives everything clarity, all knowledge, all beauty, in ways that are not limited to physical senses and so they are acutely alive whereas if I am thrust back into my physical world and revived on a crash cart, I have lost all the lushness and sense of integration I had with that extra dimensional understanding.
This is kind of like never seeing color and then having an operation that gives you color vision. What a different world! All that new knowledge and content to evaluate your world!
How about if you were deaf and got hearing? It would be like, "wow, things give off information that is not visual, how magical!"
What is our purpose in "Heaven"? What do we do?
Well, this is yet another obstacle for us humans who base our lives from the moment we were born to maintain that physical form - food, shelter, water, procreation... We think in terms of "needs" and "tasks." In the moments where we do humanitarian things for others, we are perhaps closer to our "Heaven" self. We no longer have to be focused on self, but focused on universe.
What is it like when there is no need for righteousness, anger, greed, desperation or feelings of loneliness? What is it like when you don't have to deal with the physical frailties of a body, the chores and duties of adulthood, with no fear, anger, sadness, or limitations? Of course, we can only imagine, but we would likely go from "doing" to "being."
From his book "Proof of Heaven," Eben Alexander, M.D. describes his near-death experience as giving him a kind of synesthesia - senses being confused; he could "I could hear the visual beauty...and I could see the perfection of what they sang."
"Proof Of Heaven" by Eben Alexander III, M.D.
The Life After Death Project (DVD)