Member Rara Avis
I don't know, Stephen, which is part of my response - I don't know any more than you do. I DO know that you can measure the physical affects on the body once it dies, can prove the breakdown of what was the vessel.
What you can prove no more than I is what happens to the proverbial soul (especially since you can't prove its existence in the first place).
I lean more toward the KISS philosophy - why invent some boogeyman who meets you on the other side of life and escorts you to some other means of existence, when to keep it simple, you can liken the soul's assimilation with that of your body?
Funny thing is that I actually died when I was a child. I fell off my dad's van (no idea why I was up there, other than to guess "because it was there") and landed head-first on the concrete sidewalk. The impact was significant (understatement) and, following several minutes of blindness, my heart stopped beating.
I was revived, and aside from a somewhat sketchy long-term memory, have suffered no long term negative effects.
I don't recall much of that time, other than a few glimpses - waking in a hospital room (jello, I remember that) - a feeling of my mom holding me as we raced to the hospital - and an unfocused anxiety that may or may not be what I felt at the time.
What I DON'T recall, is a tunnel of light, a man in a black shroud, or a feeling of peace infusing my bones as I began to be carried toward a different plane of existence.
Conclusive proof? No, of course not. But then, I feel no need to justify the "reason" I was brought back.