At the time of physical death, we pass through all of the levels we exist on before consciously merging with the light. Actually, we are already merged with the light and never left it; it is just a matter of being totally and absolutely conscious of it, and experiencing it with every bit of our being. On the physical plane of existence all of the elements are present; Earth (solids), Air (gaseous), Water (fluids), and Fire (ecstatic); the same internal fire which burns us also purifies us (not talking about the external fire). These elements correspond with the planes, or realms, of our being. The physical plane is solid but it also contains all of the other elements.
The mental plane (Air), often called the “astral plane,” is right next to the physical plane and it is responsive to thoughts; it is a gaseous-like realm of existence. We see on the mental plane what is contained in people’s thoughts, including our own thoughts. We may see our loved ones, buildings, streets, and in many ways it may look like what we have seen here on earth. We transcend the mental plane by keeping our thoughts quiet and nurturing inner silence.
On the different planes of existence our body, or covering, will be of a similar quality and texture as the plane where we dwell. Just like here on Earth, our physical body is 2/3rds water just like the earth; in a gaseous realm we will have a body similar to that gaseous realm, and so forth in other realms. The closer we get to the realm of pure spirit, the more formless and energy-like we become. This is the way that we already are within our own innermost being.
The physical plane of existence is the most coarse while the other planes of existence become more finer and finer. We do not get a new body, we just let go of one covering for the next covering until we have no covering. On the spiritual plane we are naked and do not cover ourselves with any type of body; in that realm we are pure formless brilliant ecstatic spiritual energy; more beautiful, and fulfilling, than words could ever describe.
"Life is like a box of chocolates." Forrest Gump