OMG I thought you were 100% serious!
Thanks for the links. I love really ancient stories. I'm fascinated with the beginnings of culture and stories of the ancient gods -- even the ancient astronaut gods.
In traditional Buddhism (not Thich Nhat Hahn's more modern way of explaining things) there are six worlds, including a heaven and a hell. The big difference is that they are temporary just like the human world. Eventually your karma is completed in whatever world your karma is reborn in and you are then reborn in another world.
From the point of view of developing yourself spiritually the human world is best. Although lives in the human world are short, compared to the others, we are able to change our karma with our behavior and strong effort. Human lives are the most intense. Sometimes people from heaven come to earth just to experience the intensity of human feelings!
Once we are reborn in the human realm, we very seldom go back to animal one. Only very evil people, like child abusers and murderers go to hell, but even they are eventually reborn into another world.
Since there's no way of really knowing the truth, I keep an open mind about possibilities, but I can't really accept the Buddhist six worlds any more than the western ideas of heaven and hell. They just sound like pre-science explanations to help people understand the world we're in.
Actually of all the stories of life after death I heard, there's one I quite like, although I can't remember where it's from. It goes something like this:
When you die, before you can go to heaven, you have to go somewhere else where you are made to feel all the joy and all the pain you have cause to others throughout your life. No one is damned for all eternity, but no one escapes their actions either.
I still don't believe that story literally, but I like it. Kind of a simplified version of karma.
However, after learning a little more about karma, I now see that it doesn't really need any supernatural explanation or punishment/reward after death. (or maybe that's just my version of it)
Anyways, I'm getting far off topic now. So I'll shut up