The place we come from is more or less whatever we imagine it to be- an adventure theme park, an endless month in the country or a university- or even the traditional heaven or hell- if that's what we feel we deserve. Think of it as a holiday destination; great fun- but after a while one itches to get back to work. And so we set about crafting our next earthly life, choosing the where and the when of it, with a view to what we'd like to experience or learn or achieve. From the perspective of the afterlife each earthly incarnation is like a game or a role in a film or play. It's something we throw ourselves into for a limited time in the knowledge that we'll be returning soon. It's an adventure. We go on doing this- dying, being born, dying, being born, until we feel we've had enough of it and have got everything we can out of it- and then we move on- further in, deeper, higher up (but all this spatial stuff is metaphor) and...well, that's about all that someone still incarnating is competent to say.
We're not alone in this enterprise. We have friends on both sides of the divide- people who incarnate alongside us and others who
follow our progress from the other side (spirit guides) who are available to offer advice and guidance and (once in a while) stop us from walking in front of speeding vehicles.
It's one of the conditions of earthly existence that we should mostly forget where we've come from. To get the most out of the game you've got to be immersed in it. Besides- as Eliot said- "humankind cannot bear very much reality".
Our earthly minds and bodies are like old fashioned diving suits- heavy vehicles designed for use in a heavy medium. Vision is restricted, movement is restricted. If the diver tilts his head back he may see there's light filtering down from the surface- and remember that his friends are waiting for him back in the boat- but mostly what he's aware of is darkness and fish. That's as it should be. The darkness and the fish are his present business and need to occupy most of his thought, but it's still good if he keeps at the back of his mind the knowledge that he'll be going back to the surface when his time runs out. Our culture has very largely forgotten about the going back to the surface- and that's a pity. Knowing there's another world- however vague the knowledge- instils hope and purpose, because what's the point of finding out all about fish if you don't go home and share it with others?