Some don't awaken till later in the astral plane.
In the etheric state, people can still see the physical world and the people around them, but they can't be seen or heard or touched. They can go right through walls, and they can leap thousands of miles just by wanting to. Most people stay in this state a few weeks, and they spend their time visiting places and people they loved. Many people attend their own funerals.
Then sometimes people black out again, and they awaken in the astral plane, in the presence of a ball of light.
Those who don't black out see a tunnel of light, and they go through it. At it's end is what's been described as a ball or a chamber of light, radiating love and peace. The light from the ball causes the person's pains from life to vanish, and the person feels bliss. One's habits, tendencies and characteristics surface into plain view. The ball of light isn't judgemental. It releases the newly-dead person to float to their level of natural buoyancy in the astral plane.
In the astral plane people still have bodies, and their faces are the same, except that people revert to their natural age. For most people this is in their twenties. Peoples' auras are visible, and the colors change with their emotions. So feelings can't be hidden.
If you carry a lot of anger with you when you die, you float to the lowest sub-level of the astral plane. The air is dark, and anger distorts peoples' appearances into ghoulish forms. People spend their time fighting each other with mantric bombs, expressing and indulging in anger till they're done with it. They aren't suffering. They're enjoying the struggle. For one thing, no one can die. When they've burned the anger out, they float up to a higher sub-level of the astral plane.
In general, the astral plane looks like the physical world. There are landscapes and mountains and forests, though nature is more beautiful and exuberant. Rain falls in all the colors of the rainbow. There is no night. There are cities, where people can shape matter with their thoughts into mansions. People spend their time playing, doing art, having relationships, traveling, partying. They don't have to sleep or eat (though they can eat if they want to). If you ask a tree for a piece of fruit, a blossom will form and turn into fruit in a few seconds, and the branch will bend down to hand it to you.
In higher sub-planes of the astral plane people can fly like Peter Pan, just by willing themselves to float up off the ground. If you have the urge to make love with someone, you might float up into the sky. And the perfect person to make love with will fly up and join you. What's that old song: "Meet me in the middle of the air?"
The top-most sub-level of the astral plane is endless virgin forest, with widely-scattered people sitting in meditation.
People spend from 5 to 40 years in the astral plane, and then they die again. Astral death is painless. They awaken to find themselves in the Mental Plane, which is also called Devachan (Realm of the Nature Spirits). In the Mental Plane one's surroundings are formed by one's thoughts. If you want to live in a palace, or a treehouse in old-growth forest, you do. You can do anything you want to: watch movies, travel, go to concerts, do art, learn to play steel guitar. If you want to talk to someone, they appear. If you want to have a jam session with George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Victor Wooten, they appear out of thin air.
If you invite someone to make love with you, they never say no. There's no struggle or frustration in the mental plane.
People stay in the Mental Plane for a thousand to fifteen hundred years, and then they either reincarnate , take the path of ascension, or join the devas, the nature spirits who have an evolution parallel to ours.
If they reincarnate, they leap up into the causal plane briefly to shed their mental body and have a glimpse of their future, and then they dive down to the physical. Along the way they collect a new mental body, an astral body, and an etheric double, and then they're born. Round and round we go on the Great Wheel of Reincarnation.
After they're born, the newly incarnated souls have a review of the life that's laid out for them. If it's too painful and horrible, the person can opt out. If they do, then they die as a baby. And they go back and try it again.
Or if the person at the end of the Mental Plane is ready for it, they can take the path of ascension.
Here's what the Sikhs say about the path of ascension:
When we rise above this universe, we find ourselves in darkness. The universe from the outside looks like a glowing egg. The darkness is filled with what look like stars. Actually, these are trillions of other universes, all in orbit around a central universe called the True Realm (Sat Desh). It looks like a vast glowing ball, with beams of energy coming out of it in all directions like rays of light.
When we leave our home universe, we don't travel directly to the True Realm. First we travel along a beam of energy to a place called the Tenth Gate (Daswan Dwar). It looks like a glowing ten-petalled lotus hanging in the darkness. It's function is to receive one of the beams of energy from the True Realm, transform it into a lower rate of vibration, and send it out in the form of many beams to some of the orbiting universes nearby.
There's a great lake in Tenth Gate, and the soul dives into it in a long fall, and then bathes in the water in order to remove the last stains from physical existence. There's a beautiful temple standing in the lake, of which the Golden Temple of the Sikhs is a replica. Now the soul is ready to go on to the True Realm.
When the soul leaves Tenth Gate, it crosses a great expanse of darkness called the Great Void (Maha Sunna). Along the way it passes glowing universes and huge wandering spirits that look like comets with faces. The soul approaches the True Realm, and it enters through one of many holes from which a river of energy is pouring forth. People from Earth enter through the Hansni Tunnel.
The True Realm is layered like an onion. The outermost layer is called Rotating Cave (Bhanwar Gupha), and it's famous for it's black mountains.
The next layer up is called the True Home (Sach Khand), and it's the real home of souls from Earth. In True Home there are 80,000 island continents, and somewhere on one of those islands is the home that's been waiting for you since you were created. It looks like it's built of rubies and emeralds and diamonds. The landscape in True Home is beautiful, with rivers of bliss flowing across the countryside. Ribbons of light cross the sky, and there's a saint at the end of each ribbon.
Once you reach True Home you are in unending perfect bliss forever. You never have to die or lose your memory again. You never have to reincarnate again, though you can if you want to in order to help other souls along the way. Life is an endless adventure.
There are three more layers of the onion above True Home, named Anami Lok, Alakh Lok and Agam Lok. Whenever you want to, you can rise up through these realms, and at the center of the True Realm you'll find a huge ball of light hanging in the air. This is the Nameless Lord (Anami Purush), the first manifestation of spirit. Whenever you want to, you can dive into this ball of light, leaving a trail of music behind you. And as you go in, you lose your individuality. You become all things everywhere, from within. You become the spirit that permeates everything and everyone.
And later, whenever you want to, you can follow the trail of music back out, and you can reassume your individual selfhood.
Everyone reaches our True Home eventually. That such should be the case is the purpose of creation. Old souls are constantly reaching home, and new souls are constantly being created. The new souls appear on the outer surface of Bhanwar Gupha, and they look like black seeds. They are harvested and baled, and then transported on barges that float in the air to one of the rivers of energy pouring out of the True Realm, and they're tossed in. New souls aren't able to stay awake in the intensity of bliss in the True Realm, so this is how they're sent into the outer universes to ripen. Once they can stay awake, they come back home forever.