The quest is not just a spiritual one, but a scientific and eyewitness journey as well. TIME takes you on an unforgettable quest into what Heaven may look like. Our quest for understanding the afterlife include: What are the common elements (and key differences) in how cultures around the world view the afterlife? What are Near-death Experiences and why do so many people report similar accounts? Do we have a psychological need to believe in life after death? How did the biblical version of heaven take shape? What are the best literary depictions of heaven, from "Pardiso" by Dante to "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold.