A doctor believes he has seen it all, and knows exactly what's in store for the rest of us when we die.
Dr Rajiv Parti, a California-based anaesthesiologist, has allegedly ventured into the afterlife - by mistake - but says his journey and near-death experience had him float into a realm on the cuff of heaven and hell.
Two days before Christmas in 2010, Dr Parti was rushed to hospital with a severe fever that caused his temperature to soar above 40 degrees celsius. The infection spread to his blood, meaning he had to undergo emergency surgery to drain the pelvic region of infection and remove his artificial sphincter, which had been inserted in his body just 10 days earlier.
Lying on the surgery bed, dying and falling into unconsciousness from the anaesthesia, Dr Parti said it took about 20 minutes for him to actually "wake up".
"As the surgeons were treating my body, I found myself hovering around the surgery watching my own operation from the ceiling," he told news.com.au
"At first I thought the anaesthesiologist treating me had mixed up the drugs, because there are ones like ketamine which can give an out of body experience.
"But when I checked my record after waking up from surgery, that wasn't the case. My consciousness had gone to a different place - a near-death experience."
r Parti alleges that while floating above his body during surgery, he could hear jokes the surgeons were making, and smell the infection as the doctors sliced into his body. Dr Parti was able to recall all of this when he woke up again.
"When I left my body I saw the surgery happening on me, I could smell the infection and hear everything the surgeons were saying," he said.
"The anthologist told a dirty joke, and when I was in the recovery zone, I repeated the joke to him.
"The surgeon said he thought perhaps my levels of my anaesthesia may have been too light, and I was partially awake during surgery. But I felt no pain, so I know that wasn't the case."
Dr Parti said that during his out of body experience, he ventured "into a very hellish realm" where he saw and heard "darkness, fire and wailing creatures".
"My first reaction when I saw this place was 'why am I here' and 'what have I done,'" he explained.
"I'd arrived at the gateway to hell."
Dr Parti's said his father, who was abusive to him as a boy, showed up and shepherded him to a "tunnel of light". Crossing the tunnel, the dark hell was replaced by "the light of a thousand suns that did not hurt the eyes."
The light, Dr Parti understood, was pure love, and he was being given a second chance to go back and change his life completely.
Dr Parti, who was the Chief of Anaesthesiology at Bakersfield Heart Hospital in 2008, believes his encounter with hell was because he had lived "an incredibly selfish life".
His identity was built on the happiness he had from the incredible wealth and prestige his job gave him. Living in a mansion, Dr Parti had several luxury cars and was able to buy almost anything he wanted.
But while he was a rich man, he wasn't wise.
"I was a very selfish person," he said.
"While I was a good technical doctor, I didn't have sensitivity to my patients.
"I was not kind to my patients. When I met someone, I always asked myself, 'What can I get from this person?'"
In August 2008, Dr Parti's tables turned and he became the patient after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. The surgery to treat the cancer just a few months later left him incontinent and in horrendous pain.
He was prescribed with pain medication, which he became addicted to, and was soon diagnosed with depression.
All these elements of his life is what Dr Parti believes lead to his near-death experiences knocking on hell's door, before being "lead to the light" by his father.
"I can easily relive all of the events of my near-death experience, from my meeting with my departed father on the rim of Hell, to the past lives that explained my problems with ego and prescription medicine, to the glorious meeting I had with Guardian Angels - Raphael and Michael - coming to me out of a field of flowers that glowed with the ineffable power of pure love," he said in his book, Dying to Wake Up.
"It was there, in this heavenly place, that they gave my life new direction, saying, 'Now it is your time to heal the diseases of the soul: addiction, depression, chronic pain and cancer.'"
Before his infernal moment, Dr. Parti was an unreligious man who did not believe in the afterlife.
But he's now on a mission to share the lessons he learned on the journey into hell and said "teaching these truths has become my life's purpose".
"I have only had this experience once, but after my near-death experience, it opened myself up to more spiritual experiences," he said.
"I went for a deep meditation escape after my surgery, and I have communicated with angels through meditation."
He has published a book Dying to Wake Up: A Doctor's Voyage into the Afterlife and the Wisdom He Brought Back which details his near death experience and subsequent enlightenment.