This is a downloaded teaching on death from the Ascended Masters. It is my wording.
When people die who haven't reached the 5th initiation and are still on the cycle of rebirth, they go back into the rebirth pool. This might be called heaven in Christian terms. This happens because their Earth Star still remains within the body of the Mother Earth.
Someone who dies who has passed the 5th initiation (but hasn’t yet reached the 6th initiation) doesn’t have an Earth Star but rather a celestial star within the body of the Mother Earth. This means they aren't yet released from the pull of the earth. Their soul goes into the keeping of the Ascended Masters in a place where they are kept until such time as their Higher Self has ascended to the point to call them home to Higher Self, then their celestial star is released from the Mother Earth. This happens when the Higher Self has reached the 6th initiation.
When someone passes the 6th initiation, the Ascended Masters step back, and the Higher Self steps forward as most of you know, and the descent of the Higher Self into the Holy Heart begins. The person no longer has a celestial star within the body of the Mother Earth. When they die, the descent of the Higher Self is reversed, and the Higher Self ascends, taking the soul of the person with them into their Sacred Heart. It is here in this higher state of consciousness that the person exists with their other dimensional soul family that is part of the Higher Self. The soul is no longer who they were in their last life but all of their consciousness from all their lives. They are one within the greater Higher Self.
When someone passes the 7th initiation here on Earth, their soul is taken into the Higher Self as part of the initiation, and they function on earth at the Will of the Higher Self. We are both part of and separate from our Higher Self. When someone dies after passing the 7th and 8th initiations, their soul doesn't depart because it is already home in the Higher Self. Rather the Higher Self departs, and we, the lower self, are part of that greater consciousness within the greater cosmic consciousness.