Yes, one can ask many questions and be provided answers. The history of mankind is full of various explanations as to the origin and maintenance of the world(s) and man’s place therein. Some explanations are no more than minor variants of one school of thought, others seem to be entirely at odds with each other, monism versus dualism, personal God versus none. Oftentimes, adherents claiming a common source (the Vedas) of divine knowledge appear completely at odds with each other. Such stories are generated by individuals and adopted by groups, as they serve a useful purpose.
India is a good place to study such phenomena. Christianity and Islam have similar examples.
So a good question to start with is “Why such divergent philosophies?”
The answer to the first question is rather simple. Man is a creature who creates narratives to live by. Narratives are useful to organize society, resolve social injustice, and decrease existential despair. They are meant to be functional realities. Literal accuracy is not the point. Remember, we all live in an imagined dream world or virtual reality, regardless of having a physical body.
Another good question is, “Is there a core teaching underlying all of these variants?”
The last question is more difficult as one must first decide whether or not the universe has a higher meaning or purpose. If it does, then it must have an underlying narrative as to its actuality. Such narratives may be evidenced by a set of a psychoistic commonalities occurring in all major theologies. So finding these commonalities is a worthy goal of mystical students.
Personally, most religious and metaphysical systems are confabulated theories used to disguise our true lack of absolute knowledge. Are they useful, sometimes, but only if one understands what they are in actuality. Searching for an underlying source of an innate purpose and meaning by looking for commonalities is worthwhile. However, blindly believing that any man-made system of theology is true as taught is a grave error–what happens to us after the body dies has not been reliably established to date.
So, how do I live my life on earth and in the astral?
With a grain of salt, as the saying goes.
I work so to be consciously present in this moment of time, observing dispassionately the thoughts, feelings, and actions of my body-mind as it engages the world. My innate awareness, present within what Christians call the Kingdom of Heaven, so not to identify with any aspect of self or not-self. I am not identified with any particular narrative, I remain curious and open to information, and try to be a small source for radiating Love and Wisdom to others. What happens after this life, is what happens, period. There is no time to worry about such or be distracted from Good Works.
I live a very simple philosophy of life.