In my own studies of NDEs (Near Death Experiences) I've read about people who have had Christian NDEs, New Age NDEs, Mormon NDEs, Native American NDEs, Buddhist NDEs, Hindu NDEs, and most NDEs don't involve a god at all, most are either a bright light and lots of love, or a being of light that remains unidentified. And in most cases the NDE's relieve a person's fear of death, no matter what that person's religion is. I even know of one in which a person went to a dark hellish place and was taunted by dark beings, but was taken up out of that darkness by a being of light, and asked the being which was the best religion, and the being said, "whichever one brings you closest to God."
As for waking dreams and visions from various people and for various cultures, the cultural differences and perceptions and interpretations again are of a wide variety. Heck, there were visions and appearances of ancient Greek miracle workers back in the days of ancient Greece.
I believe I mentioned in my testimony in Leaving the Fold that I heard a cassette tape testimony of someone who had a life changing NDE, who went to a hellish dark place, was tormented there by other souls and then pulled out by a bright being of light and got to speak to several other beings of light. They answered his questions, including, "which is the best religion?" They said, "Whichever one brings you nearer to God." He left his career as chair of an art department at a major university to study at seminary afterwhich he became a liberal Christian minister. He doesn't believe that Christianity is the best religion, only that it brings him nearer to God since he happened to have been raised in it. His tape was quite moving. Of course, you've probably already heard of Betty Eade and her heavenly explorations during her NDEs. She's a Mormon, and lo and behold her NDE turned out to reveal that Mormonistic teachings were closest to the truth. Likewise, some NDEs experienced by born again Christians reveal a firey hell and huge talking Bibles in the next life. The first fellow I mentioned said that he'd heard about a wide variety of NDE experiences as well, and he attributed them to the ability of those superior beings to show people things they could understand and welcome and not be fearful of. So a country Christian dies and goes to heaven and the first things they see are a little white chapel on a grassy hill, etc. Of course Medieval Christians had it the worst and their visions of the next life contains horrors of both purgatory and hell and were almost always negative, while today's NDEs are overwhelmingly pleasant and remove people's fears of death no matter what their faith. And today most people do not even see or meet religious figures during NDEs, they are more likely just to see a bright light, or to meet a person much like themselves. Of course, in some cases devout Buddhists or Hindus or Native Americans meet, respectively, Buddha, Krishna, or a totem animal. Personally, I don't know what to make of NDEs. Some skeptics think they are biological brain functions on the way out, but people who have them say they are more real than waking reality. All I know is that I do not believe in the Christian explanations of "salvation." If nothing else, NDEs express a far broader range of afterlife experiences, having nothing or little to do with any particular theology or soteriology.