I've seen so many other cultures that have a particular reverence for the most permanent aspect of life: death. Yet in ours it seems as though we have preferred to sweep in under the rug. Talk of death in gentile circles, and you will be avoided like the plague; speak of it among friends or family and they will ask what's wrong. This crippling fear of death is one that permeates our culture very deeply, and for good reason, according to what we have come to believe. Behind most of the ideals that pervade our lives are the belief systems of the monotheistic religions which originated in the middle east, particularly Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In the natural human search for what can come after life, we began to presume, that there were two stages or parts of so called after-death. Heaven; which, sounds quite unheavenly in fact, or at least the Christian version upon which we base our culture, is the fatherly aspect of man. Orderly and blindingly bright, those who go to heaven prostrate themselves before the lord in church forever. Meanwhile in hell, all who go are in a frenzy of masochistic orgy. I know which I'd rather go to. Hell in fact, is identified with the mother of the human subconscious, or at least the what is called to be evil form of it. Dark and deep beneath the life bearing earth, in the midst of the creatures we hate to think about lies the life-giving nature of the terrible great mother. Both aspects funnily enough, are worshiped or acknowledged by many different religions, least Christianity and the religions of that nature. They instead claim all divine figures to be male, which is truly a false assumption to be made. Why would god be man, or woman? Why would god be at all? And why should god who I will refer to as it for the time being, be so incredibly punishing and stern, when it was itself who created man? These are common criticisms of monotheistic religion, but not unwarranted ones. Religion ties very closely into man's fascination with death, for one of religion's purpose's was to give an answer in the face of the biggest 'I don't know' question in existence. What comes after death? Though this truth begs the question. Why do we feel the need to know? Perhaps, it is the collective assumption that our lives must not end; for we have assumed that death; if there is no where for our souls to go, would essentially be existing in the dark forever, and that to us, so long as we identify ourselves with the idea of ourselves, is terrifying, perhaps even more so that going to hell. Then there are those who claim to be unafraid of death, but instead to be afraid of dying. In a sense, afraid of the pains of death, the burning of fire or the cutting of a knife, or perhaps the emotional pains. All this stems from the illusion of there being something must come after. If the modern interpretation of death is to believed; however, then there would be no notion of consciousness that would allow us to perceive it. So what is death then? This is a question that will be further explored in part two.