MAN is aware that he will die, someday. Other animals, when nearing death, know they are about to die; but it is not until death is certain that the animal senses his coming departure from this world. And even then he does not know exactly what is entailed in dying. It is often pointed out that animals accept death gracefully, without fear or resistance. This is a beautiful concept, but one that only holds true in cases where death for the animal is unavoidable.

When an animal is sick or injured he will fight for his life with every ounce of strength he has left. It is this unshakable will to live that, if man were not so "highly evolved", would also give him the fighting spirit he needs to stay alive.

It is a well known fact that many people die simply because they give up and just don't care anymore. This is understandable if the person is very ill, with no apparent chance for recovery. But this often is not the case. Man has become lazy. He has learned to take the easy way out. Even suicide has become less repugnant to many people than any number of other sins. Religion is totally to blame for this.

Death, in most religions, is touted as a great spiritual awakening - one which is prepared for throughout life. This concept is very appealing to one who has not had a satisfactory life; but to those who have experienced all the joys life has to offer, there is a great dread attached to dying. This is as it should be. It is this lust for life which will allow the vital person to live on after the inevitable death of his fleshly shell.

History shows that men who have given their own lives in pursuit of an ideal have been deified for their martyrdom. Religionists and political leaders have been very crafty in laying their plans. By holding the martyr up as a shining example to his fellow men, they eliminate the common sense reaction that willful self-destruction goes against all animal logic. To the Satanist, martyrdom and non-personalized heroism is to be associated not with integrity, but with stupidity. This, of course, does not apply to the situations which involve the safety of a loved one. But to give one's own life for something as impersonal as a political or religious issue is the ultimate in masochism.

Life is the one great indulgence; death the one great abstinence. To a person who is satisfied with his earthly existence, life is like a party; and no one likes to leave a good party. By the same token, if a person is enjoying himself here on earth he will not so readily give up this life for the promise of an afterlife about which he knows nothing.

The Eastern mystical beliefs teach humans to discipline themselves against any conscious will for success so they might dessolve themselves into "Universal Cosmic Awareness" - anything to avoid good healthy self-satisfaction or honest pride in earthly accomplishments!

It is interesting to note that the areas in which this type of belief flourishes are those where material gains are not easily obtainable. For this reason the predominant religious belief must be one which commends its followers for their rejection of material things and their avoidance of the use of labels which attaches a certain amount of importance to material gains. In this way the people can be pacified into accepting their lot, no matter how small it may be.

Satanism uses many labels. If it were not for names, very few of us would understand anything in life, much less attach any significance to it; - and significance compels recognition, which is something everyone wants, especially the Eastern mystic who tries to prove to everyone he can meditate longer or stand more deprivation and pain than the next fellow.

The Eastern philosophies preach the dissolution of man's ego before he can produce sins. It is unfathomable to the Satanist to conceive of an ego which would willfully choose denial of itself.

In countries where this is used as a sop for the willingly impoverished, it is understandable that a philosophy which teaches the denial of the ego would serve a useful purpose - at least for those in power, to whom it would be detrimental if their people were discontented. But for anyone who has every opportunity for material gain, to choose this form of religious thought seems foolish, indeed!

The Eastern mystic believes strongly in reincarnation. To a person who has virtually nothing in this life, the possibility that he may have been a king in a past life or may be one in the next life is very attractive, and does much to appease his need for self-respect. If there is nothing in which they can take pride in this life, they can console themselves by thinking, "there are always future lives." It never occurs to the believer in reincarnation that if his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, etc. had developed "good karmas", by their adherence to the same beliefs and ethics as his present ones - then why is he now living in privation, rather than like a maharajah?

Belief in reincarnation provides a beautiful fantasy world in which a person can find the proper avenue of ego-expression, but at the same time claim to have dissolved his ego. This is emphasized by the roles people choose for themselves in their past or future lives.

Believers in reincarnation do not always choose an honorable character. If the person is of a highly respectable and conservative nature, he will often choose a colorful rogue or gangster, thereby fulfilling his alter-ego. Or, a woman who has much social status may pick a harlot or famous courtesan for the characterization of herself in a past life.

If people were able to divorce themselves from the stigma attached to personal ego-fulfillment, they would not need to play self-deceitful games such as belief in reincarnation as a means of satisfying their natural need for ego-fulfillment.

The Satanist believes in complete gratification of his ego. Satanism, in fact, is the only religion which advocates the intensification or encouragement of the ego. Only if a person's own ego is sufficiently fulfilled, can he afford to be kind and complimentary to others, without robbing himself of his self-respect. We generally think of a braggart as a person with a large ego; in reality, his bragging results from a need to satisfy his impoverished ego.

Religionists have kept their followers in line by suppressing their egos. By making their followers feel inferior, the awesomeness of their god is insured. Satanism encourages its members to develop a good strong ego because it gives them the self-respect necessary for a vital existence in this life.

If a person has been vital throughout his life and has fought to the end for his earthly existence, it is this ego which will refuse to die, even after the expiration of the flesh which housed it. Young children are to be admired for their driving enthusiasm for life. This is exemplified by the small child who refuses to go to bed when there is something exciting going on, and when once put to bed, will sneak down the stairs to peek through the curtain and watch. It is this child-like vitality that will allow the Satanist to peek through the curtain of darkness and death and remain earthbound.

Self-sacrifice is not encouraged by the Satanic religion. Therefore, unless death comes as an indulgence because of extreme circumstances which make the termination of life a welcome relief from the unendurable earthyl existence, suicide is frowned upon by the Satanic religion.

Religious martyrs have taken their own lives, not because life was intolerable for them, but to use their supreme sacrifice as a tool to further the religious belief. We must assume, then, that suicide, if done for the sake of the church, is condoned and even encouraged - even though their scriptures label it a sin - because religious martyrs of the past have always been deified.

It is rather curious that the only time suicide is considered sinful by other religions is when it comes as an indulgence.

Copyright ©1969 by Anton Szandor LaVey - All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this material or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law. For information address Avon Books, Inc.