In the search towards understanding and shaping the own weltanschauung it bears to witness how frequently a variety of different methodologies are used in order to “clarify” things in hopes of achieving an understanding or, like in some philosophies/religions, reaching enlightenment. Many of these methodologies involve trance-like states by use of meditation, drugs or both.
While these methods hold a certain efficiency by reason of (altered) focus, it seldom wields effective results as only the focus has been raised (or altered) and not so much the entire view. Most of the time will a shift of focus only result in a withdrawal of pride in association with apologetics so that at the core of ones ego nothing changes and the possibility of screwing up is post-phoned to a later date where the events became yet another experience from the past (where nothing was truly gained nor learned).
The purpose of a cathartic activity is not only to alter focus but also, more profoundly, shake the ego and have a deconstruction of the will in order to further shape the own weltanschauung. This means a breaking down of the will through both physical and mental exhaustion which will trigger a purely biological defense mechanism which will not only make clear what matters, but will also place things in context and perspective. One such a cathartic activity is touched upon within the Order of Nine Angels and is called “the black pilgrimage”. Another name under which it was published was the, conveniently called, “Self-immolation rite”. While within ONA there’s a certain focus on the importance of its historic roots and as a means to proof oneself to the order, the pilgrimage in itself is a cathartic activity because it shakes the aforementioned ego and deconstructs the will.
Whereas many within said order will see it as a one-time event of endurance and as a token for their loyalty, it is better seen as a tool which must be regularly used in order to progress and shape the own worldview. It is in the best interest of the aspiring Satanist, or initiate of the LHP, to have this deconstruction going on. Not only will it sharpen the mind to critically dissect, or simply dismiss, various intellectually worded brain farts, it will also shape perspective and bring about a change in character/personality as step by step the ego is being deconstructed and the mind guided in making and reacting to that which truly matters.
It is in the best interest an activity, like the self-immolation rite, is being offered as a tool to the aspirant in order for him/her to become “more” (through deconstruction of the ego and will). The authenticity of a cathartic activity is where physical endurance (and in some cases suffering) stands prime and where the deconstruction of the will and ego will comes as an automated natural. It might also be said a variety of religions endorse the same kind of reasoning as a means to justify and have the religious proof their worthiness to their respective god(s). The difference would be the subtle reference that the physical endurance (or suffering) is not motivated by belief but moreover to distance away from the ego which enables such (religious/philosophical) motivations in the first place.
1) Christos B.; 2003, “The self-immolation rite: A guided Satanic pathworking through the dark spheres”; internet; http://archive.org/details/Self-immolationRite
2) Brad. J. Bushmand, Roy F. Baumeister; 1999; “Catharsis, agression and persuasive influence: self-fulfilling or self-defeating prophecies?“; internet; http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbushman/bbs99.pdf