Asceticism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "asceticism" Showing 1-30 of 72
Diogenes of Sinope
“It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little.”
Diogenes of Sinope

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Read from a distant star, the majuscule script of our earthly existence would perhaps lead to the conclusion that the earth was the distinctively ascetic planet, a nook of disgruntled, arrogant creatures filled with a profound disgust with themselves, at the earth, at all life, who inflict as much pain on themselves as they possibly can out of pleasure in inflicting pain which is probably their only pleasure.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within the limits of what seems permissible to the world), we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ. When the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Julius Evola
“This kind of renunciation, in fact, has often been the strength, born of necessity, of the world's disinherited, of those who do not fit in with their surroundings or with their own body or with their own race or tradition and who hope, by means of renunciation, to assure for themselves a future world where, to use a Nietzschean expression, the inversion of all values will occur.”
Julius Evola

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“It is way more pleasurable to master yourself than it is to masturbate.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“The problem with pleasure is that it needs to be intermittent in order to retain its pleasantness.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“As far as monks are concerned, I believe that they are bad experiencers. They know nothing about the struggles of a normal human being. The struggle to stay alive. The struggle to survive in this capitalist world. The trauma of being in a bad relationship. Juggling between the myriads of emotions and sentiments. These monks are oblivious to such battles which a normal human being fights every day.”
Abhaidev, The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit

“To detach from someone, just know them fully.”

Carol P. Christ
“Man" it was said, had two natures, a rational nature and an animal or bodily nature. These two natures, it was thought, were continually at war with each other. Whereas reason should have been able to rule the body, all too often, it seemed, the body asserted its own needs and desires. The practice of asceticism, in the East as well as the West, arose out of the attempt to control the unruly body through denial and sometimes punishment. While women also practiced asceticism, the literature of asceticism, written primarily by men, is filled with images equating the temptations of the body with women and the female body. Instead of accepting the changing body as part of the self, asceticism attempted to deny it. Great cruelty to the self and the body have al too often been the fruits of this view.”
Carol P. Christ, She Who Changes: Re-imagining the Divine in the World

Leo Tolstoy
“Fasting is an indispensable condition of a good life; but in fasting, as in abstinence in general, the question arises with what shall we begin: how to fast,—how often to eat, what to eat, what to avoid eating? And as we can do no work seriously without regarding the necessary order of sequence, so also we cannot fast without knowing where to begin,—with what to commence abstinence in food.
Fasting! And even an analysis of how to fast, and where to begin! The notion seems ridiculous to the majority of men.
I remember how an evangelical preacher who was attacking monastic asceticism and priding himself on his originality, once said to me, "My Christianity is not concerned with fasting and privations, but with beefsteaks." Christianity, or virtue in general—with beefsteaks!
During the long period of darkness and of the absence of all guidance, Pagan or Christian, so many wild, immoral ideas became infused into our life, especially into that lower region concerning the first steps toward a good life,—our relation to food, to which no one paid any attention,—that it is difficult for us even to understand the audacity and senselessness of upholding Christianity or virtue with beefsteaks.
We are not horrified by this association solely because a strange thing has befallen us. We look and see not: listen and hear not. There is no bad odor, no sound, no monstrosity, to which man cannot become accustomed, so that he ceases to remark that which would strike a man unaccustomed to it. Precisely so it is in the moral region. Christianity and morality with beefsteaks!”
Leo Tolstoy, The First Step: An Essay on the Morals of Diet, to Which Are Added Two Stories

“A homeless beggar is not in pain, His condition remains the same; he has become used to it. You are in pain because your condition is constantly changing. If a neighbour gets better car than yours, your condition has changed!”

“In ancient India, human being were simple. They would earn with their upper body (head and hands) and spend on their lower body (food, sex, travel). To break this circle and find God, technique was simple: Do fasting, abstain from sex and sit in a cave. Now you have a thousand such circles within your head. Techniques of body don’t work on you.”

“It’s easy to open your eyes to the temptations of this world. Soon you forget how to close them.

It’s equally easy to shut your eyes to the world and sit in a cave. Soon your senses become as dead as that of a corpse.

Only the awakened ones know how to open and close their eyes naturally.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Sex is often an attempt to entertain oneself through one’s own genitals, through the use of someone else’s genitals.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Aldous Huxley
“It is only by making physical experiments that we can discover the intimate nature of matter and its potentialities. And it is only by making psychological and moral experiments that we can discover the intimate nature of mind and its potentialities. In the ordinary circumstances of average sensual life these potentialities of the mind remain latent and unmanifested. If we would realize them, we must fulfil certain conditions and obey certain rules, which experience has shown empirically to be valid.”
Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Pleasure is not a need, but an incentive.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“Inside you, there is an Eagle (courage to face the unknown) and a Serpent (knowledge). Both should grow equally. If the Eagle grows more, you become a wandering ascetic. If the Serpent grows more, you become a philosopher. When they grow equally, one day the Eagle flies away with the Serpent. Then only the Enlightened being remains for whom there is nothing known or unknown.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“To chase pleasure is to be chased by pain.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, P for Pessimism: A Collection of Funny yet Profound Aphorisms

“Companies, entertainers, content creators, politicians, preachers ... Everybody is squeezing you in the name of your family. Don't run away from your responsibilities but you should seek eternal freedom and not waste your life in gratifying some ghosts that are pretending to be your family members and holding you hostage.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“The best kind of pleasure comes from the indifference to pain … and pleasure.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Aleister Crowley
There is one doubt. When souls attain
Such an unimagined gain
Shall not others mark them, wise
Beyond mere mortal destinies?
Such are not the perfect saints.
While the imagination faints
Before their truth, they veil it close
As amid the utmost snows
The tallest peaks most straitly hide
With clouds their lofty heads. Divide
The planes! Be ever as you can
A simple honest gentleman!
Body and manners be at ease.
Not bloat with blazoned sanctities!
Who fights as fights the soldier-saint?
And see the artist-adept paint!
Weak are those souls that fear the stress
Of earth upon their holiness!
The fast, they eat fantastic food,
They prate of beans and brotherhood,
Wear sandals, and long hair, and spats,
And think that makes them Arhats!
How shall man still his spirit-storm?
Rational Dress and Food Reform!
I know such saints.
                    An easy vice:
So wondrous well they advertise!
O their mean souls are satisfied
With wind of spiritual pride.
They're all negation. "Do not eat;
What poison to the soul is meat!
Drink not; smoke not; deny the will!
Wine and tobacco make us ill."
Magic is life; the Will to Live
Is one supreme Affirmative.
These things that flinch from Life are worth
No more to Heaven than to Earth.
Affirm the everlasting Yes!
Those saints at least score one success:
Perfection of their priggishness!
Enough. The soul is subtlier fed
With meditation's wine and bread.
Forget their failings and our own;
Fix all our thoughts on Love alone!”
Aleister Crowley, AHA!: Being Liber CCXLII

Rod Dreher
“To rediscover Christian asceticism is urgent for believers who want to train their hearts, and the hearts of their children, to resist the hedonism and consumerism at the core of contemporary culture. And it is necessary to teach us in our bones how God uses suffering to purify us for His purposes.”
Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation

Julius Evola
“​The vital condition of every true state is a well-defined climate: the climate of the highest possible tension, but not of forced agitation. It will be desirable that everyone stay at his post, that he takes pleasure in an activity in conformity with his own nature and vocation, which is therefore free and desired for itself before considering utilitarian purposes and the unhealthy desire to live above one’s proper condition. If it is not possible to ask everyone to follow an ‘ascetic and military vision of life’, it will be possible to aim at a climate of concentrated intensity, of personal life, that will encourage people to prefer a greater margin of liberty, as opposed to comfort and prosperity paid for with the consequent limitation of liberty through the evitable economic and social influences. Autarchy, in the terms we have emphasised, is a valid Fascist formula. A course of virile, measured austerity is also valid and, finally, an internal discipline through which one develops a taste and an anti-bourgeois orientation of life, but no schoolmarmish and impertinent intrusion by what is public into the field of private life. Here, too, the principle should be liberty connected with equal responsibility and, in general, giving prominence to the principles of ‘great morality’ as opposed to the principles of conformist ‘little morality’.

A doctrine of the state can only propose values to test the elective affinities and the dominant or latent vocations of a nation. If a people cannot or does not want to acknowledge the values that we have called ‘traditional’, and which define a true Right, it deserves to be left to itself. At most, we can point out to it the illusions and suggestions of which it has been or is the victim, which are due to a general action which has often been systematically organised, and to regressive processes. If not even this leads to a sensible result, this people will suffer the fate that it has created, by making use of its ‘liberty’.​”
Julius Evola, Fascism Viewed from the Right

“To associate what is nice with what is evil happened easily in the sixteenth century. Comfortable houses, nice clothes, and orderly, easy lives belonged to the “world” and only dungeons, flight, torture, grief, and anxiety remained for the true followers of Christ. The Anabaptists, living in such an other-worldly atmosphere of persecution, had no time for humour or recreation. At first from necessity, but soon from a brotherhood emphasis on strict asceticism, they ruled out many normal comforts of life. In Switzerland the Anabaptists even condemned congregational singing as a frivolous concession to the senses.”
Peter Hoover, The Secret of the Strength: What Would the Anabaptists Tell This Generation?

“When you're attached to a team or a player, a game becomes an emotional ferry wheel. Else you just chill and enjoy it like art. Similarly, when you're attached to things, life is a ferry wheel of emotions. When you're detached, life is a walk through an art village.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Sex for pleasure is chewing gum for genitals.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“The ancients used to go to jungle to do Sadhana i.e. to face hardships, danger and uncertainly with nothing but faith. Now people want to escape to jungle for peace. If you want to do Sadhana, society is the new jungle. All kinds of animals are roaming here in human clothes.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Sex is a need … to the continuation of the life of the species; not that of the animal, or the person.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“if spirituality points to a higher purpose it should never have been separated [completely] from serious affairs, especially with regards to diplomacy and psychology.”

“We shall see clearly that it is greater to despise the world than to have it at one's command; that it is infinitely preferable to submit to the humblest of men for God's sake, than to command kings and princes; that an humble knowledge of ourselves surpasses the deepest sciences; in short, that greater praise is due to him who curbs his passions on the most trivial occasions, than to him who conquers the strongest cities, defeats entire armies, or even works miracles and raises the dead to life.”
Lawrence Scupoli, The Spiritual Combat and A Treatise on Peace of the Soul

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