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What is Asceticism?

Asceticism is a way of life that involves abstaining from physical pleasures, often to pursue spiritual aims.

Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or remain part of society. Still, they typically live a frugal lifestyle marked by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures. They also spend time fasting while concentrating on religious practice or spiritual reflection.

Various people have adopted an austere lifestyle to overcome addictions, some of which are unique to modern living, such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, entertainment, sex, food, etc.

Etymology and meaning

The adjective “ascetic” comes from the Greek word asksis, which means “training” or “exercise.” The original meaning did not allude to self-denial but rather the physical preparation needed for sporting contests. Its application then expanded to complex procedures employed to varying degrees in many major religious systems to achieve atonement and higher spirituality.

Sociological and psychological views

Max Weber, a German sociologist from the early twentieth century, distinguished between innerweltliche and ausserweltliche asceticism, which translates as “inside the world” and “without the world,” respectively. These were rendered as “worldly” and “otherworldly” by Talcott Parsons; however, some translators prefer “inner-worldly,” which is more in accordance with inner world studies of mysticism, which is a common goal of asceticism. the ones who want to withdraw from the world to live an austere existence practice “inner- or Otherworldly” asceticism (this includes monks who live communally in monasteries, as well as hermits who live alone). People who practice “worldly” asceticism live ascetic lifestyles but do not withdraw from society.


Ptahil Angel
Shamsiel Angel
Transpersonal psychology