Asceticism: Why It Sucks

Religious asceticism, which is the abandonment of most “worldly” things in favor of living a “humble and pious life,” is not for the faint of heart. Most people can’t handle being ascetics, and often end up relapsing back into their own habits. Humans aren’t designed with asceticism in mind, which is why you often see Catholic priests molesting their choirboys for instance, because they have taken vows of celibacy but are still sexually active, sexual frustration is a dangerous thing I`m afraid. It doesn’t help that some of the more extreme forms of asceticism are actually harmful for the ascetic in question, such as the form practiced in ancient India that lead the Buddha to quit in disgust and found his “middle way,” the eight-path-fold. (The form in question wherein ascetics would literally starve themselves to near death, the Buddha ended up being overtaken by hunger and begged for a village girl for some rice. Suffice it to say, he got ridiculed and exiled from the ascetic community as a result, and the rest is history.)

If you want to become an ascetic, all the power to you, but at least try reading up on the risks involved with becoming an ascetic before you do so. Asceticism isn’t for everyone, only certain people can handle the life of an ascetic, so tread wisely.

 

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