Asceticism

By Deane Barker

This is the practice of voluntarily denying pleasure or even basic human needs, usually in order to achieve some higher spiritual awareness. This is not confined to a single religion. Ascetic practices such as fasting are common in many belief systems.

A practitioner is called an “ascetic.”

The name comes from the Greek word for “practice” or “exercise.” It’s pronounced “uh-SET-ick.”

Why I Looked It Up

I started seeing an image on Reddit of an Indian (presumably Hindu?) ascetic with a metal grate welded around his neck in order to prevent him from ever laying down horizontally.

I had always confused the word with “aesthetic.”

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