What is Asceticism?

What is Asceticism?

July 1, 2021 Off By Felso

Asceticism or asceticism is the name given to all the processes that tend to destroy the sensual self in order to elevate the spiritual self. Derived from the Greek word “askless” meaning “exercise”, the expression asceticism is a moral doctrine based on contempt for worldly pleasures.

Asceticism or asceticism in mysticism takes place in three stages:

Asceticism of the ignorant is considered haram in terms of religion,
Of those whose asceticism is more than enough,
The asceticism of the saints is to renounce everything but God.

In the religious sense, most insane people are considered to be saints because ascetics go to insanity in making themselves suffer.


The term asceticism was first used by the Ancient Greeks. The cynics in particular were extremely ascetic. Indian Brahminism and Buddhism are also based on ascetic elements. In the early ages of Christianity, tarik-i Dunya (leaving the world) living alone in the deserts were ascetic monks. Christians, who lost hope in the Catholic church in the Middle Ages in the Christian world and became introverted, sought refuge in asceticism. Asceticism is very common in Islamic mysticism and is the main element of many sects. Most of the Islamic sects are entered by succeeding in the ordeal, and the first step to gain knowledge is suffering. Retribution ceremonies are common in primitives. For example, young people from the Australian primitives retreat to the forests, fast and do not talk to anyone in order to enter a religious life, and they restrict their sleep more and more.

Diogenes can be seen as a representative of acetism (asceticism).

The aim of all these ascetics is to be reborn with human personality by destroying the natural personality. However, this human personality, under the guise of a religious personality, also meets the socio-economic requirements of the society: Genes must be strong and resilient in order to provide food to the society and to fight with other societies. Such reasons lie at the root of asceticism.

Sociologist Durkheim writes that primitives generally regarded pain as sacred, believing that hurting an organ gives that organ sanctity. Durkheim says:

“However, the belief that pain gives sanctity is considered unique to new religions. Of course, throughout history pain has taken various forms. For example, the Christian believes that pain cleanses the soul, elevates it. Primitive Australians believe that it affects the body, increases life force, thickens hair and beards, and hardens muscles. Both faiths It also unites on the basis that pain increases a person’s physical and spiritual strength.”

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım