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An Entry into Freedom?

"Asceticism means the liberation of the human person," states the Russian Orthodox philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev (1873-1948). He defines asceticism as "a concentration of inner forces and command of oneself, and he insists: "Our human dignity is related to this." Asceticism, that is to say, leads us to self-mastery and enables us to fulfill the purpose that we have set for ourselves, whatever that may be. A certain measure of ascetic self-denial is thus a necessary element in all that we undertake, whether in athletics or in politics, in scholarly research or in prayer. Without this ascetic concentration of effort we are at the mercy of exterior forces, or of our own emotions and moods; we are reacting rather than acting. Only the ascetic is inwardly free.
...source: The Way of the Ascetics: Negative or Affirmative? by Kallistos Ware
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