There’s more joy in austerity than pleasure in indulgence. Austerity decides wisely, neither anticipates nor regrets, refrains from unnecessary action, keeps the body clean, lean and relaxed, and maintains a bit in the mouth of the mind.
The Prophet taught, “Die before you die.” We are thereby enjoined to initiate a process of conscious subtraction. We can start with our opinions. They’re worthless anyway.
Desire isn’t wrong; it’s the smallness of our desires that exacts a toll.
Men who are free are disciplined. Discipline comes from the Latin word for pupil. A free man is a learner, an empty bowl. Discipline has nothing to do with self-will. Self-will is self-abuse.
Food, sex, money, travel, and a perfect body—none of these, not even all at once, produce happiness. So can we just take them off the table and get on with business?
Austerity is plainness and simplicity. It is a quiet orderly life.
Austerity does not seek to repeat experiences. It does not look back.
Pleasure: Not sought. Pain: Not avoided.
Austerity disdains repetition. It eschews the unnecessary.
The bug under austerity’s stitched* shoe is indulgence.
*What? You thought simple was cheap?