The Greek word asketés refers to a person who exercises physically or mentally for some purpose. Therefore, asceticism is the doctrine that proposes to exercise the human spirit to strengthen it. Asceticism
In everyday language, asceticism is associated with austerity, in this sense, the ascetic is a person who renounces material goods, as his vital purpose is guided by spirituality.
Asceticism can be understood from a philosophical point of view or else through a religious view.
For the ancient Greeks, asceticism originally referred to the physical exercise of athletes
However, this idea was adopted to the spiritual dimension of the individual . In this way, some philosophers defended the need to train body and soul to acquire certain healthy habits. Philosophers who support asceticism understand that human beings are sensitive and can suffer from any kind of ailment. So that this does not affect you excessively, it is convenient to exercise with mental training and, above all, with habits that strengthen your character. Cynic philosophers practice a certain asceticism, since they live as little as possible and depend only on themselves. This austere and independent way of living has a purpose: not depending on anyone and not having the need to need anyone. Asceticism
The ascetic model of some Greek philosophers, especially the Stoics, Epicureans and Cynics, notably influenced Roman thinkers such as Seneca, Christianity and some contemporary issues such as the hippie movement of the 1960s.
The ascetic philosopher exercises to perfect his earthly life, while the religious ascetic distances himself from the world because his vital purpose is projected into eternal life.
At the origins of the Christian tradition, some believers decided to move away from everyday life and focus on contemporary life. Some did it for a drastic reason, for example, Simeon Estilita remained for 37 years completely alone on a platform , while others founded monasteries to lead a life dedicated to prayer and spiritual retreat. In any of these versions, the Christian ascetic seeks God and for that he exercises his soul very austerely through prayer and performing spiritual exercises.
Religious asceticism is not unique to Christianity, as other names also practice Buddhism and Islam.