from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the practice of severe self-discipline, asceticism


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from Ancient Greek ἄσκησις (áskēsis, "exercise or training")


  • But askesis is something different: it is the work that you do on yourself to transform yourself or to allow a self to appear that, fortunately, you never quite reach.

    Foucault and the Hedgerow History of Sexuality

  • Using the humanistic technique of history and reminiscence, this article traces the idiosyncracies of the pythagorean philosophy: the refusal to put law in writing, the use of hieroglyphs, the dependence upon oracular judgment, the belief in multiple lives, askesis and akousmata, and places them at the root of what is most emblematically common law.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • One starts the connection with his espousal of askesis as a response to explain his statement that rather than bemoaning dulled pleasures,

    Foucault and the Hedgerow History of Sexuality

  • From the askesis that allows us to invent new modes of being to a history that enables the knower to stray afield of himself, there is only the distance between a rule and an instance.

    Foucault and the Hedgerow History of Sexuality

  • The common ground between the practice of S/M as the invention of new pleasures that would allow us to see bodily pleasures as de-genitalized in an unfamiliar way, and an askesis construed, in accordance with its original meaning, as an exercise on oneself rather than simply a self-denial, an exercise that will allow us to create new forms of self and being, is fairly clear.

    Foucault and the Hedgerow History of Sexuality

  • But what shall we do with our inner Fire, our inner Urge, our inner Intensity to surpass all my limitations, all our animal wildness that makes us slaves, our unquenched eagerness to surpass all darkness and ignorance, and our askesis to receive the Help of any higher Power in our difficulties, in our sufferings and in the matters of death and diseases?

    Should we then go back to the caves! Can we stop Evolution?

  • The Karmayogin enjoys a vast peace and silence within; this state becomes deeper in the midst of external noise; any external disturbance does not harm that inner askesis, it remains undisturbed.

    Often the supreme knowledge dawns all of a sudden at a critical and momentous hour

  • The ordinary Yogin desires an outward peace and silence, a disturbance of the peace impedes his inner askesis.

    Often the supreme knowledge dawns all of a sudden at a critical and momentous hour

  • Hence we are perplexed by a persistent, if equivocal, continuity between Keats's familiar idiom of erotic and cultural desire — extending from his earliest sonnets and Romances to the opening of the abandoned third book of "Hyperion" — and his equally distinctive rhetoric of askesis, even despair in the odes.

    The Voice of Critique: Aesthetic Cognition After Kant,

  • We may assume that the asceticism (askesis) they practiced arose from beliefs about the soul: that it was entombed in the body (Plato, Gorgias 493A) in the sense in which Socrates says (Phaedo 64A) that “philos - ophy is a practice of dying and of the state of being dead.”

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas


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  • Cf. Askesian Society.

    March 17, 2011

  • "For a long time now, I have had it in mind to write an essay called “Fiction as a Way of Life.” The allusion here is to Pierre Hadot’s book Philosophy as a Way of Life, in which Hadot, himself a philosopher, argues that the ancient Greeks regarded philosophy not as an idea, or not only as an idea, but as a practice, a lived experience. A way of thinking was not merely the love of wisdom, but a practice of wisdom, an ethics, a matter of being in the world in the right way. The Greeks used the term “askesis,” or self-formation, to convey the connection between ways of thinking and the ethics of the thinker."

    --Influence: A Practice in Three Wanders, by Stacey D'Erasmo, in the New England Review

    March 17, 2011