At present it is not infrequently employed in an opprobrious sense, to designate the religious practices of oriental fanatics as well as those of the Christian saint, both of whom are by some placed same category.
He will punish himself severely, either to atone for failures, or to harden his powers of endurance, or to strengthen himself against furure failures.
He will be commonly described as an ascetic, as in fact he is.
For he is endeavouring to subject the material part of his nature to the spiritual, or in other words, he is striving for natural perfection.
The defect of this kind of asceticism is that, besides being prone to error in the acts it performs and the means it adopts, its motive is imperfect, or bad.
It may be prompted by selfish reasons of utility, pleasure, aetheticism, ostentation, or pride.