In which a subsequent email answers my own koan. Maybe.

So the very next email I open gives me a clue to the previous post:

“Ascetic tenacity, even if it is not masochism or
lust for self-destruction, runs the risk of being
an extreme example of the will to power and
possession — Lucifer’s own special temptation.
Ascesis then becomes the most dangerous of idols.
That is why God expects from us, basically, love
and humility.”
– Olivier Clement, “The Roots of Christian Mysticism”

I believe (gently) that this point applies to all religious discipline and all religious belief. If one clings to belief and discipline too tightly, as an object of pride or defensiveness, they all become the most dangerous form of idolatry.

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