The ascetic seeks but the one flame that dwells in the innermost core of his being. It is many flames united into one. Around it is the silence that knows no discord of pain or pleasure. The ascetic seeks this source of his being as does the baby the breasts of the mother. It is his spiritual father and mother combined into the inner teacher. To it the disciple must go with purity if he is to gain admittance into that holy of holies.
He who can keep his spiritual eye focussed upon that holy flame within, during the waking hours, will wing his way to it consciously during sleep. He who can keep this contact between the consciousness imprisoned on earth and that gleaming star within receives the rivers of love and wisdom that flow as unto parched earth. He is never lonely. All the storms of life will exist not even though they may swirl around his body of clay. That man is an ascetic, for by his self-discipline he maintains a channel that helps to feed all around him. Only one who is an ascetic can hold back by his will the forces of dissension that rage outside the prison doors of clay. He is not one who breaks his bones, tears his flesh, and lives on a grain of barley. Instead he is one who seeks the flame within by exercising his divine will.
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE