mortification of the flesh

Too much knowledge had hindered him; too many holy verses, too many sacrificial rites, too much mortification of the flesh, too much doing and striving. Now he understood it and realized that the inward voice had been right, that no teacher could have brought him salvation.
—  Hermann Hesse

Wow, I was just reading YouTube comments (I know) and someone posted about an experience that is LITERALLY my waking nightmare, namely: they were wearing a contact lens and it SLIPPED BEHIND THEIR EYEBALL and got STUCK?? I have always feared this, but managed to convince myself it could never happen??

*duct tapes glasses to face* N E V E R

An ambivalent monster, a ‘wicked worm’ like the Prince of Darkness, the rebel and the fallen angel, or 'worms/born to make the angelic butterfly,’ the earthworm and the caterpillar are man’s other face or, better, his image. 'What are all men,’ wondered St Augustine, 'born of flesh, if not worms?’ Fear of worms is in the last analysis fear of oneself. These creatures, like mankind, were born of decay; man from fetid sperm, from stale blood, fed in the womb by the same putrid blood that also produced snakes; worms of rotting blood and decomposing flesh. The difference was only superficial.
—  Piero Camporesi, The Incorruptible Flesh: Bodiy Mutation and Mortification in Religion and Folklore.
The lives of the living were intertwined with those of the dead in a way unfathomable to our era where the Freudian analysis of dreams has eradicated conversation in favour of nocturnal shadows, broken the fragile network of messages between the dead and the living, destroyed the night’s disquieting yet exciting colloquy with the dead, interrupted social memory whereby the past is transmitted orally, verbally, by advice proffered, warnings issued, and messages of foreboding received from household spirits.
—  Piero Camporesi, The Incorruptible Flesh: Bodily Mutation and Mortification in Religion and Folklore.