The mountain ascetic who shuns meat, television, alcohol, and doesn’t say a mean word about anyone, what willpower they must possess, we think. But what would you say to the suggestion that the mountain ascetic actually exercises no willpower at all? Rather, she has given herself no choice but to shun these things because it’s in her code of conduct, or mission statement. I shall not watch television. I shall not eat meat. I abstain from calling my neighbour a good-for-nothing donkey because...
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