On Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals (1887), “Third essay: what do ascetic ideals mean?”
Self-regulation, where we tamp down certain aspects of our personality, is necessary for disciplined action, but it can clearly go too far. Nietzsche uses this concept of asceticism to analyze both geniuses and the masses. It is a chief tool of the will to power, highly dangerous to human flourishing but also unleashing many new capabilities beyond our animal nature. Does this picture of motivation and greatness make sense?