Ascesis has nothing to do with facts.  It is a mode of awareness brought about by certain practices and producing a certain type of conduct.  Among modes of knowledge it is under-appreciated in modern times, and it important to take it seriously and distinguish it from science, art, and politics and to assert that it is, at least in a certain sense, more important than any of these. But it is just as important to underscore its limits and dangers. If it goes too far, it becomes demonic because it loses its capacity to doubt, which is the essence of humanity.  Ascesis must fail in order to work.  If it works, it fails.