Our modern self-denial, then, is different from its previous, religious forms. It does not look beyond the here-and-now, because we don’t believe any longer that there is anything beyond the here-and-now. The purpose of our self-denial is thus to indulge ourselves for longer and longer, amen. We do not deny ourselves anything that we may be pleasing in the sight of God: we deny ourselves things that we may be pleasing when we look at ourselves in the glass. Our self-denial is just another manifestation of our egotism.