But the most revolting methods of self-torture and self-destruction are also practised as a means of rising in sanctity.
The aim is not self-destruction, but self-preservation; and yet the ethics of Manichaeism appears in point of fact as thoroughly ascetic. The Manichaean had, above all, to refrain from sensual enjoyment, shutting himself up against it by three seals - the signaculum oris, manus and sinus.
To Sir George was also due the first attempt, missionary effort apart, to educate the Kaffirs and to establish British authority firmly among them, a result which the self-destruction of the Amaxosa rendered easy.
Love alone could have been the reason for his lonely vigil, and ultimate self-destruction.
The prospect drove him insane, and he attempted suicide; he purchased poison, he placed a penknife at his heart, but hesitated to apply either measure of self-destruction.