We should not be passive mystics or colorless ascetics. 
Faraway ascetics teach reverence. 
As civilization advanced, the crude concepts of sacrifice were elevated to the level of the rituals of self-abnegation, asceticism, fasting, deprivation, and the later Christian doctrine of sanctification through sorrow, suffering, and the mortification of the flesh. 
Gautama detracted from the practice of seeking individual salvation through physical affliction and personal pain. 
When Jesus went into retirement it was not for the purpose of fasting and for the affliction of his soul. He was not an ascetic, and he came forever to destroy all such notions regarding the approach to God.  Church became ascetic in dark ages.