The ascetic meaning of the word “desert” does not refer to a geographical place, but to a way of life. It is such a kind of “withdrawal” from people, where no human authority is exercised over man and man himself does not rule over anyone. In this “withdrawal” you do not think that you are superior to your brother. You do not seek honor, glory, and even more material wealth.
St. Sophronius of Essex
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou