Oh, then you didn't make it to the halfway point and you missed the main objections. By "felt state of estrangement," I meant alienation from cravings, not from life or reality in general. Rather than identifying with cravings or with their imagined source, the personal self, a Buddhist detaches from them so as not to submit to them; she observes her mental states as they arise, knowing they're not as urgent as they seem.

But this isn't so clear in the dialogue, so I'll add a clarification.

The "pot" in the frog in the pot analogy stands for Buddhist practices, so I'd have thought there is indeed an outside, namely the lives lived in ignorant identification with nonexistent, illusory egos and cravings, and thus in pointless suffering. If there were no outside, there would be no need to become a Buddhist.

Some of the ideas in this dialogue are drawn from my earlier writings on Buddhism and other Eastern religions (links below).






Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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