Yes, eliminating arbitrary or self-destructive desires is compatible with these Eastern or platonic religions and philosophies. But it's the ultimate goal that's in question. Again you say the point is to "help us live a good life." But what's the good life for a pure ancient ascetic? To escape the cycle of rebirth or the illusion of matter.

What you don't reckon much with in that article, then, is the underlying dualism, the deliberate ascetic's contempt for the natural multiplicity due to her reverence for an underlying divine oneness. So I think you overstep when you say you're not just applying part of asceticism, but getting at its "spirit." The spirit of asceticism is surely much less family-friendly, as it were; it's much more subversive than you let on.

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