Is Living Wisely a book for those new to Buddhism or for advanced practitioners?
The book is for all serious students of Buddhist thought, especially those interested in Mahayana philosophy.
You write that you do not need to be old to be wise. Where does wisdom come from if not from life experience?
The wisdom that comes from life experience is worldly wisdom. Prajnaparamita or transcendental wisdom is quite another thing. Nargarjuna is mainly concerned with this second kind of wisdom.
You stress that the development of wisdom is not an easy task and even describe the truth of things as frightening. Why would you encourage people to set out on a path that is so difficult and scary?
I encourage them because in the long run it is well worth the effort.
Must we be wise in order to be truly free and at peace?
Yes, wise in the sense of having at least a glimpse of transcendental wisdom.
You say that in order to approach wisdom we need to develop a less literal and more reflective intelligence. What do you mean by a less literal and more reflective intelligence?
Please see Ratnaguna’s The Art of Reflection, which is a comprehensive treatment of this important topic.
If the Buddha’s teachings do indeed ‘come from another dimension’, how can we channel the Buddha’s wisdom into our ordinary, everyday lives?
We can do so by first transforming that life by the practice of the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path.