Bonsai wrote:pink_trike wrote:Bonsai wrote:
"I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness."
If the drugs prevent carelessness (seeing things, hearing voices, wild imaginations), then I don't see how they are against the 5th precept.
Moderation is key. And if you are mentally ill, and drugs can bring back some sense of sanity, then I think Buddha would have approved.
I just have to note here that seeing things, hearing voices, wild imagination, unmanageable levels of fear, etc...aren't "carelessness"...they are a medical disorder - sometimes genetic, sometimes due to environmental toxins, sometimes related to severely dysfunctional family situations, some due to unknown causes...many factors that can't be described as "carelessness". I only comment because someone reading this that is/has experience with any of the many serious mind/emotion medical disorders might feel blamed and responsible for their condition seeing it described as "carelessness".
I too think the Buddha would have approved of mindful medication use...what good are the precepts if there are shrieking voices in the mind, or if one believes that the CIA is following them and monitoring their communications? There are lots of problems associated with meds, but meds have also enabled countless thousands of people with mental dis-ease to function relatively normally. As a former psychotherapist I've met many of these people - their relief and gratitude for the meds is obvious.
Well, I have serious Anxiety and Depression issues which I take meds for, and I can definitely say (with my own experience) that they do cause carelessness. Now, maybe it's just me, but there have been many times that I haven't been 'careful' because of the way my mind works. I shouldn't have said that 'hearing voices and etc' were carelessness since you are right and the sick person isn't in control of them (outside of medications).They can definitely cause carelessness though.
Basically what I am saying is that you need mindfulness to practice Buddhism, and people with mental illnesses often lack mindfulness because of the way our minds work. If Drugs help you become mindful and sane, then I think Buddha would have approved (or at least not disagreed with). I think he was more concerned with people who abused intoxicants in his time and ours, not with people who took intoxicants in a modern world to keep them sane thousands of years down the line.
the only think I would really alter in this is (original underlined), I think the Buddha was concerned with the use of things which cause heedlesness (lack of mindfulness and or concern) and used in a recreational manner, not medication.
edit - and I'm not 100% sure if this is disagreeing in anyway (so to speak)