furtom wrote:Hello all. Very interesting discussion. (This is my first post. I know I should post something in the other section, but I've never been good with introducing myself, so I'll just jump right in. Please forgive me.)
I personally tend to resonate with more rigid interpretations of things like precepts, or at least I think I do. If anyone were to ask me if it were OK to drink or smoke pot after taking precepts, my first gut response would be, "Of course not!" Add to this the idea of earning income from dealing drugs and the situation seems pretty clear cut.
But is it? This is a Mahayana forum and that means open to all. How many Buddhists in East Asia refrain from all alcohol? Eat vegetarian? Never lie? Refrain from all harmful speech? etc. Note, I'm not excusing it. I'm just saying. They are Buddhists too.
Mahayana Buddhism has a strong devotional component to it for a reason! We pray to Bodhisattva like Quan Yin precisely because we are not wholly able to carry the load alone. If you practice Pure Land or some sort of Lotus devotion, this idea is explicit. But even in more self reliant practices like Zen, such devotions are (or these days we may have to say should be) an integral part of the Buddhist experience.
The lines have grayed in what is "acceptable" not because there is really any debate about what is right or wrong, but because these practices are welcome to all. If you believe all beings have Buddha nature, you have to think this way.
As far a right livelihood goes, as I said, the dealing of drugs would seem far, far afield. But on the other hand, what would we tell a butcher or liquor store owner if they came here? You have to give up your business before you can practice?
I guess what I'm saying is, you have to start somewhere. I would just say to Zealot and Ikkyu that they are welcome to become Buddhists if that is what their hearts are telling them to do. The rest is between they and their teacher. It will all come out in the wash. It is certainly true (and very important) that sila cultivates prajna, but please don't forget that prajna cultivated sila, too. You can go from A to B or you can go from B to A.
OK, so we won't say, "I'm OK, you're OK. Do anything you want." But on the other hand, don't make Buddhism such a serious and heavy thing that new people feel somehow inadequate.
Zealot wrote:This debate has gone on a long time with some of my questions never being answered: namely, why is cannabis a cut-and-dry intoxicant?
Duckfiasco, you did not address intent. Why does one smoke a joint?
You can roll down your sleeves because this debate is over and has been over for some time now. Your questions have been answered and do not require being dealt with again.Zealot wrote:Second, let's get this debate going! *rolls up sleeves*
You are not a pharmacist you are a drug dealer. Dealing in intoxicants is wrong livelihood.The term 'drug dealer' just by itself has such a negative connotation, but in essence it's just a pharmacist. Who wrote the prescription for the plant they're buying you ask? No one needs a prescription to buy a plant I say. CO lawmakers and citizens agree, apparently.
Because it is an intoxicant. Other medicines are also intoxicants. If used outside of medicinal applications they are for the purpose of intoxication. Killing a being is still killing a being regardless of the intention.This debate has gone on a long time with some of my questions never being answered: namely, why is cannabis a cut-and-dry intoxicant? Heedlessness is not an automatic by-product. Pain-relief and cancer-fighting properties are fairly automated by products, however.
It's medicine! Yes, with potential for abuse, but that's true of anything you can ingest or participate in. The only problem lies only in intent or ignorance.
Zealot wrote:The term 'drug dealer' just by itself has such a negative connotation, but in essence it's just a pharmacist. Who wrote the prescription for the plant they're buying you ask? No one needs a prescription to buy a plant I say. CO lawmakers and citizens agree, apparently.
Zealot wrote: if you wish to group it in without doubt or exception as an intoxicant, you must first prove it has no medicinal value.
Ikkyu wrote:I guess the reason I'm here on Dharma Wheel is primarily because I'm a skeptic. Although I've read A LOT on Buddhism and most other religions (I'm sort of a comparitive religion and philosophy nerd in my spare time, although I'm working to get my BA in professional writing at the moment), I still have issues with the Dharma that I may very well bring up in later posts.
In any case, thank you for reading my introduction and I hope that everything works out well. Many happy returns. Metta. Namaste. Gassho. Yada yada.
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