Ask: Psychoactive Drugs and Course "Purists"

Thank you for your recent blog entry (December 10, 2010). It is very helpful and rings true with what I understand the Course to be saying about the mind/body 'split'. I have one question - and others may have the same question as well - does the same thinking also apply to medications that address problems such as ADHD and depression? At the end of the day, if I feel peaceful about my decision to take psychoactive medication isn't that all that matters? Then again, I can see that maybe some Course 'purists' would consider that a cop out and just show that we haven't been going to God often enough. As you can see, I have conflict about this issue… -MP

Of course, psychoactive drugs are no different from other drugs which you take to ease your suffering or discomfort. There is no reason for you to suffer, not just physically, but psychically, or with the chaos of ADHD. Just as with physical illness, you can trust that, as you center your mind in God, you will be guided to the medicine or treatment that is right for the body.

Becoming wholly aware of God is a process, and there may come a day when you feel that you can put drugs aside, and, if it does, it will happen naturally, and you will not do so out of a sense that you “should”, but out of the simple recognition that you no longer need them.

Ah, this question is a fine example of how the personal thought system (ego)tries to insert guilt into the process of spiritual awakening. Your conflict is the result of your sense of guilt that you may be doing something “wrong” by taking psychoactive drugs. Behind this guilt is the belief that God is an authority that you have to appease through righteous behavior or be punished. This guilt, and the false belief about God underlying it, are good things to uncover, because these thoughts are obstacles that must be undone if you want to be at peace. I hope that some day those A Course in Miracles “purists” also realize this for their own peace of mind!

Whenever your thoughts dwell on behavior, you can be sure that you are thinking with the personal thought system, because only a body “behaves”. The personal thought system wants to keep you identified with a body; it wants to keep you feeling guilty. But, since God is Mind, it is only your mind which is One with God, so it is only your mind to which you must attend to be at peace. A true path of spiritual awakening is one of a growing awareness of God, which happens wholly in your mind. What you do or do not do with the body is totally irrelevant to God and to your awareness of God, so to your sense of inner peace.

When you find your mind drifting onto behavior – yours or anyone else’s – remind yourself that God is not an authority that you have to appease, but the One Being That simply is. God is always in your mind, and has never left; it is you who are distracted by something else (the personal thought system), which causes your sense of conflict. All that you need to do to be at peace again is to release this distraction and rest in God.

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