Heebie Jeebies

Challenged on my heebie-jeebie reaction, I will honor the challenge by my honest and very personal thoughts, just gleaned after an hour of sitting:

– I got painfully hurt (? allowed myself to get hurt, I still don’t know) a long time ago by two individuals calling themselves “Buddhists.”  I still have (evidently) lots of emotional charge there.

– My dad was a name dropper – something about saying one is a Buddhist reminds me of this quality of his.   In addition, I have a reflex reaction generally to anything hinting of arrogance (at 58, still have my counter-culture antiestablishment self in there ready to go!)

– the name Buddhism, to my perceptions, appears to be another glittering and distracting jewel on the already difficult to recognize ego and therefore another means of self-delusion, the opposite of awareness – why use the name?

Thanks for challenging me, it’s been disturbing, which I have found is a good thing!

Now, Karmadorje and newzdude76, I will ask you, on the proposition that questions stem from one’s own perceptual view of the world, and interested to know who you are, why did you ask?



7 responses to “Heebie Jeebies

  1. Thanks for the post Zach, and thanks for your honest self-investigation! I will respond to your question at the end, likely in a near-future post on my blog. But my issue is anger and resentment (which sounds very similar to yours). I am not fully aware of the origin of this, but have some references. I am, however, aware of its presence and better able now to respond appropriately more quickly than I have in the past. Relating to my anger is the fact that I don’t like being told what to do. Never have. Ever since I was a small child. Even if I know it’s the right thing to do, the fact that someone had to tell me to do it annoys the hell out of me. This is the bulk of my practice. Because it’s really only an outer layer. And the flip side of anger, if you investigate it honestly, is fear. And fear is difficult to confront. It’s deep inside me. And it pisses me off.


  2. Thanks Metta. I agree completely, fear underlies anger. During a very difficult time in my life I was VERY angry and kept having the image of an animal with it’s leg caught in a beartrap and I felt terrified, and the anger felt self-protective.

    I also believe that anger feels GOOD, not bad. So good, it becomes addictive. A dry drunk (drunk on anger) in my perception, has many of the same qualities and etiologies as any wet drunk I’ve ever met. And what could be better with either dry or wet drunk rage? You are sure you are RIGHT, your limbic system tells you that there IS a tiger and you are ready to fight the thing with every pore of your being.

    Trouble is, these days (unless I’m visiting the zoo) there are not too many tigers around so we wind up fighting our own images, ravaging our bodies and screwing up our lives. I say ‘our’ but I can own only my own.

    The day I learned (Charlotte Joko Beck) to control my anger (just by being aware and realizing if I shut my mouth and had ‘no-action’ there was no-harm done), my life started becoming MUCH more peaceful.

    Be well and thank you so much for your sincere response. Good to hear.


  3. Hi Zach,

    I can understand your ‘jeebies. I don’t quite have them, but when someone says to me “I am a Yogi,” or “I am a Buddhist,” I say to myself, “Uh-huh.(touch of cynicism)..lets see where this goes.”

    (It is easier if I know the people from some situational milieu beforehand, as I know too that people that have known me for most of my life have not even a faint a clue about my spiritual or active live.)

    I have the same feeling as you about people self-designating, and so I wait and see.

    Sometimes a comment like this it is just what people say to keep the conversation filled so they do not have to actually share anything real or authentic.

    Sometimes it is given somewhat shyly, because they tentatively feel that I am trustworthy or knowledgeable enough about it to understand and to not abuse them on it.

    I always remember being accosted in the pouring rain outside the Public Library by a scrawny slicked-back-long-haired kid, tight black leather jacket, tight jeans, cockroach kicker boots. He gestured to me with his head and hand, “Hey, C’meer,” in a loud whisper.

    I went closer, suspecting that I was about to say “No thanks” to an offer of meth, ups, grass, or some other delection of unscheduled designer pharmaceuticals.

    He bogart-dragged on his cigarette, exhaled, leaned conspiratorially towards me, and said in a whisper, “D’yah wanna know sumpin about… Buddhism..?”

    I pulled my Vajrayana mala with counters out of my pocket and said, “Do you know what this is?”

    He looked hard, and said “Nope.”

    It was a long time ago, and I realize now that was showing off a little, but his reaction gave me the information that I needed to know.

    His backup, an middle-aged well dressed Japanese man, arrived at this point. (It turned out that they had a car circling the block and when they had a couple of prospects, the car would come to the curb, and they would be whisked away to tea, biccies and the indoctrination of Shakabuku.)

    He took a look at the mala, apologized, and dragged the young greaser away.

    A few weeks later my college room-mate took the ride, and came back with the rest of the story. I am sorry I missed the cookies.

    Zach, I look at this sort of disclosure as a potential for either gentle humour or of awakening. It is a laugh either way.


  4. I confess to having no-mind (more like, no-brains) as yet today, and therefore must ask:

    “they would be whisked away to tea, biccies and the indoctrination of Shakabuku.”

    What are(is) biccies and ‘the indoctrination of Shakabuku?’

    What do they have to do with cookies?



  5. Heh, sorry Zach, Canuck/UK dialect overflow.

    Biccies = Biscuits, what UK Brits call cookies.

    “tea and biccies” sort of P.G. Wodehouse / public school slang current in middle of the 20th century.

    Shakubuku, “Break-Subdue” in Japanese. it is a term used by the Nichiren DaiShonen Soka Gakkai sect of Japanese Buddhism to describe their bad-cop / good-cop group “conversations” with prospects in order to get them to join up.

    Back in the day, new prospects, once they joined up and started reciting the title of the Lotus sutra over and over, had to go out to evangelize like Jehova’s Witnesses, and secure 20 new prospects in the first month, in order to be considered virtuous.

    With the speed of electronic criticism online, and the ease of checking up on particular groups the same way, a lot of the more obnoxious spiritual groups have cleaned up at least their public image somewhat.



  6. And incidentally (and most importantly), I should share with you how I cringe with my initial reaction of feeling Heebie-Jeebies when I meet someone who says they are a Buddhist. I would hate, for example, for someone to tell me that they got the Heebie-Jeebies when they meet someone who says they are Jewish (which I am).

    Heebie-Jeebies, or an adverse reaction to an individual because of the person having the HJ’s own background and learning probably reveals the HJ’er’s root bias underlying how they perceive and treat others. I explored my own roots as an HJ’er in the first post.

    Interesting exploration. . .


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