Anxiety Attack

Posted: October 7, 2015 in Uncategorized
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by James C. Stephens

March 28, 1971 Sunday


Today, in fact the last few days have been extremely weird. I feel very stagnated. My head feels like it just exploded to pieces, but with no out, it just keeps rebounding inside.

I feel great anxiety, especially while around members. It’s almost like a dream world.

When I was chanting daimoku Friday and Saturday, I was really on-shitsuing very badly. But it was like I knew it and felt very frustrated that I was doing it. I feel like I have no mission right now, no direction whatsoever in school. Outside of members, I just condemn L.A. in my mind and people too. I just don’t like people right now, truly. Not the bulls…. of, “I like people now because I really don’t. I feel I’m becoming a Nichiren Shoshu member and not an individual, but I know its my fault, but really like to blame it on others. There’s no escape for my anxieties.

I haven’t skied for a while or played a good game of soccer. I don’t have any friends, really, outside of Nichiren Shoshu that I can say they are good friends. Really, I feel alone in Nichiren Shoshu also, I can’t open up to people, and even worse, I don’t really care.

I haven’t practiced my clarinet for a week and I don’t care.

I don’t like to study, but where am I going?

Why can’t I care sincerely about people? Something has to break.

My practice has become too routine. I think about everything too much.

I talked to Jim J to ask if he knew where Shibucho was and he made me feel worse. He goes, “You got a problem?” Sarcasm plus, I’m sick of it.


Note: Looking at my experience in retrospect, it becomes clear that when one moves from a rural environment to a large city as I did from Montana to Los Angeles, one feels like a fish out of water.  Separated from past social structures,  one suffers from anaclitic depression as one emotionally attempts to navigate through youthful changes ranging from family separation and divorce, moves severing one from social ties to friends, relational break-ups, going away to college, military,  joining a religious sect, etc. It is a form of culture shock. No you’re not going crazy. Welcome to Los Angeles, or any major city for that matter. Change is not always fun, nor productive especially when one’s family and social structures are undermined or replaced. Originally anaclitic depression refered to an infant bonding with their caregiver, parent or otherwise. It is an attachment disorder. Others don’t really know what’s going on in your personal life, they’re most often more interested in their own goals, etc.

On-shitsu: Slandering, expressing hatred and calumny to another which arises out of the fundamental darkness in the human being, gampon no mumyo, that obstacle that Nichiren said was the greatest barrier preventing enlightenment, which Christianity refers to as original sin that is inherent in all human life.

Calumny: The ​act of making a ​statement about someone that is not ​true and is ​intended to ​damage the ​reputation of that ​person.

Nichiren says in the Gosho Reply to Sairenbo:

“Although I, Nichiren, am not a man of wisdom, the Devil of the Sixth Heaven has attempted to take possession of my body. But I have for some time been taking such great care that he now no longer comes near me. Therefore, because the power of the heavenly devil is ineffectual against me, he instead possesses the ruler and his high officials, or stupid priests such as Ryokan, and causes them to hate me.”


The Lotus Sutra also states,

“[If anyone shall see a person who embraces this sutra and try to expose the faults or evils of that person, he will in the present age be afflicted with white leprosy,] whether what he speaks is the truth or not.” Take these teachings to heart, and always remember that believers in the Lotus Sutra should absolutely be the last to abuse each other. All those who keep faith in the Lotus Sutra are most certainly Buddhas, and one who slanders a Buddha commits a grave offense.”

What is truth?


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