Sunday Times column: An age of enlightenment? Where is @buddha when you need him…


If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress. Buddha said that, not me.

Don’t panic: I haven’t abandoned my Soho lifestyle to take refuge in The Three Jewels. I’ve just been following Cara Delevingne’s Instagram feed.

Weirdly, just as organised religion is dissipating, a new cult — the hashtag hippies — has emerged: an irritating movement of pseudo spiritualism trending online.

The internet is so infected with aspirational karmic material you can’t go two clicks without confronting a Buddha gif or a meme reminding you to Live For Now.

Instagram is littered with pictures of people on beaches doing yoga at sunset, with life-affirming slogans plastered over their Downward Dog, like a holistic Tampax ad, followed by a string of irksome hashtags: #lovelife #wellbeing #staystrong.

Celebrities love nothing more than an aspirational mantra. Cara Delevingne, high priestess of the hippie hashtag, peppers her social media with inspirational quotes. As she tweeted last week: “Listen and Silent are spelt with the same letters: Think about it”. #Namaste to that.


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