Vast swathes of Asia continue to be spiritually paralysed after an anxiety outbreak has swept through Buddhist temples across the continent. Public medical records reveal that 90% of Theravada and Mahayana monks are now clinically depressed. Doctors in the region have highlighted a number of symptoms including blasphemy, dislike of the colour orange and ‘profound existential despair’.
Psychiatrists believe that the foundations of the crisis lay in the growing use of social media, and the feelings of envy it can spawn. For the first time monks have been able to see their counterparts worshiping in pagodas with significantly more internal floor space. In addition, the size of golden Buddha statues varies widely throughout the region arousing bitterness and suspicion, especially amongst the younger generation.
In response to the angst epidemic, large numbers of monks are relinquishing their robes and turning to a western spiritual tradition called capitalism. Under this belief system, followers are expected to work long, grueling hours at jobs they hate, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like. They are also vain, insecure and in a constant state of craving to ensure that the demand for Ray-Ban sunglasses is sustained.
‘I understand that the main objective of this enlightenment philosophy is to become conspicuously more successful than your peers’, said a Prozac-dependent Tibetan monk, who is considering the American Dream. ‘Count me in’, he continued. ‘Let’s just hope it beats sitting on your arse all day pretending to be dead’.