“Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: Is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.” Tony Judt in Ill Fares the Land.

“As a cultural movement, [the Renaissance] encompassed a flowering of literature, science, art, religion, and politics, and a resurgence of learning based on classical sources, the development of linear perspective in painting, and gradual but widespread educational reform. Traditionally, this intellectual transformation has resulted in the Renaissance being viewed as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era. …the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval…” Wikipedia.

The inspiration behind Journal East is encapsulated in those two quotes – the sense that “we cannot go on living like this,” as Tony Judt puts it, and that a new way of life and society can come into existence based on the non-theistic conception of transcendence, meaning and morality represented by the Dharma. I hope you like it, and get involved.

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