A remarkable thing happened to me today. I was browsing through the Barnes & Noble in Redwood City. The primary reason for my being there, was related to my ponderings on the job market (i.e. my job search), but primary reasons would never stop me from also pursuing secondary objectives. No surprise thus that I found my way to the religion shelf, considering its role as the primary sink of my brain’s CPU time over the last year or two.
So there I was, pouring over a couple of books by Borg, Crossan and Spong, wondering if they have Armstrong or McLaren, while considering both what my hosts in the Bay area would appreciate (a tough one, McLaren/Bell/Martoia vs Borg/Crossan/etc, with considerations for both the potential impact on individuals, relationships, and community), and also what I’d want to read next. What would best supplement “Meeting Jesus Again, for the First Time”? Another Borg, or rather Crossan? Shall I read some Spong? There’d be interesting material there, but I’m also always looking for material useful for other people. Spong has become too notorious in certain circles, reducing his usefulness. Crossan then?
And then it happened.
I turned my back on the Religion section, drifted over to the Sci-Fi section, and picked up a Robert Heinlein instead…
Having spent some time pondering the job market, while talking to numerous characters in the Bay area and the Valley, I’ve been doing some reconfiguring. Yes, Hugo is slowly waking up to the real world. The last few years have been good enough (as long as you choose your metric correctly), but employment beckons. And it has high demands. When jumping into that sink-or-swim sea, my distractions should not be too time consuming.
Reprioritising is not as simple as adjusting nice levels on processes running on some CPU. The mind has grooves. I need to level out one groove, and start cutting a new one. (Or arguably rediscovering and developing an older groove.) Hence, I need to cut down on “serious reading material” that isn’t related to the new groove. I’ve likely already done some sabotaging of my career by worrying about religion these last few years, it’s high time to start recovering what’s left.
And yet, I’ve effectively invested in “religious studies” these last few years. I do intend to get some return on that investment. By that I mean there is still a contribution I’d like to make (and ideally more significantly so than just in normal day-to-day interactions). However, I must probably stop obsessing about how to package it, stop obsessing about diplomacy, and simply throw what I want to say out there. Extra effort into making the primary message of a post more accessible to a broader audience is probably not worth it.