My dream last night saw me enter this weird electronics store that was like a Half Price Books for all things electronic and electronic storage media. In the dream, I was apparently a big collector of old floppy disks–the larger kind that really were floppy. I found a stash of them in one area of the store that had much older computers and a variety of old sporting good gadgets–fishing depth gauges, game cameras, etc. I then walked over to the store that had the more recently-retired electronics and like new goods, and found another stash of floppies, opting to not pick up the later, smaller kind of floppies that really weren’t floppy. One of them clearly had printed in handwriting the name of some guy’s biology homework or thesis. I wasn’t interested. Then, I discovered a used Canon digital video camera that was only five to ten years old–probably an SD one. There were plenty of Mini-DV tapes available for it, and I started to play around with it. Some guy was trying to sell back his DV tapes that the store didn’t want, and he was reprimanded for trying to place them directly on the shelves. I woke up while fooling around with the features of the camera, which seemed to keep increasing the more I played around with it.
Since I don’t hang on to a lot of old things or technology in real life, I am not sure what the dream was trying to say to me. Perhaps it was just supposed to be an entertaining dream, though I am not so sure, since the layout of the store and the features on the camera were very vivid and detailed. Maybe the store was meant to be a metaphor for my old writings or perhaps old ideas that I tend to collect. My tendency to appraise an idea and its worth or value isn’t based on its inherent value to others–ie, like collecting a bunch of worthless floppy disks when I don’t even have the proper disk drive to access them or use them. Something might be really cool to me and a lot of fun to play around with, but it is no longer seen as having any usefulness to most people–like an SD digital video camera that writes to mini-DV tapes.
But, what’s the lesson? I need choose between seeking out older, more traditionally pure ways of thinking and being or embracing the utter newness and popularly-lauded forms of human thought and activity? Or, that my so-called attempts to seek out a more classical mode of being by going to seminary and learning about church history, the Bible, liturgical practices and the like is nothing more or less than thinking I am getting into ancient human ways of being when I really am just regressing to the 80s and 90s?
Or, perhaps a more useful interpretation of the dream could be that it is a cautionary tale around what might happen if I take my nascent career arc in a direction that is akin to collecting technology from the 80s–seeking out ways of thinking and being that are neither especially old and tried nor new and considered to be highly relevant. What I need to pay close attention to are the things of this world that are clearly tried and true–be they in life, thought or spirituality–and ignore all of the fads of the present and similarly faddish attempts to reclaim a past that came and went rather quickly.