Well, the ATA may be the single worst investment I’ve ever made. Not only is it not providing me any opportunity to actually train in martial arts skills, but it is so horrible that I’m finding it difficult to get motivated to actually show up. It is, essentially, an over-priced aerobic dance class.
I attended my first Church service in about ten years on Sunday. It was at Unity Christian Chuch, here in Jefferson City. Unity is a “New Thought” movement founded by Missouri metaphysician Charles Fillmore in the early 20th century. I find it enjoyable to be able attend service with people who might be interested in Rosicrucianism and such, although for the most part I feel like an Orthodox Christian who must choose between a Baptist congregation or no service at all.
One of the most jarring elements for me, as a Gnostic, is the lack of ritual. I can understand why things like baptism and communion were let go, given the background that New Thought emerged from: baptism had degenerated into sprinkling “magic water” on babies to keep them safe from “the devil,” and communion was just grape juice and saltines that interrupted the service. For me, though, having a deeper understanding of where these ritual elements originated, I would have liked to seem them continued (and perhaps improved).