by Max Barry

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by The Despotic Dictatorship of Despoticania. . 88 reads.

Bicameral Order

The Bicameral Order

Followers: 19,453,501 (2018)
Founded: 2009 CE
Core beliefs: Inner spiritualism, elimination of the self
Founder: Jeri Ronaveyri, Konstantin Naremakonalek, Siri Vongoethe
Leader: Unknown
Status: Officially-recognized religion
Headquarters: Unknown

Founded in 2009 by a small group of ex-soldiers of the Despoticanian Army, the Bicameral Order is the newest, fastest growing and by far the most mysterious major religion in Despoticania. It is a hive mind cult that uses neural implants to eliminate individual consciousness and seek revelation and enlightenment in the shared, non-conscious information processing of multiple interlinked human brains. Apparently, the basic idea originates from the Tactical Combat Autism Mode (TCAM) used by the Despoticanian military, where soldiers and other military personnel can use their implants to share brain power and sensory input to become temporary hive minds that are superhumanly efficient at their given task. However, unlike the TCAM, the "Rapture State" of the Bicamerals does not suppress the emotions of its members or hyperfocus them into some specific task or mission; rather, it enhances emotional information processing and suppresses logical thinking. As a result, Bicamerals immersed in the Rapture State often display signs of extreme religious ecstasy, such as glossolalia and being overcome by the spirit (falling over).

The Bicamerals reject the scientific method, yet they hold patents to several new and innovative technologies, "revealed" to them during their bouts of Rapture State. They claim that this is a proof of their ability to tap into some primal spiritual force deep within their souls, but many sceptics have noted that their ranks include former scientists and experts in the fields of their revealed innovations. These sceptics believe that the Bicamerals' seemingly supernatural abilities are an example of emergence, the hive mind utilizing the knowledge, skills and experiences of its individual members to innovate, improve and invent new technology.

The Bicamerals live in monasteries scattered across the nation. The largest groups are found in Despoticania Prime, New Thule, Jylkurfyk and Port Hestra. Because of their hive minded nature and secrecy towards outsiders, not much is known about their leadership or prominent members (if such can be said to exist at all).

The Order is named after the unconfirmed theory of Bicameralism, which proposes that in the distant past, the human mind operated in a dual state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appeared to be "speaking", and a second part which listened and obeyed - a "bicameral" mind. The commands and suggestions of the "speaking" part were interpreted as divine guidance of gods and spirits. The theory is supported by the fact that in several ancient texts of different cultures around the world, people seem to have little to no agency or free will of their own. Instead, they simply obeyed the commands of external gods, seemingly without the ability of meta-reflection to explain or rationalize their actions and desires.