A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 327, Saturday
November 24th, 2018
Chapter Six: Rites
The sacred rites functioned like a drag net, drawing everyone in.
Every citizen was compelled to conform; the Empire would not accept anything less than complete obedience. Attendance at the temple was mandatory. Few people even attempted to resist, those that did were discovered and subjected to advanced conditioning.
If the priesthood was unable to change the will of the deviant, they were expelled, cast out, they became untouchable.
Conformation to the Imperial way was the focus of the Imperial schools as well. Conditioning of the head reinforced the conditioning of the heart.
The schools provided the intellectual apparatus of context for the religious rites to fill.
The rites of the Imperial cult were grand ceremonies, both simple and complex, they engaged the adherent at every level of their senses, they were imbued with hypnotic power.
The Empire’s goal was to supplant every natural communal bond, the bonds that every person formed instinctively with parents and siblings, with neighbors and classmates, in their villages, in their cities, on their planet of origin.
The deepest allegiance had to be to the Empire, and to the Continuum beyond it, they were based on the promise of a reward that was rarely given.
The priesthood used every device at its disposal, controlling the people with music and movement, with mantras and mandalas, through their diet and with drugs. They had honed their techniques over millions of years.
They never fully succeeded in this, and they never quit trying.
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