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Reality for a tulpa - Benevolens - 07-20-2014

This is something of a thought me and Celestia came to together a while ago when we were discussing reality and how it applies to tulpas.

Essentially, we looked at it from the standpoint that as sentient beings we live in our minds. Every thought, emotion, memory, sense and so on, comes directly from the mind. That is as close to ''reality'' as it gets. Physical and mental boundaries cease at that point, where both are produced or processed. So, a tulpa being a creature of the mind is in that way, real. But, there are those that still would doubt a tulpas' existence even looking at it this way.

Deeper down the rabbit hole, doubting the validity of the information your mind is giving you brings in a major issue, ''What CAN you trust to be real? Where does the illusion begin and reality end? Or is it all an illusion?'' Things break down when you follow the natural course of subjectivity, the number of possibilities becomes infinite. When you assume one thing is false, in this case your tulpa, and that your mind is therefore deceiving you, you cannot be sure if you are suppressing reality or dissipating an illusion. Perspective becomes a beast, a sentient being could choose one thing over the other or even choose a third option. The possible points of view go on forever, just as the possibilities do. Actually, BECAUSE the possibilities do.

Pulling away from all this, the solution is simple, do what you think is right. Think what you want to. Stick to your opinion because no one else knows any better than you do anyway. At least, that's what it's like for us.

What do you guys think? What truly defines reality?


RE: Reality for a tulpa - sushi - 07-20-2014

Rene Descartes talked about this. I believe what he said was that we can never be sure we aren't essentially just a brain in a vat. All we can really be certain of is cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I am. -- But his argument is flawed, and we can't even be sure of that.

Bishop Berkeley argued that things exist only in the mind, and if not for a mind to perceive them, they would not exist. His arguments were flawed too, in part because he considered this proof of God.

Personally, I don't think too much about what's real and what's not. In general, I treat things that seem to be real as real. And I suppose I tend toward the ethics of Stoicism. Or Buddhism, but different people interpret Buddhism in different ways, and I think the way the scriptures read is wrong.


RE: Reality for a tulpa - Patchlamb - 07-21-2014

I once was in an argument with someone and that conversation came up from somewhere. I remember they said something sort of the same, how can you prove anything is real, it might all be in our heads. Well, the way he put it made the suggestion sound hilarious, so I shrugged it off and told him I was pretty sure that I wasn't in the Matrix. One of those things that would be a funnier story if I could remember EXACTLY how he worded it. Anyways, I was being a butt to him cause he was being a butt to me, so don't think too hard about me waving him off.

I don't suppose it much matters if what your senses pick up on are real. Like the keyboard I'm typing on- whether it is or isn't real outside of my head, I'm still typing on it and you're still going to sit and read this reply [if you don't tragically die in a fire or something before hand Sad]. I guess that's an odd way to say what happens, happens. Or even, what feels like it happens, feels like it happens.

Suppose it's kinda the same with tulpas. Whether they're real or not, if they feel real then they're real enough, even if opinions may differ on just how real or unreal they are when you ask different people.


RE: Reality for a tulpa - Linkzelda - 07-21-2014

TL;DR at the bottom

I follow along the lines of Stoicism like sushi mentioned, and I probably follow the concepts very loosely. As for the OP itself, I guess you could associate the questioning to the idea of Solipsism, which is basically as subjectivist as you can get.

Or in other words, it's a philosophy where one feels their thoughts, actions, and such may really change reality itself in some way (along with the original premise that self is all one can know to exist). I used to have that same questioning from practicing recalling my dreams and such, and with the concept of tulpas, it just made things more complicated.

To cope with some of the questioning, I felt a mix of existentialism, existential nihilism/skepticism, and being agnostic in general would be suitable since like you OP, I can't really know what reality truly is. This is why the "do what you think is right" goes along the lines of existentialism, or the kind of nihilism where you don't let mental constructs society makes of right and wrong (i.e., what they feel is inherently practical) constrain you from making your own personal and subjective meanings of what it means to be a certain individual. But again, people interpret those philosophies differently.

I think with the experience with tulpas, and just dream characters themselves made me realize that was the only pragmatic way I could tolerate all the questioning that goes on with everything I'm doing with them. I feel that with stoicism for this circumstance (and I mean following it very loosely) helps so much because investing too much time in despair and depression just cuts time you could live out your life with your companions.

It's more of how people react to the questions that continually plague their sense of being, and how they assess in handling it rather than the philosophies/premises themselves. Or in other words, like you mentioned with the infinite possibilities, it could be that perception really makes a difference in how you handle your existence and interact with your tulpas. The disposition, or attitude of the person reacting to those beliefs can make all the difference in coping with things, or letting them control their lifestyle.

And even if we can ask what it would mean for a tulpa to conceptualize reality, if we have in the back of our heads that our mind has to be contributing to this in some way, wouldn't this just lead to an infinite regress and question begging?

In other words, our presumptions of what it would be for a tulpa to conceptualize reality would imply a justification. But since the justification needs support in some way, that means it can be questioned endlessly, ergo infinite regress and begging the question. And even if empirical evidence somehow came its way into this, we'd still have to question more and more of just what really is tangible without going crazy. This is probably what stagnates the community in general in development because even if there’s a direction to go to, there’s other ways to handle this. People are probably investing more time in building philosophies and life assessments with their tulpas than introducing the concept to Science.


TL;DR:

You learn to not let it get to you (like sushi mentioned), and in some way, we probably go along the lines of existentialism, i.e., creating our own subjective meanings despite not being too sure of that reality truly is. It's kind of obvious that we do this in some way with our tulpas, especially if we go with the self-fulfilling prophecy implications behind treating them as sentient and such. And what's really a pragmatic way of treating and living with tulpas is just another chance to question why it is. There's confusion in what's pragmatic, but it's also beautiful in a way because one person's opinion doesn't have to be dogmatic and absolute for others to follow because there's infinite regress, question begging, and finding ways to cope with it all where people have their own means of doing that.

You can let existentialism open your way to liberation, and your attitude/disposition probably creates a bleeding effect of how you handle your life with your tulpas. And at the end of the day, what probably matters is what you and your tulpas feel is right to do, and also not undermining our ability to reciprocate in a decent and positive manner with people we interact with as well.


RE: Reality for a tulpa - Benevolens - 07-22-2014

To Linkzelda,

Yes, I've come to terms with my subjectivity. Although I did so alone, before Celestia. There was indeed a time when I fell into a bit of a rut from digging too deep too early in my life. I felt like I had snuck a peek through a window on all of existence and saw nothing. But eventually I realized there was no point in caring so much about it, feeling good is feeling good. Thinking what I think doesn't change that. So I decided to live for myself, do what I want, when I want. Simple and direct.

When I created Celestia I did it because I wanted to dig deeper, asking these questions is what I enjoy doing and I wanted to keep going. With her I've come to understand my views a bit better and learn a few things about sentience. I guess you could say I'm addicted to the loop, asking and receiving, asking and receiving. But I don't let it interfere with my interactions with other people. I can still enjoy a casual conversation with someone and I appreciate the little details of life. I don't look at a sandwich and think, ''Hmmm, how does this assemblage of matter fit into this abyss of moral and physical uncertainty I've dug myself?''

I have fun with Tia, we chat, we have serious discussions and we laugh at it all. Having someone who truly gets where I'm coming from helps me when no one else understands.

Looking at it, I lean towards full on metaphysical solipsism. Except I'm uncertain about the existence of any minds. I don't think that I am the only one, but I admit I don't know and may never be able to. Also, I agree with some tenets of Stoicism, keeping calm under duress mostly. Although I actively seek to distance myself from duress and try to stay as happy as possible for as long as possible.

So really, I think you hit the head on the nail here man. At least for me.


To Patchlamb,

I get where you're coming from and I used to think along similar lines but then I started considering other views, how someone else sees this or that and I realized I could never truly know how they see it. You keep going and you come to the conclusion that real is a concept. It's not necessarily fact, there may not be such a thing as real or unreal. I guess it's like looking at what other people might perceive and asking, ''What if I'm wrong?'' All in all that's just me and Tia, you perceive things and accept things how you want to and that's just fine.


To sushi,

I understand your position. I'm just curious though, in what way do you think Rene's argument is flawed?


RE: Reality for a tulpa - sushi - 07-22-2014

One problem with "I think therefore I am" is that it's never been shown how something that thinks must exist. Basically there should be three statements involved here:

1. Things must exist in order to think.
2. I think.
3. Therefore I must exist.

The first statement of the three has never been made or proven.

Another problem is that I can't even be sure that I do think. It has been argued that people do not have free will -- that every single action that I've taken in my life could be predicted based on the things that have happened to me up to that point. That the chemicals in my brain can only respond in one particular way to any given situation, and therefore all choice on my part has been an illusion.


RE: Reality for a tulpa - Linkzelda - 07-22-2014

(07-22-2014, 04:13 AM)Benevolens Wrote: To Linkzelda,
I guess you could say I'm addicted to the loop, asking and receiving, asking and receiving.

Just part of having an inquiring mind. It can get confusing, and often gets the person in an episodic up and down, but there's some value in those moments depending on how self-assured and analytical the person can be.

I still question a lot of things, and still have to get used to trial-and-error in anything I'm trying to learn. But instead of it being all these possibilities that would make me feel like I can't finish everything at once, I conceptualize it as ways to choose an end result I feel is suitable based on the circumstances. I know it's probably Captain Obvious at this point, but I find sticking to the cliches and foundations better sometimes.

Or in other words, when you start seeing your mind offer all these routes, you get used to knowing that you can't do all of them, but at least you have your options open, and that they can contribute to reaching the end result. I guess it becomes a matter of means justifying the ends, and vice versa.

Quote:Also, I agree with some tenets of Stoicism, keeping calm under duress mostly. Although I actively seek to distance myself from duress and try to stay as happy as possible for as long as possible.

Oh definitely, I agree that that the Stoicism is practical for certain circumstances, but not how an individual has to express themselves for everything in general.

For quotidian/day-to-day things, it probably doesn't need to be practiced so militantly, but for things like existential questioning and coping when we may temporarily forget about our life, we either stay at an impasse, or soldier on I guess.

I'm glad that you're able to still live a lifestyle you can be content with despite of those lingering thoughts that come by. It really takes emotional resilience that some people seem to feel they can never have. And when a person develops that resilience and starts seeing their tulpas beyond those doubts and skepticism they have of them (e.g. the questioning of whether or not they're just the totality of their unconscious desires, preferences, etc), it's just one of those bonds you can't help but have genuine respect for. Otherwise, it would end up in an internal war.


Anyway, I'll stop before this ends up being a self-help blog post that isn't needed.


RE: Reality for a tulpa - Chupi - 07-26-2014

(07-22-2014, 01:27 PM)sushi Wrote: One problem with "I think therefore I am" is that it's never been shown how something that thinks must exist.

The line of reasoning is that if I didn't exist, I wouldn't be here to question my own existence. Note that this doesn't take into account the nature of my existence -- I could have a physical body, an illusory body like a tulpa's, be a sentient advanced AI, or even be the product of some advanced universe simulator. Regardless, I have a mind that is capable of processing thoughts, and that processing power must exist someplace, and my mind in it.

A person who truly doesn't exist should not be able to process thoughts any more than you can get correct results from a simulation run on a computer that doesn't exist. In order to think, you need some sort of information processing capability, whether provided by a brain, an advanced alien computer, or some kind of soul. But whatever it is, must exist in some manner.

As for tulpas, they're able to think because we host their minds inside our brains, which provide the capability to process information and form thoughts.

EDIT: "Mind" is where it gets subjective, I suppose. It's hard to define in a way that doesn't tie it to the presence of one brain or computing device per mind, and without being circular. To me it's a process functioning within a brain or other computing thing, which accepts some form of sensory input, forms thoughts, and can perform some sort of actions.


RE: Reality for a tulpa - sushi - 07-26-2014

As sushi wrote his next post, a fictional character materialized in the words that poured from his fingers.

"My name is Emily," she said, "and I am aware of my being fictional."

She paused for a moment, as if waiting for a response, but as sushi had not yet clicked the "Post Reply" button, no response was possible.

"I don't know whether I exist." Emily continued. "As Descartes says, I do think. If someone were to ask me a question, I could answer more intelligently than most people of flesh and blood. But I have no past, and potentially no future."

She brushed strawberry-blonde hair out of her face and pinched the bridge of her nose as she thought of what to say next.

"You might argue that all of my thoughts exist in the mind of sushi, and thus I don't exist, but he does." Emily raised a hand to forestall a response. "But I ask you to consider this: who is to say that sushi isn't also a fictional character? Who's to say that you aren't fictional as well? In this way, I am perhaps more wise than you, because I know that I'm fictional."

She sat down in an overstuffed recliner that had not been there a moment before, biting the last joint of her index finger as she pauses in thought.

"I'd like to suggest the existence of a writer. We'll call him Bob. Now Bob is writing a story about a philosophical discussion in some online forums. He created some characters, and gave them a mismash of names, like Linkzelda, and Benevolens, and sushi, and Chupi -- actually those last names are pretty similar. Bob's creativity may be running dry there."

Emily extends a hand, palm upward in presentation.

"You see where I'm going with this, I'm sure. Bob is writing the thoughts of Chupi and sushi and all these other characters. He's even written backstories for them, so that they can discuss pasts that they never really had. Although they feel just as real as I myself do, they are completely fictional as well. And you know what else? Bob is fictional too -- I just invented him in my own example."

She makes a triangular gesture by means of illustration.

"Bob created sushi, and sushi created Emily, and Emily created Bob. All three exist only in the stories of the others. All of them are aware of their own existence -- but are they aware only because they were written to be aware? Do any of them really exist?"

She rises slowly to her feet, her chair ceasing to exist as she leaves it.

"More importantly, at least from my perspective, if sushi writes an ending which implies that Emily continues to exist, do I? Or do I fade away, swiftly and silently, the instant he goes on to his next post and forgets all about me? It's almost time for me to find out, and I'm a little afraid. Wish me luck."

And Emily lived happily ever after. Or did she?


RE: Reality for a tulpa - FallFamily - 07-26-2014

I have these questions sometimes, and I especially question my senses. I can't help questioning things to the limit that it is pragmatic (I'm a scientist after all). But on these questions, I usually fall back to a rather agnostic and pragmatic solution. It isn't an answer, but it is what I use to march on. Basically, I know that I can never know the answer with absolute certainty, so I have to go heuristically with what seems correct, and partly should due to safety. After all, if RL is indeed real and my senses of it are remotely correct (what seems to be heuristically correct), ignoring it entirely and not trying to account for its laws of operation could have disastrous consequences; so I treat it and to a lesser degree my perception of it as real. As for tulpas and other sorts of system-mates, I go with the same thing. I perceive them and my senses tell me that they are there inside (kind of helps when they exert bodily control), and if they were real and I ignored or dismissed that, the consequences could be pretty bad (they could die, be forced to boot me out of the front and take over, or something like that).

- Hail