tl;dr: well-written and well-documented; creation section is kind of unclear and weirdly structured.
This is really interesting. It's obvious that you've put a lot of time and effort into it, and incorporated a lot of feedback. Like your changelog mentions, at some point this has gone into triple pages, and I guess if this is intended to be exhaustive, that's fair enough. And like a couple of people mentioned elsewhere, you pull together a lot of sources; I think this looks like a document of the community, in that you map out pretty well the details of thought and practice that you see in the community, looking at chapters 1-3 & 8-12.
That for me is the most impressive part. You've obviously done your research (by the way, I wouldn't be shy about referencing other guides and things by name, even if they are forum posts). I half wonder whether it was a goal on your part or whether it happened by trying to handle criticism from people with all those different opinions and experiences, given that you didn't give "Portray the community and practice in a detailed way" as one of the aims of the guide at the start. Either way, it's a good thing, I think.
The most interesting chapter in that regard is 8. You say
Quote:The old school approach more frequently produces tulpas with some degree of memory separation. [...] The sentience from the start approach is way faster. The average time to first words is measured in days, not months.
What's your source for this? I'd be curious if you had numbers on it.
Other good things: writing is pretty good, as is layout and so on. Having a detailed table of contents is definitely a 'must' for something this long, as is it being readable. So good job on those fronts.
I guess the biggest negative that stands out is the lack of structure in the creation parts - chapters 4-6. It would help a great deal if you had a brief overview of "the creation process" as a whole
at some point before then - something giving a brief summary of the key stages, or the core ideas behind what you talk about. Otherwise, that big picture gets a bit lost in your detailed expositions; like when you tuck narration and other passive forcing in near the end of the personality chapter, after a section of similar length on Upgrading a Character, Imaginary Friend, or Roleplay Character to a Tulpa
- I would forgive readers if they thought you weren't going to tell them anything too useful after that.
Partly I wonder whether that reflects your own view of the process rather than confusing writing. But, when I try to summarise what you say about creation in those three chapters, it comes out like this:
- Personality: the necessary part here is to "do the work of creating their person, feeling their presence, and seeing them to have thoughts and opinions" (this isn't stated upfront) - though creating a personality and doing personality forcing (which you give as either trait association or parroting) are themselves optional. When we're done with that (which is either when we decide it to be, or when the tulpa is sentient), there's "regular forcing", which is either visualisation or narration.
- Form: visualise the tulpa and so on. I guess this is notionally optional; you say that people can use replacement forms as a focus for forcing, which is pretty astute, but then the rest of the chapter talks about imagining senses, so I guess that's kind of confusing.
- Voice: so I need to develop sentience first, which will have happened in the personality section. Then comes developing a voice for the already-sentient tulpa, so seemingly this requires choosing a voice model and then either parrot (again) or have the tulpa do it themselves because it's their job, not ours.
Maybe you can see why I find this a bit confusing. Seemingly the most important part is the "regular forcing", but this is given as an afterthought to personality forcing, which is itself optional! Form talks about sensory imagination, and voice about how to give a tulpa a voice if they're already sentient. Is this intentional, and how you want to depict the process? Because to me, it seems like you're hiding the important parts behind less important details
. I would either have a chapter on "forcing" in the general sense, or turn the "voice" part into the same.
I guess that's the main thing. On the whole, this is a great piece.