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[Misc] Words to Describe What Tulpas Are
#1
My system wants to aim to pose new general discussion questions each day, or at least often.

The first one is: when describing what a tulpa is, what sort of word(s) is/are the most appropriate and why? Personality, identity, ego, etc? Why would some words be less appropriate than others? If you really like one word but dislike another, what's your reasoning behind it?

Note: this is more about words that describe what a tulpa is on a technical level, rather than words like "friend" or "family."

Please share your thoughts and discuss.

(All daily threads are listed here.)
I'm Apollo Fire, the "Sun God" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa created December 2016. My systemmates are Piano, Luxio, & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
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#2
New discussion every day? Okay.

The best way to describe a Tulpa is going to be just as subjective as how people will want to be identified as. I don't like being called an "imaginary friend" where some Tulpas would rather be called that over being called a Tulpa. I could describe a Tulpa as "a sentient being that shares the body with their host", but people's experiences may change the definition to "a sentient companion that lives in the mind" or something else.

Some Tulpas choose to act and function just like normal people while some prefer to live their lives in the wonderland or focus all of their energy on supporting their host. This in of itself may change how the Tulpa wishes to be described as.

In general, I think most people agree on "sentient", "self-aware", and being a separate personality.
I'm Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's Tulpa and I love Hippos! I also like forum games and chatting about stuff.
Temporary Log | Chat | Yay!

The Grays, my other head-mates, have their own account now.
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#3
Imaginary friend. They're are both imaginary, and - more often than not - friends. If you want to be a little more precise, then just go with thoughtform, or imaginary creature; there isn't much more technicality to tulpas than that. Definitely leave out words like "sentient" (this one's my least favorite; I'm sorry Ranger, nothing personal), "independent" and so on, because those don't really add anything to the conversation, and they are definitely not the least bit technical.

I love how active this place has become, by the way!
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#4
Sentient is always debatable, but "independent" is the perfect word to differentiate tulpas from imaginary friends. Imaginary friends are controlled, non-spontaneous, will never do anything without your directly thinking they'll do it. If an imaginary friend does differ from that description, they're actually closer to being tulpas, not the other way around.

"Sentient imaginary friend" is a common way I've heard people describe them when talking to people outside the community, despite the internal (or is it external influence?) debates about actual tulpa sentience. "Thoughtform" doesn't work when describing them to people who've never heard the term and I wouldn't recommend it when trying to win them over unless they're already on-board and just want to learn. "Independent imaginary friend" I've never heard, but it kind of sounds cool.
Hi! I'm Lumi, host of Reisen, Tewi, Flandre and Lucilyn.
Everyone deserves to love and be loved. It's human nature.
My tulpas and I have a Q&A thread, which was the first (and largest) of its kind. Feel free to ask us stuff.
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#5
We disdain terms like "advanced imaginary friend" or "sentient imaginary friend," because tulpas aren't imaginary and they don't even have to be your friend. Portraying tulpas as imaginary friends in any respect paints them in an inferior light to the host, that's not something we can condone even if it's easily-digestible to newcomers. On a technical level, we think tulpas are neural pathways that build up to create an identity/personality (we've seen some disagreement on which of these words is preferable, but I think together they get the point across) that can act and perceive independently from the original - obviously, there isn't really a word for this. We don't think that tulpas are their own consciousness, but we don't think they're just a personality either. As a result, we sometimes just say they're a "separate sentient entity that lives in your head," but of course saying "entity" is a bit strange, that might cause people to default to thinking of ghosts or whatever. So, I guess the best way to portray them is just another person who shares the same brain as you, which isn't very technical, but it's a bit better and more straight-forward than some alternatives. I don't quite understand the unwillingness to use the word "sentient" that many people have, it just means having the ability to perceive things. Some insist that you have to use the word sapient instead of sentient... I really don't think it matters, both of those things apply to tulpas, say whichever one is relevant based on the context. 
I'm Indigo Blue, the "Sky Dragon" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa born October 2017. My systemmates are ApolloPiano, & Luxio. Form images: 1 2
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#6
(07-08-2019, 05:20 AM)Luminesce Wrote: Imaginary friends are controlled, non-spontaneous, will never do anything without your directly thinking they'll do it.

What is your basis for saying this? I think many kids who actually have imaginary friends would disagree with that. I've always thought this argument to be very flawed and presumptuous. To me, it's an arbitrary distinction that doesn't actually make any sense.

Quote:If an imaginary friend does differ from that description, they're actually closer to being tulpas, not the other way around.

This is changing the goalposts.

Quote:... debates about actual tulpa sentience.

To clarify, I don't dislike the word "sentience" because I don't think tulpas are sentient, or whatever, I dislike the word because it doesn't really mean jack. It's a weasel word.

(07-08-2019, 06:04 AM)Indigo Wrote:
... tulpas aren't imaginary... 

Dude, tulpas are LI.TE.RAL.LY imaginary, my man. This statement has nothing to do with how they can and can't behave, it has nothing to do with what they can and can't feel, it has nothing to do with being inferior or superior; it's just what they, objectively, are.
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#7
(07-08-2019, 09:06 AM)RaveCrazedDave Wrote: What is your basis for saying this? I think many kids who actually have imaginary friends would disagree with that. I've always thought this argument to be very flawed and presumptuous. To me, it's an arbitrary distinction that doesn't actually make any sense.

...
This is changing the goalposts.

Nope, strict definitions! There's no room for imaginary friends "that are kinda sentient though" - if they're independent, then they're tulpas on some level of development, and if sometimes they're controlled, the term for that is puppeting or parroting! Now obviously outside of tulpamancy contexts you wouldn't be like "that 5 year old playing with their imaginary friend has a tulpa", but I think a lot of things still apply. First, kids have much much better imaginations/worldviews for all sorts of mental stuff, whether recording memories or learning languages or just how they see the world. Soo imaginary friends are easier and there's a chance they might not even be independent despite seeming like that to the kid - it could just be easy to make up what they're saying and then accept that it was them without any need to prove it/no concept of "No, it's only me"!

second, even if an imaginary friend was consistent and outright tulpa-like, if you said "Yeah well they went away when they got older huh?" I'd say "Yeah, as tulpas do after like 6-8+ years of not thinking of them, especially if you're fully convinced they aren't real", plus we have no idea how a child's brain might handle tulpa/imaginary friend-related stuff differently from someone who was older
Hi I'm one of Lumi's tulpas! I like rain and dancing and dancing in the rain and if there's frogs there too that's bonus points.
All of my posts should be read at a hundred miles per hour because that's probably how they were written
Please talk to me https://community.tulpa.info/thread-ask-lumi-s-tulpas
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#8
The 312 systems who responded "Yes" to "Do you have, or have you ever had, tulpas?" in the 2018 tulpa community census responded these ways to the question "Do you believe that tulpas are conscious beings independent of the host?":

Yes - 221
Unsure - 62
No - 27
Blank - 2

So the prevailing opinion of the community is that tulpas are both conscious and independent.

Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive or experience subjectively (Merriam-Webster). Everything that can feel emotions is sentient by definition. Everything that can feel pain is sentient by definition. Since 1997, animals have been legally sentient in the European Union under the Treaty of Amsterdam. Sentience does not inherently require intelligence, personhood, self-awareness, consciousness, or self-will, which is why we don't use the term with reference to tulpas; it doesn't say enough of importance. We most commonly use "self-aware" and "self-willed".

These articles, based on the research of Dr. Marjorie Taylor, address the matter of whether children actually believe in their imaginary friends:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...ry-friends
https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/t...y-friends/

Apparently, most children believe that their imaginary friends are just pretend, actively volunteering this information to researchers in mid-interview. This does not mean they are correct, however, as a third of imaginary friends studied were sometimes uncooperative with their physical partner -- "didn’t always come when called, didn’t leave when asked, talked too loudly, didn’t share, or did annoying things like 'put yogurt in my hair'". It seems likely that, in the course of intense play, many imaginary friends do acquire temporary independence and may satisfy local definitions of tulpas.

-Ember
Ember - Host   |   Vesper - Soulbond (since ~12 May 2017)   |   Iris - Soulbond (since ~5 December 2015)
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'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you.' - The Velveteen Rabbit
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#9
(07-08-2019, 01:30 PM)Lucilyn Wrote: Soo imaginary friends are easier and there's a chance they might not even be independent despite seeming like that to the kid (...)

Strongly disagree. Independence (as we are discussing it here), is in the eye of the beholder. Saying that "they might not even be independent despite seeming like that" is an oxymoron, and I don't know how you'd justify a claim like this.

People might say humans are independent, others say they aren't because the universe is always a function of a previous state, and there's no changing that. People might say tulpas are independent, others say they aren't, because they're always products of our thoughts and experiences so their actions are always functions of those things. Discussing independence as a technicality is moronic, and brings nothing tangible to the table.

Independence is another word I dislike, and one I see way too often around here.


(07-08-2019, 01:55 PM)Ember.Vesper Wrote: Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive or experience subjectively (Merriam-Webster).

Just read this. It says nothing.

(07-08-2019, 01:55 PM)Ember.Vesper Wrote: Everything that can feel emotions is sentient by definition.

You can not know if something feels emotions, period. Is your definition of "feeling emotion" having a neuron based brain like most animals here on earth have? "Emotions" are nothing but chemical processes that drive the brain - and through that, catalyze action - in some way, nothing else. You know as much about the fear a deer feels when running from a wolf, as you know about the fear a robot feels when running from whatever it was programmed (or learned) to run from.

I'm sorry guys, but I just hate those two words. Independence and sentience are both terrible words to attach to a technical definition of anything, simply because they are both completely subjective - and I don't mean subjective as in the thing that's feeling, I mean it as in the thing that perceives something to be feeling, if you get what I mean.
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#10
(07-08-2019, 07:13 PM)RaveCrazedDave Wrote: Strongly disagree. Independence (as we are discussing it here), is in the eye of the beholder. Saying that "they might not even be independent despite seeming like that" is an oxymoron, and I don't know how you'd justify a claim like this.

well, I disagree, kids don't think as logically as adults especially around normal imaginary friend age and I think it's full possible for them to be 100% puppeting and parroting an imaginary friend while not even considering the concept that that imaginary friend is "only them"

Lumi may not have had any imaginary friends or anything, but there was one time in our memory of him playing with stuffed animals as maybe a 5 year old? where he basically played out a story acting like the stuffed animals were real, talking and all that - there was no concept of them being "fake", or "real", he was just playing pretend and it didn't bother his child mind at all that it was fake or not, kids just don't think about that stuff sometimes

also, in tulpamancy, independent means the brain runs them unconsciously/subconsciously as opposed to consciously, duh... idk why you would choose to void the word of all meaning like that
Hi I'm one of Lumi's tulpas! I like rain and dancing and dancing in the rain and if there's frogs there too that's bonus points.
All of my posts should be read at a hundred miles per hour because that's probably how they were written
Please talk to me https://community.tulpa.info/thread-ask-lumi-s-tulpas
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