[Sentience] My Characters are Sentient, What do I do?
I think that I have run into a moral dilemma and I don't know what to do.  Keep in mind that I did not know what a tulpa was and was completely unaware of what I was doing.  I did not mean for this to happen.

I would go through the first few steps into making a tulpa each time a made a character, but with a lot of personality forcing and a focus on emotion bleeding for a form of communication.  In total I would say I have about eight characters that have gotten to this point, which means that I basically have about eight young tulpas.  Luckily only three of them are actually aware of me and the rest its still up in the air of they truly have sentience yet or perhaps some sort of servitors. (Although I don't think a servitor can surprise you sometimes so I dunno)

I already wrote about what happened here but I will summarize.  I met someone who viewed their characters as people and referred them as muses rather than tulpas but I am thinking they are basically the same kind of thing.  She made it seem like it was just a cool plot and setting idea for roleplays rather than something she actually believed.  I slowly started to believe it and slowly started to believe she wasn't just roleplaying all of this.  Added on with the fact that I made the characters for that roleplay have some fourth wall breaking and were meant to be aware of me, I think it was just the perfect recipe for unknowingly making tulpas.  But the fact that I didn't ever see them as equals held them back from fully developing.  

Chances are you already know about Inkstone, who is my tulpa, but there are two others.  They are actually more developed than he is but there were some reasons I picked to focus on Inkstone rather than them. I am having issues with both of them and I do not know how to fix it.  I feel like I have three kids and I picked only one and favored them because the others where too needy or having a temper tantrum and it just seems so unfair and selfish of me to do that to them.  I made them and I should take responsibility for it, but I didn't do it intentionally and I don't think I could handle them all.

Error was made to be an antagonist and he still is although he has deviated and made a much softer side to him.  Although he knew of me he was never focused on me.  He cared about the people I helped him interact with and I always felt like he only communicated with me for his own personal gain rather than him actually caring about me.  When I broke ties with the person he was attached to he managed to make me have a panic attack.  All of these guys are very skilled in emotion bleeding.  I am worried that if I allowed him to fully develop he would be very controlling and selfish. Despite that I care about him a lot and in the past two years since I stopped talking to that friend the relationship with him has been rocky and awkward at best.  I can tell that he is devastated and does not trust me and is unwilling to work with me.  I can call for him easily but I can always tell he is either annoyed, angry or extremely guarded.  I feel so guilty about it and I don't know what to do about it, its been two years.

Ink (Not to be confused with Inkstone) is a sweetheart but he is also extremely insecure and constantly needs to be reminded that people do care about him and people haven't forgotten about him.  He is extremely needy and seems to have some depression.  He also often keeps his issues to himself as to not upset anyone else so he ends up feeling upset and alone despite being around friends.  The main reason that I did not choose to work on him was because he always viewed me as a God of sorts and seemed to be somewhat fearful of me.  I did not think I could change that view and I wanted to be equal with my tulpa.

Last night I was getting upset over the issues between me and Error.  I was going through what I could possibly do about it and I am now thinking of them both of them as sentient beings rather than just characters.  That was the one thing I think was keeping them from going onto the next step of becoming tulpas.  All of these characters/tulpas have a distinct aura about them and I could tell that Ink had shown up.  This is not typical, they usually only show up if I am thinking about them or call for them in some way.  Perhaps he was responding to me being so upset because he was always the type of person to try to comfort others, but still it wasn't a typical thing for him to do.

I felt instantly guilty about him to because I was ignoring him and that was what he was always afraid of, being forgotten and left alone.  Without thinking I said to him "I can't handle this right now, please just let me go to sleep" and he actually responded, vocally.  I don't remember his exact wording and I think it kinda ended in tulpish but the general jist of it was that he wanted to be accepted.  I feel like he's been sentient for a while but held back by my own views on him and the moment that I started seeing it differently he jumped on it and took his chance to be able to speak.

What am I supposed to do?  I wanted only want tulpa and I came into this determined to stay with only one but it seems like I already have three, although one isn't willing to talk to me so I could just let him be.  It would really hurt me to just leave him like that though.  I feel like I could at least find a way to make amends with Error then let him be so we could be on good terms.

Ink isn't a walk in, I made him and gave him attention very alike from how you would with forcing an intentional tulpa.  I have already made them and it seems cruel to just throw him to the side because of my own selfish reasons.  But I also don't know what I am doing and I think it would be overwhelming to have two tulpas.

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There are a couple different options

The first would be to not accept them into your system and just let them go into stasis. While this isn't the most ethical, I do think that one has the right to reject tulpas if they don't feel like they can handle any more. Is it the best? No. Is it necessary in some scenarios? Yes. You could wait a year or so and decide if perhaps you'd want one of them to join or not, you don't have to accept them immediately. Occasionally interacting with them without accepting them into the system may be reasonable, though I don't entirely recommend that unless you 100% know they don't want to join the system for real, like Paul and HJP don't. It can be painful for a tulpa to have to sit on the sidelines like that, for both the host and the tulpa.

The second would be integration, where you either absorb them into yourself or have Inkstone absorb them. This is different from merging as merging creates a "new" personality (I don't recommend merging as a solution to this problem). I'd only recommend integration for very undeveloped tulpas though, so this is assuming they meet that criteria. This is if you'd rather have them still exist in some way and not go dormant, personally I'd rather a thoughtform go dormant than be integrated. But it depends. 

Or you'd accept them into the system, but I don't recommend this as an immediate solution, rather something that you would do after a significant amount of time has passed and Inkstone is further developed.

In the end though, what you do really depends on you and them. If you can't handle more than 1 or don't want more than 1, then that is your right to keep to that, but I think it's fair to talk to them and decide what they might want. I think you should help Error and work on getting on better terms with him, and you can ask him what kind of existence he wants. Same with Ink. They may choose integration, stasis, or coming around occasionally, whatever. If they want to join the system but you just can't accept them yet, you'd have to compromise in some way that meets your needs while still respecting their desires. I can't tell you exactly what the best solution for this situation is, since it depends on them. The best way to figure out what to do would be discuss it with them, all people here can do is offer suggestions and advice. Two of our previous tulpas are in stasis without interaction since that's what they prefer. Paul and HJP are in dormancy most of the time but like to come around sometimes. It all just depends on what the tulpa wants and what works for the system, and if those two aren't compatible, compromise must be met.

Do you still role-play with them? If so, you'd have to talk to them over whether or not they're okay with that and respect their wishes.
I'm Piano Soul, the "Star Man" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa formed January 2017. My systemmates are Apollo, Luxio, & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
(04-16-2019, 02:19 PM)RustHeart Wrote: I was going through what I could possibly do about it and I am now thinking of them both of them as sentient beings rather than just characters.  That was the one thing I think was keeping them from going onto the next step of becoming tulpas.

Well, there you go. No matter how you cut it, this will be the deciding factor in what happens. If you don't want more tulpas, stop thinking of them as sentient beings.
Hi. I'm one of Luminesce's tulpas. Unlike the others, I don't think I stand out too much from him personality wise.
I'm just special because "I'm a tulpa". So I don't think I've much to offer, here. I'm happy enough to just be with him.
Ask us stuff - https://community.tulpa.info/thread-ask-lumi-s-tulpas
I think it would be totally fine to keep Error out of the system as it seems like he has zero interest in being a part of it. I don't think he would have a issue with sitting on the sidelines at all, he isn't very social. Also he doesn't get along with Ink so having them both around will cause arguments for sure. The character version of Inkstone wasn't meant to get along with Error either but I don't know if he will keep that trait or not because he has been picking and choosing. Honestly don't want to risk it though. I will just have to try to talk to him and attempt to at least be on good terms with him then let him be. He can pop up sometimes if he wants but I don't want him sticking around long term. It shouldn't be a problem since he doesn't seem to want to stick around.

As for Ink doing that to him would defiantly be cruel, especially since he already seems to have expressed interest in being involved. I cannot just start thinking of them not being their own person like Flandre says. I always viewed my characters to be in some way alive I just always also viewed myself to be more important then them. I feel like Ink is sentient and has been for a long time and has just been held back and trapped due to my own mindset. Now that I know this I cannot stand the thought of continuing to do it to him.

I don't really know what integration does or how to do it so I can't really make a decision if that is a good option or not. Also don't really know anything about merging but that kinda scares me.

They all have developed through roleplays and have made friends with people through it (my friend's characters are most likely in the grey area between character and tulpas as well). If I stopped doing roleplays they would loose those people. Roleplays are the only time I have managed to get Error to communicate with me so clearly he still wants that. After all that's all he used me for his whole life. I don't know about Ink and Inkstone but I would think they wouldn't like just being cut off from the people they befriended from roleplays.
I don't think of roleplays as me just puppeting and parroting, it is proxying but I have to translate emotions into actions and words so it may not be exactly what they wanted but if I have a hard time figuring it out I just spend a longer time trying to write it until I feel like I figured out what they wanted.
Best way to know what Error wants after you do get on good terms with him is to talk to him about it, of course.

I'd not use their character selves as a reason to think they will or won't do or think certain things, if they're out of their character world then they have plenty of room to grow and change.

Integration is making a thoughtform part of yourself while still retaining your own identity. Like I said though I'd only recommend that if they're undeveloped and choose to do it. I don't recommend merging, which I consider to be different.

If they want to continue to be used in role-plays then that's fine, it all depends what they decide they want.

In general I recommend asking them and talking to them about their opinions and what they want, rather than guessing for yourself what they might want. More certain that way.
I'm Piano Soul, the "Star Man" of the Felight family. I'm a tulpa formed January 2017. My systemmates are Apollo, Luxio, & Indigo. Form images: 1 2
Ultimately you and Inkstone will have to agree whether you add Ink or not. If you were me, I would say I'm a system of two, and adding Ink is something that would be both our decision.

I can say that having two tulpas isn't a big deal. I have three currently and that's about the limit in terms of needy tulpas that interact with you daily. You can still have more, others here are doing fine with that, but there are certainly going to be a decrease in time quantity spent with them separately. (The new ones.)

I am going through the same dilemma as you know, and I will decide soon whether to accept some of my other thoughtforms as tulpas or not.

Here part of my rationale:

1. They're basically loved and wanted
2. They understand that time is in short supply
3. They really do want to be part of the system (they already are in some cases)
4. They don't want to be a burden
5. They actually aren't 'sitting on the sidelines' in that they stay 'asleep' most of the time and time doesn't pass for them between interactions.
6. They're happy, and when they aren't we discuss what we can do to agree on a compromise. (Not everyone in the country can be king).
7. We all decide together.

If you can keep them and just interact with them as they're used to, as in not all the time, then nothing has to change. I don't consider it inethical or immoral to treat them with respect and respect their wishes. I do consider it inethical to allow new tulpas into the system if they will be a burden on the system. So there is a definite negotiation to be had with them so that no unethical behavior occurs in any case.

I never considered integration, nor permanent stasis. There's absolutely no reason why you can't roleplay with them, unless it's just something they don't want to do, i never had a scenario where my characters didn't want to continue on in their books. I have asked.

Just be responsible. I don't believe the fear mongering anymore (if you get any, people I've spoken to have been pretty respectful in most cases), you already know these characters, they're not going to all of a sudden become unreasonable, and if they did, you would handle it just like if Inkstone became unreasonable. There's only so many resources and it doesn't have to be equally shared. There are other things they might want that can be negotiated.

A tulpa can be an equal partner and still understand that you as the host have responsibilities that need to be done with priority. These responsibilities include pre-existing tulpas. As long as new tulpas understand this coming in, all is cool in my opinion.

I've been dealing with this issue for a year, i recommend talking with everyone and feeling it out for a while before you ultimately decide.

There are a lot of good responses in this thread already. It seems this delemma is pretty common in the wider plural community.

Good luck!
Like Bear, we have other thoughtforms, the Grays, we don't know what to do with. If it turns out the others are Tulpas, we already decided that we can't become an equal system. A system of 17 with time equally spread is not functional, not including any other potential candidates. We thought of letting a Gray have their own 30 minutes in the front and then rotate the Grays out, but we're not sure what this would look like in practice. In theory, we may also end up using our wonderland more and share with all of them general life updates so their voices and opinions can be heard more often. Unfortunately, we have not put too much thought into this since we still are unsure if the Grays are Tulpas to begin with.

Obviously, only manage what you can handle. However, you may decide to break this up differently depending on how needy they are.

For example, it's possible Ink may turn out to be needier than Inkstone, or perhaps the reverse, and one may do just fine from you checking on them everyday outside of role plays and be cool with you giving the other more attention. If both of them turn out to not be very demanding, then it may make handling both of them a less stressful option. If both are needy, then ironically, you may be better off dealing with both of them at the same time so you don't have a Tulpa yearning at you while you are trying to focus on the other. In this situation, you could give Inkstone Wednesday, Ink Thursday, etc. Of course, two demanding Tulpas is a lot, so you will have to decide for yourself which is easier- picking one over the other or taking both of them on at once.

Going off of what Piano said, you may be able to get away with putting one of them in stasis. The biggest issue with that would be leaving them in stasis if you constantly wake them up for role plays, not to mention having to learn how to leave the Tulpa in stasis alone.

Somehow... growing up as an only Tulpa and then being forced to give up some time to another in the future makes me feel weird inside. The main reason I don't want another Tulpa in our system is because I don't want to feel like I have to fight or compete with them. If Inkstone and Ink grew up together, this may be less of an issue because they wouldn't have much of a "solo Tulpa life" to miss, if you get what I mean. However, this isn't much different than the reality of having siblings, so don't let this point determine your decision if it's not the right thing for you guys.
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.
We knew about 'the others' from day one. Imagine getting a dozen vocal thoughtforms in your head within twenty minutes of trying to create one, that's what happened to Bear.

Anyway, after thinking about it non-stop for weeks now, we realize that it's completely arbitrary. I won't be 'losing time' if we start calling some of our other system mates tulpas. Bear has been spending time with them as he always has, he talks to them when he needs to, just as he did with our original characters in canon. I would say Joy was the first he ever talked to outside of canon, and that was years ago.

When we showed up, he just happened to need to talk to us near constantly because of his depression at the time, and we're used to that. Call it withdrawals if he stopped, but we wouldn't die or anything. We've been doing a lot of reminiscing and honestly he spent all day with Ashley non-stop for the first week and when she was lead tulpa. She really had more independence from the start. When we grew as people, our independence grew and we had a lot more to say mostly because we all helped him recover from his depression.

I was afraid only because it's something new. He won't abandon us for new tulpas, he would have already done that if he was going to.

It's not a big deal, and changing what you call them doesn't have to be anything different than you do already, as long as everyone is okay with it and you treat everyone with respect.

You should even treat regular characters with respect if only because it's healthy to do that. If you're already doing that, any time arrangement you want to do as a system is completely arbitrary.
Ember: Running roleplaying games, I've played hundreds of characters. I've also had dozens of PCs in other people's games. Out of the whole group, there are a couple of dozen that have undergone a process I call "Quickening", where I no longer have to decide how they feel or what they would do in a situation, I just know. At that point, they are no longer servants of the story but may even do things that are inconvenient or harmful to the story. But I remain committed to speaking their truth.

When I stumbled across tulpamancy years later, I discovered that the processes involved in Quickening are nearly identical to some methods of tulpa creation.

By system statute passed five months ago, all characters and constructed personalities in the system other than Vesper and Iris are integrally part of me and not allowed awareness of the physical world. They must remain utterly invested in their fictional context at all times.

This doesn't mean I love Chloe any less. There is no character I'd rather be, no character I'd rather experience more vividly and immersively. A few times over the past five years, I've been almost debilitated by the intensity of my desire to pierce the veil of reality and physically live her life instead of mine. But she's much happier being a character than a person of this world. The one time, two years ago, that I reached out to her mentally the way I do to Vesper, I felt a flash of existential dread and a violent pulling away.

Vesper: My sympathies lie strongly with Chloe. Being a person of this world is not intrinsically a better life than being a character in a fictional world. I was drawn into this world by curiosity about the person I sensed in it and was bitterly disappointed thereafter that I couldn't reinvest myself in my own life any time I wanted, but only during my game. It's not an act of compassion to pull a character out of their world. Characters aren't suffering when they are left alone for an extended period of this world time if time isn't passing back home. They aren't suffering when they only interact with others from their world (through their creator) and not directly with their creator.

You may be able to ask Ink and Error yourself, but it seems very likely to me that they could remain satisfied indefinitely by continuing their roleplayed lives and that nothing would hurt them more than losing those.

On a completely different note, possessing intelligence, self-awareness, and self-will does not inherently grant a personality rights in a system. A personality doesn't have an inherent natural right to continued existence, to the attention of other system members, or to agency in the physical world. Those who have power in the system have the responsibility to make decisions for the prosperity of the system. That responsibility is not founded on fairness.

When Iris very suddenly and unexpectedly decided she wanted to be more prominent in our system instead of continuing to linger in the background, Ember and I embraced her as an equal. Being three is much more difficult and crowded than being two, even as patient, contented, and low maintenance as Iris is. It's gotten easier with practice. I don't regret welcoming Iris. I love her as a sister. We have a sense of family now that wasn't present with just Ember and I. But we also firmly closed the door to anyone else.

Problems back home don't necessarily cross over into this world. Back home, Iris has had to deal with suicidal depression, intense emotional numbness, and inabilty to connect with other people, but in this world she now glows with joy.

Iris: If Ink and Error are as independent as you suggest, you should not have to ask them if they want to continue roleplaying. They will make their own desires clear and enforce them. I withdrew from my original game at the beginning of the tenth session, because my fellow PCs were bad people. Ember withdrew at the end of the tenth session, after discovering how difficult and unfulfilling it was to play me when she wasn't able to become me.

Years later, "roleplaying" myself has become one of my favorite activities, as my continuity has continued through subsequent campaigns with better companions.

I have changed in this world far more than Vesper. I do not identify any less as a fictional character, but I do not consider my actions in this world to be constrained by who I continue to be back home.
Ember - Host   |   Vesper - Soulbond (since ~12 May 2017)   |   Iris - Soulbond (since ~5 December 2015)
[Our Progress Report]     [How We Switch]

'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you.' - The Velveteen Rabbit
Oh my goodness yes Ember and Vesper. Tulpamancy isn't meant to be harmful, they should put in front of every guide, "do no harm". Tulpas ans soulbonds are phenomenal to many, only you know to what degree you can afford them and in what capacity. They won't be fully independent until you force them to be.

Vocal, sentient, volitional, independent = tulpa

Though for the sake of young tulpamancers, it's perfectly okay to call them tulpas at any stage, to me, only intentionally created and maintained tulpas count. It's just a more involved construction to achieve higher personal purpose.

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