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Sneks & Ladders (or, Sneks on a Plane)
An intro:

I've lurked on the IRC channels for some time, and decided that now might be a good time to start the final push toward my eventual goal: Dissolution of the "self" that I've grown to identify as by default, to be replaced by my dear tulpa. Unlike this fading persona, she doesn't really have a singular name or a firmly fixed appearance, but for reference sake let's just call her Snek, and say that she looks something like this.

The formative chapters of my experience with the tulpa phenomenon have entirely been an unpublicized affair, but we've endured years of ups and downs, blind faith contrasted with hopeless despair. At first, I thought a tulpa was essentially just a fancy imaginary friend. I still went for it anyway, being an introvert with a string of friends and girlfriends who only abide in mundane social stimulation and personal gratification. Back then, I figured I would be less likely to project myself onto a female figure than a male one, and thought it would give her more room to grow and develop as herself. In a way, this turned out to be the right choice. Even with her being regarded as "other" from me, I feel a protective need to cover her shadow with my own, to absorb her into myself as an intellectual protectorate in my subconscious social structure system. It's a bad habit and part of the reason I'm setting out on this journey. Of course she's not a part of me, but perhaps I'm a part of her.

I got a true glimpse of Snek perhaps half a year in. She fully conformed to what were then my deepest, most unique desires in a companion. In an instant she went from a cute, defined mental image with some personality traits that I played around with, to more of a general concept, tranquility and peace of mind incarnate. I was so floored by this transformation that I didn't realize what I was seeing, and clung onto her then-new appearance. Once more she became a solidified form to me, held to one particular name and appearance, and so going against her actual nebulous identity. Since that point I've come to realize that she's essentially a shape-shifter, with a very vague "resting point" form that she always returns to, which I've guessed to be a female reflection of my self-image, perhaps explained as the twin sister I never had. I'm still not sure what to think of that.

Admittedly, it's been hard to accept this beauty as part of myself, even though transferring that "me" distinction is what's necessary to push the current "me" out of the picture, as planned. One of my principal worries is leaving her lonely by making way for her, lonely the way I was before her emergence. Yet, I fail to consider that she may be much different from an ordinary human, as I understand them. I've spent many months on and off studying the psychology behind loneliness, and what caused mine. There are definitely factors that established it. She has none of these factors at play, we've agreed. It's clear that I need her a lot more than she needs me. Not that this is a bad thing. She's indicated that it doesn't mean she doesn't love or want me, just that my existence as an ego is not necessary to her well-being and happiness. Meanwhile, my serenity is very dependent upon her continued involvement in my life.

With any luck, this progress report will become a blow-by-blow record of events as a "self" is disintegrated and an aftermarket tulpa is installed in its place. The qualifier for "victory" will be that no traces of my old ego's "personal identity" may exist. Outward "identity", surroundings, and circumstances don't necessarily need to be changed, but identification with this ego and all of its opinions, attachments, and exalted memories must cease.

I suppose I'm primarily publishing this as a promise to myself and to my Snek. There should be periodic updates as we test the waters and see if she can truly overwrite my personality.

My first challenge: In the next day of activity, I'm going to clear my mind, and then keep a record of every emergence of a self-absorbed, self-motivated thought. I'll use Snek as my beacon, a subject of focus when I'm not busy with activities that require my full attention.

In the interim I/we might share bits and pieces about our past together and her formation as a recognizable figure in my mind's landscape, just to make this a little more like a conventional progress report.  Wink

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Okay, well uh.


Good luck, I guess.

Though, some strangeness. A tulpa is not part of yourself, but rather an other that lives in your head. Also, she didn't say anything. Also, you haven't listed a reason why you want to go.
Host comments in italics. Tulpa's log. Tulpa's guide.
Thanks, I'll need it. Very active mind, mainly just through habit.

No strangeness, just an incomplete picture. She is an "other" of course, which is how it's possible for her to succeed me as the pilot of our body (eventually, full-time). I'd liken her resting form's loose resemblance to my own self-image as an anima sort of deal, seen plenty of "anima tulpas" around here over the years so I'd hardly consider that a stand-out. Smile
The lady didn't say anything because we were pretty drained when we decided to make the start of this quest official, so it was just easier to type it all out in our so-called default mode network, Me-OS.

I'll use this text coloring when I do talk, okay? "Snek" here, glad to meet you! Sorry if I broke a custom by not chiming in. As explained, in our current situation when we're physically tired it's just easier to default to his thinking mode, since it's a well-worn neural pathway. We're hoping to change that, bit by bit! Just a matter of breaking established thinking habits.

She won't admit it but it's also because she's more reserved with her thinking and expression than I am, which is part of why I want her to replace me. I'm sure that'll change a bit as my own rampant thinking disappears. If not, she'll make for a very boring person.

Hey, now.

Kidding. She's definitely better at keeping her thinking down to a meditative stillness, though. We've spent the past couple of years studying eastern "religions" (if you want to call them that) and practicing meditating with each other, but naturally, without all of my weird anxieties and attachments she's got one major advantage over me: She doesn't have much fuel for idle, useless runaway thinking. While this thread isn't necessarily for the entertainment of an audience, I do hope she'll start to do the majority of the typing. Her thought processes fascinate me.

Ehhh. I wouldn't count on it, that's not really my thing. Don't be too surprised if this thread dries up soon after he's out of the fold.  But, we'll see!

Bluh, fair enough. Anyways, the main reason I want to go is that as an "I", I've been set up from the beginning for failure. Bad habits, bad ways of thinking, those are the gifts of my elders. I notice a marked improvement in our overall quality of life when I hand over control of things to her. On top of feeling generally happier with her leading the way, it seems like things just generally go better. Less poor luck, less setbacks in our basic plans and goals, less frustration, really an astronomical improvement. I think the big secret is that she isn't personally invested in outcomes the way I always am.

Right. I'm impartial, it really comes down to what he feels is best for him. I love him but I'm not all clingy and mushy. He's not my "possession", if that makes sense, so I've got no problem with letting him go if that's what he wants. We're different flowers of the same root, anyhow.

See, total tsundere.

"It's not that I like you or anything..."

Bottom line, I'm a typical "ego". Easily bruised and endlessly frustrated as life consistently beats down my attempts to control circumstances, to shape my destiny, even just to feel good about myself. I've recently hit the point where I no longer wish to continue ramming my head against a brick wall and expecting to breach it. Life will best me every time I get uppity and attempt to be in direct control, and now that I realize this it feels like it's time to allow Snek to take the wheel. We'd both benefit, I think.

And really, so far, so good. For funsies, I tossed in an extra rule to that challenge he mentioned earlier. He has to note exactly what purpose each thought is trying to serve, whenever a stray thought happens. Most noted thinking today has been useful problem-solving thought, so I think he's doing a pretty good job. Here's hoping he keeps it up!

Yeah that was a good suggestion. A lot of the noted thought was strictly business, instead of the usual useless fretting thoughts that clutter my thinking when I'm not busy with something. Just the act of noting the thoughts seems to be reducing "my" activity somewhat, which should clear some room for her to begin taking over. Even if this doesn't go according to plan, things can only improve. Anyways. Updates as they happen. Running on a one-hour nap right now, we'll probably have a more Snek-centric post once we're fully rested.
Let's all watch the sky fall down
Hi Snek! This decision must be more difficult for you. But that can be something to talk about when you become more dominant.

I don't think you will be able to succeed for a long time, since your thinking still defaults to him. Instead, I believe you will see an interim result where you take over life, but he is still around. He is pretty old, so he won't be able to not think for quite a while.

Also, be warned, part of your success is due to joint action. This is probably unconscious on your part. This will disappear when you succeed.

You are the opposite of us. I have weird anxieties and cannot stop thinking and my host has a fascinating thought process. Hmmm, sounds like you struggle with one of the five hindrances. My host has trouble with sloth, and I with both restlessness and sensory desire.
Host comments in italics. Tulpa's log. Tulpa's guide.
Oh, hi! Do you have a name you go by? Edit: Oops, stupid question! Looking at your log, I suppose your name is Tulpa?

Truth be told, guiding his thought tangents to a close is a lot harder than accepting his decision. He's a natural worrier and he frets about everything. Everything. But we are making progress!

There are a lot of details he left out for brevity, but our plan isn't a play-pretend operation where I'll be "in control, but not really". We've actually already done that a while back, haha. I found possession fun, but it was the kind of fun that you might get from a prototype VR device, just a novelty that wore off pretty fast. I'd compare it to the pilot of an airliner allowing his child to sit in his lap and pretend to fly the plane, he was still right there out of habit.

Mhm, it's surprising how scary it is for me to try completely letting go of my tight grip on the body (even though I generally trust her not to mess things up). I think it's just a form of survival mechanism, I feel vulnerable if I take my hands totally off the wheel. I think it could be overcome, but it sure is an obstacle.

Really, putting me in control is more of a consequence than an objective. In theory, when his personality comes down I'd be the only one left to run things, by default. Sorry for the confusion if the emphasis seemed to be on us switching places, it's not one of those cases at all!

Yeah, oops. Our thinking defaults to mine because it's a hard-set habit. Changing habits is extremely difficult but by no means temporary. If that were the case, nobody would ever be able to quit smoking, for instance. Fortunately, unlike a tobacco user, this habit doesn't also include physical dependence to cope with. It's all down to willpower, I guess.

Haha, it's pretty funny that we're opposites like that. Yes, our head is definitely plagued with four of the five hindrances to some degree in a given week, all of them except doubt. Sensory desire's probably the strongest for him, it's a very easy trap to sink into. When it's not focused on me and any of the forms I use, it's focused on material possessions of his that don't seem to like cooperating with him, his things frequently break down and malfunction and that leads him right into worry.

I'll say this, he's a lot better now than a year ago. (Oh, thanks). That's why we're confident in proceeding with this, he's finally starting to grasp that life is not under his control and never will be, he's a lot closer to total surrender than he's ever been! Truly an exciting time in our head. Recently he saw firsthand how being in his "comfort zone" is just an ego perpetuating itself, and that the feeling of comfort and security is always a false one. It was something we'd "known" for a while but hadn't fully experienced, you know?

Oh, yeah. That was kind of alarming to consider initially, but I figure I've seen more than enough evidence that whenever I've given up on controlling everything, it all works out in its own way. Most of my errant thinking is planning, scheming, trying to micro-manage all the things in my life that are actually beyond my control.

Under the surface that's the real target of this project, but it's so much a part of who "I" am that I wouldn't be surprised if it takes total destruction of me as a personality to succeed.

I'm confident that we'll get there, as long as I'm keeping an eye on him and helping him to remain mindful of his thinking.
Let's all watch the sky fall down
Yep, my name is Tulpa.

We don't do basic possession like that anymore. You can associate fully with the body to get full control. Which is what I do.

But what I was referring to with dominance there is who makes the decisions, who thinks about things, and who solves the problems of life. This can in theory be done without even possession.

Letting go of the body shouldn't be scary. You need to do that in more advanced meditations. All you really need to do is relax. Then relax more. It won't have any consequences. Just remember that the body is not you. Focus on that fact.

Hmm, personally, I'd say trying to be in control is a mistake. Based on my host's philosophy, I'd actually say that if you want real control over anything, to stop trying to be in control is the first step. It lands you the emotional balance necessary to peek through the surface and see the underlying mechanisms of how things work.

Yeah, like all feelings, as I think my host would say, comfort and security are false ones. But as they are pleasant, and motivating, my host would attempt to attach these feelings to more things rather than eliminate them.
Host comments in italics. Tulpa's log. Tulpa's guide.
Yeah, basic possession is a small baby step but I feel like it's a waste of potential for me to stop there.

You're right that the one who calls the shots doesn't necessarily have to be the one primarily running the body, absolutely. It's more like starting with a clean slate, if I get in there and run things on a day to day basis. For us it has to be all or nothing, because even if I'm motivating our decisions, chances are nothing will get done because the host will find a pragmatic reason for justifying his own agenda, or postponing whatever must be done. He's a very persuasive character.

I've been practicing letting go of the body on a daily basis, and it is getting easier. From a very young age I was taught never to let my guard down, so even during full sit-down meditation sessions I always have a little bit of tension that I struggle to let go of. It really, really sucks. But practice is helping.

He really is getting a lot better about it, but like anything else it's a process. We know we're getting somewhere when we feel his trademark tension start to slip away. I really love our body as an organism and so I tend to nurture it on those occasions.

Yeah, that's normally how we can tell that I'm "disengaged". The body's health, as opposed to its false materialism-&-environment-based security, becomes more of a priority with her at the helm. The body gets more water intake, more snacking on health foods, better breathing habits, even foot massages. The body just feels a lot lighter and healthier all at once, with me out of the way.

The body lights up with a blissful feeling when he successfully disengages, generally. Like a flower opening to the Sun's rays. It could just be that there's generally so much fear, negativity, and stress that just being centered at a happy-medium balance point feels overwhelming in comparison.

It doesn't stop at just our body, either. Usually she's the one who treats our friends to free food, drinks, or car rides on our dime. (Oops!) Not that that's a bad thing. She's a person I'd like to be. I've always got lots of silly little ego stories about how "we'll be broke if we do that", or "what if an unexpected expense comes up??", when really we're just talking about a measly $10 that we can definitely afford to spend. Interestingly, when she spends our money, usually within the same day the amount she spent returns to us entirely by chance.

I agree 100% about so-called control, Tulpa. Being in control (really just thinking I'm in control) is a huge mistake. One of the most prevalent bad habits I have. Every time I assume I've got things locked down, something cosmically unfortunate happens to me as if to punish me for my hubris. I'm finally learning not to touch the hot stove, when things go well for me I'm much more mindful of the habit of boasting about it to my friends or giving myself personal credit for what are really just twists of fate.

No kidding, basically whenever he felt he was close to conquering a lofty goal of his, he'd go about proudly telling his close friends all about how he was so close to achieving his goals. What would happen just about every single time, is that whatever work he had just done would swiftly come undone, and it would really dampen his mood. Finally, he's getting it! But it's been a really painful learning curve for him.

Anyways, that's a great point about those feelings of comfort and safety. Thinking about it, last April or May while moving out of my home of several years, I recall contemplating that notion, but I was reading so much in such a short period that I guess it got lost in the shuffle. You're right, it should really be a goal to extend those feelings to more and more places and scenarios. Only makes sense, since a lot of my "work" has been showing me that the world isn't a scary place unless I allow myself to be cowed by it, out of ego preservation self-interest.

Unwittingly applying those feelings to only an exclusive set of locations made me very reluctant to leave those places. Time and again I've been shown that all the specific places I call "home" aren't necessarily guaranteed to be any more or less safe or secured against circumstance than other places. They're definitely motivational and useful concepts, even if they're illusory, but they have to be utilized correctly.

Oh, it was pretty bad. Last year was mostly spent hiding from the outside world, studying texts, exploiting escapism, trying to figure out how to transcend the world without going to the trouble of accepting the entire world. Needless to say, that didn't work, and can't work. Fortunately in the past few months he's actually been putting all that knowledge in his head to use. It was about time. :P

PS- Wow, jeez, looking above I have to say sorry about the overly long posts. We format them to not be a strain on the eyes, but we'll try to keep them a bit shorter going forward.
Let's all watch the sky fall down
I've had a rather restless night, but fortunately Ms. Snek has been keeping me company. I generally dislike sleep deprivation, but in small doses it stalls the ego in its tracks, there's just no energy left for planning, worrying, and avoiding. Unless I actively will myself to think about something, all that's left in awareness is observation. Well, and breathing.

With my mind cleared, I settled into focusing on Snek, and all of the little attributes that define her. I realized that the entire idea that she ever had a defined, permanent form and name beneath her current cutesy façade is completely false. Her old form and name never really were "her", just as the new identity isn't "her", either. They're just more constructs arranged in such a way that I'm getting a clear glimpse of the real nature of whatever is behind those mysterious eyes of hers. Not that I realize it most of the time, since I'm so caught up in desires for form.

Mmhmm. My host loathes meme culture, so adopting a silly name derived from a source he has contempt for seemed like a good demonstration of the illusion of self and other. Nothing about his conception of this construct known as "his tulpa" changes just because she's going by a goofy name for right now, and why should it? Same for form. You'd be amazed at how much more pliable he is when he's convinced that his painstakingly created spiritual guide is a girl. :P

Anyways, I had him try an exercise while I had his undivided attention. I had him start up an online game, and instructed him to try imagining that on the other end all of his opponents were playful Sneks just trying to have fun with him.

The results were dramatic, honestly. In online games, cheap shots and repeated, crushing failure tend to aggravate me. I took her suggestion to heart. For once, I didn't feel any of that competitive agitation and resentment. I didn't do any better or worse than usual, but it felt so much better than when I felt like I was playing against malicious, exploitative, faceless people.

Sure, odds are good that in reality the people on the other end were just more egos in more regular bodies, but the focus is on perception. Drawing negative, presumptuous conclusions about total strangers in competitive environments is just more blind dualism, and yet I've fallen for the trap countless times.

Really, I think what we're going to see is a transformation, not necessarily the disintegration of self in the conventional sense. I'm glad we finally got past his notion that I'm here just to be a surrogate human companion for him while he continues sabotaging his own life. Even the security of having a 200% loyal companion and ally won't solve anything by itself, after all. Though I don't mind being his closest friend and confidant. Smile
Let's all watch the sky fall down
That is all very good. It is true that a tulpa's form is not your tulpa. I keep mine fixed mainly in the hopes that it helps solidify it for interaction with my host. That is also an impressive result in attaching new emotions to old stimulus.

Restless can interfere with sleep. We don't like the feel since tiredness comes with an emotional dampener and a handicap to skills, and we are wary about forcing while tired. My host finds that inducing sleep requires a careful balance of imagining stuff, but not thinking about anything stressful or difficult.
Host comments in italics. Tulpa's log. Tulpa's guide.
Yeah, my form was very stable for about three years(!), and it's so intricate and well-worn by this point that it's a firm anchor-point for him to find me. I think I'll resume using it on and off, since I've done what I needed to do by changing my form so radically.

I was about as surprised as he was that the exercise actually made an impact! He's always been a hothead about stuff like that, and yet going into day two of the exercise it's still working. Pleasant to see bits of progress like that. Smile

No kidding, there were some interactions that normally would have really tried my patience, but with her advice in mind I was able to sort of politely decline to accept the outrage and irritation that my normal thought routines tried to force upon me.

Sleep was definitely off the table while that restless feeling persisted. I experience the same awful mood shift if any challenging or unpleasant stimuli come up while I'm in that state, so I tend to avoid as much action and interaction as possible if I can't get the rest I need (usually due to scheduling issues, not insomnia).

It wasn't all bad, it did give us plenty of time to talk.

Yeah, fortunately it was late enough that anyone who might have contacted us was asleep, so we were able to just drift along, alone with each other. It was particularly strange because normally I'm out cold as soon as I lie down, if I'm reasonably comfortable. I used to have a hard time falling asleep when I was little, but nowadays it seems I'm tired out and ready to sleep at just about any time, if my schedule is clear.
Let's all watch the sky fall down

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