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Guest Anonymous

Tulpa and sense of self.

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Guest Anonymous

I've been trying to understand the concept of self more and more when it comes to tulpas. Coming from the mindset that, well, form has a lot to do overall, and in the end, the definition of a tulpa goes down to 'a person in someone's head' (even though this person is super limited at first in comparison to other people), I've been trying to understand one thing. That thing is, well, what truly 'defines' a tulpa. I've been reviewing some stuff with my tulpa, making her pass some tests (and I know that it sounds like I'm some mad scientist who keeps his tulpa in a basement to make her take 100 tests per day, but that's not the case at all, as I've been working on more autonomy, more cognitive capacities with her and more introspection from her own side, to make a transition, or rather I should say differentiation between 'imaginary' and 'real' in her own terms).


I was wondering what tulpas inspired by certain characters (a rick and morty tulpa, a homestuck tulpa, a steven universe tulpa, shit, I don't know, any anime character) feel like when it comes down to their own sense of identity, and well, self. I do not mean to put down anyone at all (this is coming from the guy whose tulpa has only really come to a fix form that's not inspired from anything/one after such a long while, and forming her own... 'feel', you could say), but a tulpa that's inspired from a certain show and tries so hard to act like that one character from that show wouldn't feel bad in the end, for not truly being that character? My tulpa always tried to be, well, to assimilate forms of characters that are familiar to me, such as Ikazuchi from Kancolle, IA from the world of Vocaloid, always trying to have the form of a child, in the end. That is not what interests me, though.


And lately, she's been trying to get a form that's from an OC so that she can call it her own. No name, no background, just like a 'fresh' start. My tulpa acts like a newborn who's too hesitant on her form.


The form itself has never defined speech mannerisms or the way she behaves, it was always a form. But with each form came a certain degree of, well, 'acceptance' and comfort. I was always against changing forms, but she would do that at random moments due to certain factors.


And upon the idea of building a sense of self, since well, us hosts have that, in the end. I'm Anderson, I'm a person, I like this, I like that... but I think that a lot of tulpas lack that sense of identification. My tulpa has went around calling herself a 'concept' 'a thought' 'fake shit' 'completely imaginary', although I do not mean to whore such things out as I am aware of this community's level of acceptance (and how much people in chatrooms laugh like elitists when one speaks of such issues. Funnily enough, not speaking of such issues is just like the non-existence of those issues, it's saddening to see people take an interest in terms of mockery only when it comes to exposure, but then again, most folks only truly care about their own public exposure). In the end, when I came to ask my tulpa 'Who are you?', she had a big blank on her mind, she had no answer to that, if anything, she failed to mention her interests in this very moment, but was able to answer later on.


So, what forms a tulpa's sense of identity? What about tulpas that are inspired by other characters? MY tulpa for the longest of our relationship had a specific form, the character who has that form is super outgoing, cheerful, optimistic and supportive, even though my tulpa has absolutely nothing in common with that character, the form still worked.


How well can tulpas feel themselves? Do you exist as thoughts? As some type of psychological complex? Where do you originate from? This is not truly a thread for people to solely speak of their own experience, nor of mine (as the majority of that reception was 'woo you are whoring shit out' 'attention whore' 'people laugh at you everyday' which is supposed to make the person you tell that mad)... What is a tulpa in the tulpa's perspective? How legitimate are the wonderland's experience to a tulpa, overall? Many questions. Too many questions.

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My tulpas forms' were all based off of Touhou characters, and their personalities were based on how I liked to think the characters would act. But both of those vary in the fandom, and my headcanon is not canon. I liked to think of Reisen as someone quiet but caring, reserved but happy. Flandre as someone with a lot of potential love in her heart, but little experience actually interacting with people. Tewi as the outwardly childish bunny girl who's actually lived many hundreds of years and become wise, acting childish because at that point you can't take life as seriously and might as well have fun.. Etc.


And.. That was that. That's the idea I had when creating my tulpas. And then they came to exist somewhat like and somewhat unlike I had thought. And then they were tulpas, their own people. There was no "Striving to be like the characters" or "identity issues" or issues of self-worth, they simply were who they were. It doesn't really matter whether you chose a reference or made your own 10000% original character (out of many non-original thoughts you learned from examples elsewhere). It's just a base for the person to identify themselves with. And while they may well identify closely with their forms, it's not essential to their existence.


My tulpas, at least, qualify as their own people. Aside from sharing my body and brain, there's nothing else that really makes them not so. Tewi isn't even remotely like me, and if she were in my position she would do amazing things. I've seen her motivation and dedication, if she were in a position to set real goals she would far exceed my own accomplishments. Reisen would forego all fears and what-ifs to help people. These people are not me. They originated in my brain, but they aren't sub-versions of me, they're completely different people my brain was capable of creating and, well, being. They're as legitimate as you make them. If a tulpa becomes extremely proficient at switching and takes over as the host... Five years down the line, who are you to say they aren't a person? Is the original host still a person? At that point, it's up to whether you consider a certain level of activity a requirement to be "someone legitimate", or incarnating a physical body. You know my stance.


Tulpa thoughts, that is an interesting subject. My tulpas, first and foremost, do not think or speak in the same recognizable way I mentally talk to myself. Their thoughts do not "sound" like my inner voice, and they also feel like they come from some outer space around my headspace as opposed to right in the center. That being said, I of all people know what it's like to share my tulpas' thought-processing power. I can't parallel process. I can't play an instrument with both hands. I can't keep track of two streams of information. And I can't think two thoughts at once. My tulpas can't think while I think, not on the conscious level of really processing something. But they can unconsciously function as I can, which is honestly most of your existence. It goes without saying that without any of your unconscious functions you would fall over dead, but aside from that you'd also be completely unable to function socially or at any non-basic task. Your brain does millions of things without you thinking about them, constantly. Your brain doesn't care if you think the words "That person was rude. I should avoid them in the future." It's already categorized tons of perceptions, memories and reactions to your experience with them for future use, and it did it in less time than it took you to think those words. Those thoughts, my tulpas can have. They can formulate automatic responses like I can based on their knowledge without much conscious effort, they can react and emote without conscious effort, and they can speak in Tulpish pretty well too. All of that happens behind-the-scenes in the mind, and apparently your unconscious mind can parallel process no matter how poorly it does so consciously. Consciously though, in my case my tulpas and I cannot think in-depth thoughts at the same time. Of course, I'm great at multitasking, which is the ability to quickly and efficiently switch between tasks. We can have fluid conversations because the speed of unconscious thought far exceeds conscious thought. We can interact with each other, I can walk while my imposed tulpas do the same. But at least in our case, they are not entirely separate consciousnesses, or fully functioning minds. They share mine, however efficiently we've trained to do so. But who even thinks tulpas all get their own separate conscious minds anyway? You guys mistake the ability to be sentient and mentally functioning to mean "fully separate brain" quite often. That seems silly to me. At best you're proficient at parallel processing and your tulpas and you can use your conscious brainpower at the same time. These questions of separateness don't really make sense to me in the first place, given what I've just explained.



And I think lastly, I'll actually address your main question. My tulpas' senses of themselves, in their words, feel just like mine. When I ask Tewi how she feels about her mental existence and the thoughts she makes, she says it feels the same as mine. It's not something you can fully grasp in its entirety, more something you take for granted really. To me, they seem like what "I" would be, if "I" were completely disconnected from all other unconscious thoughts, such as working my muscles to type or breathe, sensing my body, and other such things. If I were completely detached from all of that, I feel like what would be left is effectively what my tulpas are - personality defining how, why and what to think, memory making, reaction to available stimuli, and a sense of self. And to be fair, this is effectively how I feel when switched, like myself but without any attachment to any physical components of the mind or otherwise. I still feel like I'm "me", I still think and react, but I don't feel like I need to react to physical stimuli, I don't feel hungry, I don't feel like I need to decide what to do with the body.



So take from that what you will. I personally have ways I like to think about these things that may be less neutral and unbiased than the opinions I gave, such as how switching works, but you might still disagree anyways. And if your personal experience differs, you should, but maybe think about why. My personal belief is that we have a body and brain and sort of default way of being, with a personality - as in, everything that a tulpa is according to what I just said - placed in control of it all. And that personality is interchangeable with others should you train yourself to do so. The reason we feel like we "are" our body and brain is because we've never experienced anything to say otherwise. But after having my tulpas for years, I'm convinced I'm not that much more than they are; I'm just more used to being in control. More developed because of how old I am, how many experiences I've had, but not fundamentally different. And so, switching is effectively giving over my position to an equally qualified person(a(lity)). But that's just what I like to believe, I won't state it as confidently as the previous information because it's (even more) subjective. Keep what works for you and explain away everything else.

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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Wow... Luminesce said everything I was about to try to say (I say try to, because I couldn't have put it together as well as they did.)


Two of my tulpas are based off of previously-existing characters, and identity has never been a problem for them. They know I don't think/expect them to be the character they are based off of, and they know they can deviate to their heart's content, but they've chosen their forms. The biggest change I've seen (relating to identity) is that Quartz changed his name from what it originally was. His base-character never had a revealed name to begin with, so I went with fandom speculation for a while, but he wanted a unique name, one that I gave him. And so it is.


They exist, and I don't think it bothers them that they were based off someone else. They're still their own people, and unlike the characters they were based off of, they are real to me.

White text- Ash (the host!)

Red text- Quartz!

Purple text- Gamzee!

Blue text- Obsidian!


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