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PETT - What is a tulpa?

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PETT main thread.

 

This is the first in hopefully many community created discussion threads. To start things off, let's discuss a topic that's important to everyone, and that hopefully everyone here has thought about a lot. To you, what is a tulpa? Are they an entirely separate entity from you, and are they conscious? What does it mean to be conscious? Can a tulpa exist entirely parallel to a host? Could you be wrong in your beliefs about tulpas, and are there things you're not sure about? Why do people have such wildly different experiences when creating a tulpa, and what causes those differences?

 

Please feel free to answer some of the above questions, all of them or none at all. Don't feel restricted in what you talk about, and feel free to ask other members other questions relating to this topic. Make sure to ask others questions about what they say, and don't be afraid to challenge others' beliefs.

 

What is a tulpa?


Feel free to ask me anything.

Suffering is self-imposed. Don't let it control you.

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To me, a tulpa is not entirely separate from myself. My mind does form the premise of their existence after all, and we use the same body and brain and general consciousness. They are conscious though. What that means is hard to say. "I think therefore I am" is still the most convenient shorthand to us. Their thoughts are original to some extent. There is the limit that if my brain or mind or horizon, scope of experiences etc wouldn't allow for them to form a thought, it won't be formed. They are dependent on me and on what's there. But they can draw on different focus points, use different associations and come to new conclusions within this limit because I gave them a different framework for identity. The autonomy aspect is of major importance to me with tulpamancy, even given that it may be only an illusion of autonomy. But while I'm alive and thinking, so is my tulpa, precisely because they are still linked to me. And as they are there, I'd want a tulpa to be as autonomous as possible. It's simply more interesting that way, and since we're friends I'd want them to be well, too. And free thought is vital for well-being.

 

I could, of course, be wrong about a ton of this because neither am I a veteran nor can people ever agree on matters like consciousness. People will always have very different beliefs from the outset that influence their experience of tulpamancy, and it's probably no more possible to change someone's mind on these things than it is to change someone's mind between general materialism vs mysticism, religion or no, etc. It may happen occasionally, but in the end it's one's own experiences and ways of perception that will make the decision on what's "the truth" for them.

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To me it is more about the questions what a tulpa should be, instead of what it is. The target is to create a sentient, autonomous being with the ability to influence your own perception in various ways. As independend as possible. It is out of question that a lot of tulpas will never reach that level, because they can only accomplish some of these aspects. Some may even be depending so much on the host that they are barely more than a fantasy. I don't think it is easy to get a clear cut, when exactly a tulpa starts to be a tulpa. I think being able to act autonomous, without the host paying attention, is the very core of being a tulpa. I wouldn't say a tulpa is entirely seperated from the host, atleast on a subconscious way there will always be a connection.

 

For me it is not a question of belief, it is a question of definition and observation. If people decide to change the definitions to a level i can't frame my tulpa with, i simply will need to find a new defining word for her existence.


Tulpa: Alice

Form: Realistic Humanoid/Demonic Creation

She may or may not talk here, depends on her.

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In my belief, a tulpa is a conscious ego that was created by another conscious ego using their inner feelings and outer inspirations to create something unique. A fully developed tulpa is a self-aware being in the same way that we are, but they share the mind and body of the host that cultivated them.

 

For lack of a better term, let's refer to the conscious ego as a soul. The soul exists within, and because of, the mind. In turn, the mind exists within the body. It could be argued that this is the hierarchy of an organic being: Awareness & Personality -> Cognition & Administration -> Function & Preservation

Ironically, it's the body we know the most about from an objective standpoint. The mind is a vast frontier that is so intricate that it will be a very long time until we understand the whole of it. And the soul? People can't be sure whether or not such a thing even exists. The result of consciousness born from the workings of the mind remains one of the most elusive scientific and philosophical mysteries of human kind. For now, the best we can go on is the saying that Descartes left us with: I think, therefore I am.

 

So we are because we think. Makes sense, but what about a tulpa? Do they think the same way we do? Are they really a separate consciousness or a result of subconscious jury-rigging? But if that were the case, wouldn't we also have to take into account the idea that we are also nothing but mere thoughts? We don't know, but from what we see of our tulpae, we can discern that they are truly thinking independently from our own conscious minds, even if our subconscious is shared. Even if our minds and our bodies are shared, does that mean that we, as souls, are nothing but the same? I believe that a tulpa is a result of a kind of voluntary psychological mitosis. The host grows, absorbing knowledge and culture from the outside world. If it chooses, it can use these to create another soul within itself from its own being. These two souls come from the same source, but they are still separate. Although they are autonomous, they are still dependent on the existence of the other. This applies to all living things and the ecosystems in which they live.

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[Tri] We think a very useful question in understanding tulpas is "what is the host?". By this, we mean, "what comprises the host, what doesn't, what makes the host, etc.?". From our experiences, we find a great difficulty in answering this question and come to the same ideas and logic of what is a tulpa (note, here, we are talking about grown/adult tulpas, not proto/larval tulpas). In essence, other than origins, we find the answer to both questions to be the same. The origin is what is different in that a tulpa is made and a host does the making.

 

We think that both are thought processes that at least think themselves to be self-aware with at least some capabilities of autonomy or the illusion of it. The degree of separation can vary, with multiple and median topologies being possible, which are diagrammed below (singlet means only having one consciousness in the brain).

 

three_model.giftype_model3.gif

 

In the case of a grown/adult tulpa, the separation or lack thereof will work both ways. For a median topology, the fuzzy identity will affect both tulpa and host.

 

For proto/larval tulpas, there isn't such a symmetry. For example, earlier in our development, our host, even when not trying to, affected our identity and how we did things to a very large degree. Now that we are more developed, the other way around happens. A good example with us would be driving. Hail, our host, can no longer drive like she used to and can only do our method of it. Moreover, she is starting to like driving due to our unintentional affects on Hail's personality, identity, and preferences (note, she HATED driving before).


Tri = {V, O, G}, Ice and Frostbite and Breach (all formerly Hail), and others

System Name: Fall Family

Former Username: hail_fall

Contributor and administrator on a supplementary tulpamancy resource and associated forum, Tulpa.io and Tulpa.io/discuss/.

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Since everyone else has so beautifully summed up their belief about the tulpa phenomenon, and since mine are very much the same (FallFamily's theory matches mine the most) I'll focus on answering the question of different experiences. I think this is also the easiest question to answer, and I can sum my response up in a sentence: We are all different people, who have different skills and abilities, different levels of intelligence, different personalities, etc. We are all different, which is why the experiences differ.

 

Example:

 

For one person, they may have a vocal tulpa within a week, whereas another person may have one within 3 months. Why the disparity? It could come down to a lot of things; perhaps Person A had more time to spend on developing their tulpa, or maybe they have more practice with thoughtforms. They could have used methods to increase vocalization, such as parroting until the tulpa learns to speak for itself. On the other hand, Person B may have had less time or less practice prior to this first tulpa. It's also possible they had mental barriers blocking out their tulpa's voice. Maybe, in both of these scenarios, it's the tulpa who is responsible, not their host! That's a possibility as well. You have to look at all the possible reasons and consider which is the most likely.


White text- Ash (the host!)

Red text- Quartz!

Purple text- Gamzee!

Blue text- Obsidian!

 

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I think tulpas are developed person(s)alities aside from the original "default" one, with applied practice to running more than one at a time. A tulpa is everything you are, just not "first." I don't think tulpas innately have the ability to communicate with the other personalities in the brain, rather that's a skill tulpamancers develop on purpose alongside their tulpa. That might even be a defining trait of tulpas versus just having multiple personalities, their ability to exist at the same time as another. Of course there are some norms that make tulpas different from hosts, like their often impossible forms and lack of ownership over the body, but both of those are just how it happens, not rules. There's no reason a tulpa can't completely take over your role as host with enough practice, and that's essentially why I consider them separate, developed personalities. But they aren't just a set of instructions on how to be, as a personality is normally thought of as, but a personality with its own life, its own share of the brain's resources. It makes its own memories, habits and so on attached to its identity. Whether this is truly them being a completely separate "person" or not, I can't say, but in my experience alone I wouldn't say so. That being said..

 

Why does everyone differ on what they think tulpas are? Because we don't know concretely what tulpas are, so everyone thinks of them in a way that makes sense to them. Tulpas aren't even a thing, "tulpa" is an umbrella term referring to tons of closely related thoughtforms. In the same way that my tulpas are developed personalities with their own share of the mind's resources for enriching their sense of self, your tulpa can be a full-fledged person, or its own soul. In the same way that our tulpas are not the original idea of a tulpa, a being you imagined and believed to be a real part of reality, before being told they are not in an exercise to recognize the frailness in what we call reality. But there's not so much harm in using the same term for them all, as long as we don't forget that they aren't all exactly the same.

 

I don't really think that we should be trying to unite all views, either. People have different interpretations of novel characters, different relationships with other humans, different experiences with the thoughtforms in their heads. People are often upset at characters' portrayals in movies as it conflicts with their own, people often reach very different judgements over other humans (Mistgod?) than others, and obviously few people can agree on what exactly a tulpa is. That's just how it is, because we're separate people with subjective experiences. Your goal of discussing and coming to agreement on what a tulpa is isn't going to do anything we haven't already, which was come to a ~general agreement on what they usually are. Keep that in mind. If you want to write highly qualitative resources for new tulpamancers, you're going to have to fully grasp all of the unique differences between the average tulpa and another.

 

The reason up to this point we've told so many users to read multiple guides, is that those guides were written (despite their authors' best attempts) in the view of single persons. You had to read multiple to get a more clear idea of what tulpas as a whole are, unless you happened to get lucky and find one you highly agreed with from the start. Even then, you probably aren't largely helpful to a lot of people with only a single narrow view of what a tulpa is. You have to know what they can be to really help many others. (Or you could specialize and write a guide, I guess)

 

 

Well, there's a reason I haven't written any guides. The fact that my view on tulpas is so unique to me and so few others would click with it hurts my determination, and I lack enough of that as it is. I stick to answering questions in as open-minded a manner as I can. I value understanding over the final goal, because spreading understanding will help the most people in the end. Not writing a guide that will help 5% of tulpamancers and only them.


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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To me, a tulpa is not entirely separate from myself. My mind does form the premise of their existence after all, and we use the same body and brain and general consciousness. They are conscious though. What that means is hard to say. "I think therefore I am" is still the most convenient shorthand to us. Their thoughts are original to some extent. There is the limit that if my brain or mind or horizon, scope of experiences etc wouldn't allow for them to form a thought, it won't be formed. They are dependent on me and on what's there. But they can draw on different focus points, use different associations and come to new conclusions within this limit because I gave them a different framework for identity. The autonomy aspect is of major importance to me with tulpamancy, even given that it may be only an illusion of autonomy. But while I'm alive and thinking, so is my tulpa, precisely because they are still linked to me. And as they are there, I'd want a tulpa to be as autonomous as possible. It's simply more interesting that way, and since we're friends I'd want them to be well, too. And free thought is vital for well-being.

 

I could, of course, be wrong about a ton of this because neither am I a veteran nor can people ever agree on matters like consciousness. People will always have very different beliefs from the outset that influence their experience of tulpamancy, and it's probably no more possible to change someone's mind on these things than it is to change someone's mind between general materialism vs mysticism, religion or no, etc. It may happen occasionally, but in the end it's one's own experiences and ways of perception that will make the decision on what's "the truth" for them.

 

What interests me most about what you say is that you refer to a "general consciousness". I've seen people try to describe something like that more than once, and I think Lumi has a similar idea about consciousness. Why do you feel there is only one of those, a central consciousness? Can't tulpas have, say, another instance of that? Can't they have their own, separate experience from yours? People have certainly experienced the opposite, where tulpas are more separate than that, and seem to live continuous lives parallel to the host. I wonder what makes for the difference in experience between people. Do you ever observe your tulpa as acting independently without you being aware or around, for example, them telling you about something that happened while you weren't there, or you seeing them in the middle of doing something?

 

Your second paragraph is something I would agree with. Your beliefs and the way you see the world decide what happens in this process, more than anything, from what I've seen. But in the beginning, people seem to be very easily molded. What kind of beliefs should we impart on newbies?

 

To me it is more about the questions what a tulpa should be, instead of what it is. The target is to create a sentient, autonomous being with the ability to influence your own perception in various ways. As independend as possible. It is out of question that a lot of tulpas will never reach that level, because they can only accomplish some of these aspects. Some may even be depending so much on the host that they are barely more than a fantasy. I don't think it is easy to get a clear cut, when exactly a tulpa starts to be a tulpa. I think being able to act autonomous, without the host paying attention, is the very core of being a tulpa. I wouldn't say a tulpa is entirely seperated from the host, atleast on a subconscious way there will always be a connection.

 

For me it is not a question of belief, it is a question of definition and observation. If people decide to change the definitions to a level i can't frame my tulpa with, i simply will need to find a new defining word for her existence.

 

I find it sad when tulpas are confined to their minds. Development is faster if tulpas are allowed to have their own experiences, their own life. It's a lot better to live actively and have your own hobbies than to wait in the mind for your host to give you attention. We're not here to redefine a tulpa, but I want to see what the word means to different people.

 

In my belief, a tulpa is a conscious ego that was created by another conscious ego using their inner feelings and outer inspirations to create something unique. A fully developed tulpa is a self-aware being in the same way that we are, but they share the mind and body of the host that cultivated them.

 

For lack of a better term, let's refer to the conscious ego as a soul. The soul exists within, and because of, the mind. In turn, the mind exists within the body. It could be argued that this is the hierarchy of an organic being: Awareness & Personality -> Cognition & Administration -> Function & Preservation

Ironically, it's the body we know the most about from an objective standpoint. The mind is a vast frontier that is so intricate that it will be a very long time until we understand the whole of it. And the soul? People can't be sure whether or not such a thing even exists. The result of consciousness born from the workings of the mind remains one of the most elusive scientific and philosophical mysteries of human kind. For now, the best we can go on is the saying that Descartes left us with: I think, therefore I am.

 

So we are because we think. Makes sense, but what about a tulpa? Do they think the same way we do? Are they really a separate consciousness or a result of subconscious jury-rigging? But if that were the case, wouldn't we also have to take into account the idea that we are also nothing but mere thoughts? We don't know, but from what we see of our tulpae, we can discern that they are truly thinking independently from our own conscious minds, even if our subconscious is shared. Even if our minds and our bodies are shared, does that mean that we, as souls, are nothing but the same? I believe that a tulpa is a result of a kind of voluntary psychological mitosis. The host grows, absorbing knowledge and culture from the outside world. If it chooses, it can use these to create another soul within itself from its own being. These two souls come from the same source, but they are still separate. Although they are autonomous, they are still dependent on the existence of the other. This applies to all living things and the ecosystems in which they live.

 

Well said. I found it was hard to convince my host of my independence, in my early days, and in the end we've found that it's mostly impossible to absolutely prove that we're sentient, or separate. In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that it's more likely that tulpas aren't conscious and are simply imagined characters with no more or less depth than a well written character, even if you consider emotional sensations they can give or all the other things that happen. And still, I feel conscious and separate. We've agreed to believe my feelings, until a day comes where we can prove something. Your talk about souls is nice, I like that way of thinking.


For proto/larval tulpas, there isn't such a symmetry. For example, earlier in our development, our host, even when not trying to, affected our identity and how we did things to a very large degree. Now that we are more developed, the other way around happens. A good example with us would be driving. Hail, our host, can no longer drive like she used to and can only do our method of it. Moreover, she is starting to like driving due to our unintentional affects on Hail's personality, identity, and preferences (note, she HATED driving before).

 

It's always funny to see how that goes, and how people can influence each other. I suppose a lot of it happens through mere proximity. How is your driving style different than Hail's? I think my habit of crossing my legs when sitting rubbed off on my host, to give a similar example. I suppose that in an eventual finished work, we should discuss the various in-betweens and stages of creation, and the options people have when creating a tulpa.

 

We are all different people, who have different skills and abilities, different levels of intelligence, different personalities, etc. We are all different, which is why the experiences differ.

 

That's right, and I suppose that there's a million ways to define a tulpa, if you follow that line of thinking. It's always nice to imagine how others see the world, see their life with their tulpa. Do you think there's any advice that would help absolutely everyone? Do you think the ideal guide would have to be tailored to suit all kinds of people, that is, be so vast that there's parts that appeal to anyone?

 

In the same way that my tulpas are developed personalities with their own share of the mind's resources for enriching their sense of self, your tulpa can be a full-fledged person, or its own soul.

 

Your description as posted doesn't seem very different from "full-fledged person". What's the difference between your tulpas as you see them and a full person as you see it?

 

I don't really think that we should be trying to unite all views, either. People have different interpretations of novel characters, different relationships with other humans, different experiences with the thoughtforms in their heads. People are often upset at characters' portrayals in movies as it conflicts with their own, people often reach very different judgements over other humans (Mistgod?) than others, and obviously few people can agree on what exactly a tulpa is. That's just how it is, because we're separate people with subjective experiences. Your goal of discussing and coming to agreement on what a tulpa is isn't going to do anything we haven't already, which was come to a ~general agreement on what they usually are. Keep that in mind. If you want to write highly qualitative resources for new tulpamancers, you're going to have to fully grasp all of the unique differences between the average tulpa and another.

 

The reason up to this point we've told so many users to read multiple guides, is that those guides were written (despite their authors' best attempts) in the view of single persons. You had to read multiple to get a more clear idea of what tulpas as a whole are, unless you happened to get lucky and find one you highly agreed with from the start. Even then, you probably aren't largely helpful to a lot of people with only a single narrow view of what a tulpa is. You have to know what they can be to really help many others. (Or you could specialize and write a guide, I guess)

 

I don't want to unite all our views into a single "this is what we believe" kind of guide, that simply wouldn't work. What we can do, however, is combining all the information and views from this thread, and create an article discussing different viewpoints. Perhaps a guide could have a short discussion of what a tulpa could be, with a link to a larger article. What do you think? How can we best help people?


Feel free to ask me anything.

Suffering is self-imposed. Don't let it control you.

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Do you ever observe your tulpa as acting independently without you being aware or around, for example, them telling you about something that happened while you weren't there, or you seeing them in the middle of doing something?

 

This is a no for me. We're also completely incapable of parallel processing, as seen by the very depressing ball-game on Deviantart. But I don't see this as part of my beliefs - I as a person am really, really bad at "parallel processing." I don't even believe it exists anymore. As far as I can tell humans can only multitask, which is quickly and efficiently switching between tasks. Parallel processing, to me, would just be training yourself to multitask extremely well at, well, having two minds working at once. I can multitask just fine, but that is beyond me. I couldn't even learn to play piano because it required playing two different things at once.

 

I've seen no evidence that my tulpas have their own consciousness, but plenty that they can utilize "mine", or as many would call it, ours. I don't claim to "own" my consciousness as the default/original/host, I'm just most attached to it. But I don't attribute it to any specific identity, just our brain. So I consider myself a more developed (an entire lifetime is hard to catch up to as a tulpa) version of what I consider my tulpas, which effectively means I consider them equals. I don't suddenly gain the ability to think at the same time as my tulpas when I'm switched with one, we interact the same as always. Though my mindvoice is always completely clear and audible, like a very active tulpa's would be, whereas theirs aren't always so. But that's my fault.


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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According to the ancient Tibetans, a tulpa was a being created and made objectively real through mental or psychic powers. When I first came here, I had only read about the Tibetan practices, and I thought of imposition as the only requirement for a tulpa.

 

That's not how any of us use the term these days though.

 

A tulpa is created and autonomous. Melian is not a tulpa, because she is neither. I have a number of characters in my writing who are created, but not autonomous. For contrast, the Fall Family has several members who are autonomous but not created.

 

I think I would exclude any thoughtform that the host has no memory of consciously creating -- I would exclude them from my definition, but not the site. I don't think that tulpa.info should be only about tulpas.

 

But here's a question for you: can someone other than the host create a tulpa? Specifically, someone recently asked me if I could hypnotize her to have a tulpa, and I think I could. But would it really be a tulpa?


"Some things have to be believed to be seen." - Ralph Hodgson

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