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On switching, and defining terms in this community.


Yuki
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Today, there was some talk about switching in the IRC, and a grand old argument was reawakened: How do we define switching, and how do we make our terms clear to our users? In the channel, there were two camps. One that wanted a simple definition, that they call the consensus in the community right now. They seemed to agree that the definition of switching is...

 

Switching is when a host switches places with a tulpa.

 

The other camp (just me), suggested a different definition. Something like:

 

Switching is when a host can dissociate to such a degree that he can ignore the body's senses' date=' and can imagine himself vividly in a wonderland.[/quote']

 

This is the definition that wise master Sands uses in his writing on the topic, as well as what the wise master and anti-fun advocate Joshua, who is writing a guide on switching now, thinks is right. In this post I'd like to go over some thoughts about the two definitions and I'll compare them.

 

In my eyes, the first definition is simply too vague. It is defined with the word itself, and leaves things very open to interpretation. As someone said in the discussion, it has happened that newbies thought switching was becoming the tulpa. As is, without further explanation, I feel like that definition is very open to (mis)interpretation. I don't feel like defining a term like this is very convenient, seeing as you'll have people drawing their own conclusions, and people will discuss things while being on different wavelengths (as they have been, sometimes).

 

One advantage to my definition is that there are clear milestones to be reached to be able to call what you do switching. It defines the skill by the things you need to be able to do to practice the skill. I compared it using a bike metaphor. "Riding a bike is riding a bike", compared to "riding a bike is being able to move on a bike while using the pedals, without using training wheels or touching the ground with your feet."

 

This metaphor shows the advantages as well as the disadvantages of using my way of defining switching. On the upside, it would clear up any misunderstanding where people would think they are riding a bike when they're using their feet on the ground to move forward. A downside would be that one could consider riding a bike with training wheels to be perfectly fine bike riding. Or moving with their feet. It takes consensus to work with a definition like that, and it takes that to work with my kind of definition for switching.

 

The first definition leaves switching up to interpretation. It was defended by people in the discussion as being a subjective thing, like everything in this community is, according to them. A critique of my definition from someone was that they can switch, but aren't interested at all in going to a wonderland. They said that that part of the definition was useless, and irrelevant to them. I feel like while my definition of switching, one that the older members in the community tend to use, makes it a very "endgame-y" thing, and not even something everyone wants to do, it's a useful way to showcase what is possible when someone is able to strongly dissociate, and it gives a nice example of the far side of the spectrum between possession (with the host around in the body) to switching (with the host able to come and go as he wishes).

 

Maybe that's what we should be including in our definitions. That it's a spectrum. In its simplest form we'll have basic possession, and in a strong form we'll have my definition. Maybe I'm just overthinking it.

Feel free to ask me anything.

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

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I think that including a spectrum wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea. It'd help clear up some of these definitions and keep people from being confused. I'm in agreement with yours, in that the host would be able to immerse themselves into the wonderland to the point where it's like real-life, even if it's just because that proves that you're able to dissociate yourself like that.

 

Do you think that any other definitions could be cleaned up in this way, or is it just possession that you're talking about? I think that a lot of people refer to imposition as just visual, rather than all five senses, even though sound, touch, etc. was so interesting then.

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Maybe that's what we should be including in our definitions. That it's a spectrum. In its simplest form we'll have basic possession, and in a strong form we'll have my definition. Maybe I'm just overthinking it.

 

Well I like to agree with you on that, but I really don't see where the wonderland fits into it. As far as it goes for me switching would be also very possible without locking the host away into the wonderland, which would surely be the highest reachable level since the host would've no idea what the tulpa is up to.

 

I would define switching as a combination of possession (letting the tulpa control your whole body) and stepping aside mentally. This would start with "I don't interfere with my tulpa and shutup" and ends somewhere else like letting the tulpa totally dominate the brain while you're just watching doing nothing at all. In the "endgame" the host could drift off into wonderland.

Tulpa: Alice

Form: Realistic Humanoid/Demonic Creation

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

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[Tri] we are with "Wise Tulpamancer 2" on this one, but with a slight modification. We agree being a bit more descriptive in the definition would prevent confusion with full-body possession (Sands has a number of good to read rants on this subject). We would say that

 

Switching is when control of the body is exchanged and the person giving up control completely disconnects from the body's senses. The person switching out could go inside to a wonderland/innerworld or blackout/lose-time.

 

Essentially, the emphasis is on "exchange of control" and "complete disconnect from body's senses" without dictating where the person giving up control is going.

 

It is important to define switching in a symmetric fashion - a tulpa could switch out and the host switch in, a tulpa could switch out and another switch in.

 

It should be noted that other plural communities use a broader definition of switching - exchanging control of the body by some means. This definition would include full-body possession. We prefer to use the narrower definition of switching and use the term "swapping" as the generic term for all forms of control exchange, whether they be switching, full-body possession, or full-body eclipsing.

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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Hi, I have a hard time dealing with the cluttered terminology of all the communities as it is, and switching is no different. I personally agree, as Yuki mentioned about me, that switching is a dissociative act. I have only approached possession and switching through the route of dissociation, and this is because I was dissociating regularly long before I ever knew of tulpas. For this reason, it was the most natural path for me. I feel uneasy when hearing about switching being something equivalent to full body possession, and the term fronting makes even less sense to me. However, I do agree that a spectrum solves most of the issues regarding terminology in this case. I would almost claim that dissociation would be a trait that defined the center of the spectrum, but that may be unhelpful to some.

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Guest Anonymous

Don't ask me, I have never understood switching. LOL I leave to others to sort it out. I still haven't figured out what a tulpa is exactly.

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I would almost claim that dissociation would be a trait that defined the center of the spectrum, but that may be unhelpful to some.

 

Well I don't know about that, this would probably need to to clarify "dissociation" before aswell. Also I think it isn't really the only path to take, so i wouldn't center it around dissociation.

 

About fronting: Well this would probably root around my approach on switching. Sitting in the backseat while the tulpa is the main pilot of the mind and body.

 

About possession: Alice is always allowed to mess around with my left hand, but I'm still able to control and feel everything with it aswell. So for us it is more like using one pc with two mice instead of one. I never went deeper into a more dissociative way of dealing with possession.

Tulpa: Alice

Form: Realistic Humanoid/Demonic Creation

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

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Well I don't know about that, this would probably need to to clarify "dissociation" before aswell. Also I think it isn't really the only path to take, so i wouldn't center it around dissociation.

 

About fronting: Well this would probably root around my approach on switching. Sitting in the backseat while the tulpa is the main pilot of the mind and body.

 

Dissociation: separation of normally related mental processes, resulting in one group functioning independently from the rest.

 

This is where I'd start to clarify it. On the spectrum, dissociation would be in the area that the host's consciousness begins to separate from being able to register the autonomous stimulus (they stop hearing things, aren't aware of their tongue in their mouth, don't register the inside of their eyelids, can't feel the passive itches and pressures of the body, etc.). This would be preceded by your definition of fronting. I don't like the front seat/back seat analogy in regards to switching because it doesn't feel like that for me. It's closer to front seat/back at home in my experience.

 

 

About possession: Alice is always allowed to mess around with my left hand, but I'm still able to control and feel everything with it aswell. So for us it is more like using one pc with two mice instead of one. I never went deeper into a more dissociative way of dealing with possession.

 

I don't feel the hands during possession, but that's neat that you do.

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I see. I think for a lot of people it is just a "front seat/back seat" experience. They don't detach themselve that much from their body, so they don't reach the level of "front seat/back at home" switching, which would bring us back to the whole spectrum thing again. I think both versions would still count as switching, your version is just more advanced, while the other version is surely less "scary" regarding possession.

 

(Hell if I could use it to get rid of unwanted random itching i would be more than happy. On a side note i probably did something similiar in a whole different context. I changed the quality of a dream from "I see a movie" to "I am in the matrix" level, which resulted for me in having totally no connection to my physical body anymore).

Tulpa: Alice

Form: Realistic Humanoid/Demonic Creation

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

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I see. I think for a lot of people it is just a "front seat/back seat" experience. They don't detach themselve that much from their body, so they don't reach the level of "front seat/back at home" switching, which would bring us back to the whole spectrum thing again. I think both versions would still count as switching, your version is just more advanced, while the other version is surely less "scary" regarding possession.

 

My switching isn't scary. : (

 

Though you're probably correct. I'll work on lowering my bias towards that sort of thing.

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