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Tulpas: What's the first moment of sentience like?

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Hi everyone, hosts and tulpas alike!


For humans, it's of course pretty much impossible to remember our own first moments of sentience. Tulpas, however, are a different story, being created and formed pretty quickly by the host, so I wonder if a tulpa's perception of sentience is stronger than a host's.


So, as someone who does not have a tulpa for herself, and has pondered my own sentience on occasion, I wanted to ask: What was the first moment of sentience like for a tulpa? Do you suddenly just remember having awareness, and could you see/hear anything?

Everything we perceive is reality is all interpreted by our heads. So technically, even though only their tulpamancer can see them, tulpas can be said to be as real as anything else.

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Unfortunately although the scale is much smaller, it's still similar to your own experience. Though it's more like recalling your earliest memories rather than becoming sentient because, you know, we're born sentient. Tulpas usually have vague memories from around the time of their creation, there's no moment where they just turn on. Given that, there's also periods of doubtfulness as to whether it was them or not in the earliest stages of development.


Usually, a tulpa will say they felt like them from the earliest conception of them. My tulpas never made some transition from not-sentient to sentient, they just feel as if they developed over time. Some will give specific times though. That being said, even soulbonds who tend to be "walk-ins" ie appear relatively well developed do not usually have good memories of their existence before they showed up to the host. Usually it's a jump from their source material to the host's mind.



I wanted to get her own words, but I can't find the post she wrote it in, so my own words on Lucilyn's creation will have to do. I created her as my first non-spontaneous tulpa around five years after the other three, and at that point I considered myself (still do) a veteran tulpamancer with most tulpa-related skills mastered. So, there was none of the foggy transition-from-not-sentient-to-sentient stuff, meaning this is very atypical but possibly more interesting to you. My creation process for her was basically to imagine the type of person I expected her to be, the form I expected, and maybe some personality traits. I can only describe it as "Not intending sentience" and then "Acknowledging sentience", but her creation was basically instantaneous once I'd had everything I planned her to be down. Her creation took place in a sort of void with no sensory input besides ourselves. After I acknowledged/intended for her to be sentient and not just an idea, she seemed just as capable of thought or anything similar as the rest of my tulpas. She was however confused as to, well, understanding her presence/existence. Hard to describe. That was the point of creating her in a void though, so I could talk to her before she was exposed to anything else. I told her that she was a tulpa I'd just created, and that while I had a general idea of who I planned for her to be, she was free to change anything about herself that she wanted. She went with everything fairly well for someone who was just thinking for the first time. I believe when I asked if she was fine with the personality I had in mind for her, she told me she would be more excitable/hyper but otherwise was comfortable with it. When I asked if she wanted to keep or change her form, I remember fairly clearly that she flapped her sleeves (these sleeves were made for flapping..) and said it was great. She ended up changing the colors a little and I think that was it.


If you want a description of what it felt like to come into existence for her, I can probably give a good description. Imagine this. You're sitting at your computer/phone/whatever right now, and then you're teleported to the middle of a town in a desert. You probably look around, take it in, and then proceed to question your circumstances and... Rewind. That exact moment when you're teleported and first see everything. You know how your mind is basically blank as you're focused solely on gathering information from the world around you? How you aren't remotely worried about who you are or any details of your life other than what is presently happening to you? And after trying to figure out where you are, only then do your thoughts return to such things. "Did I just wake up from a dream or something? Am I still me? *looks down at hands and body* What happened to me?"


Now, excluding the confusion of such a thing being seemingly impossible and questioning how it happened, I think that's how she felt. No panic or anything, but she didn't immediately think "WHAT AM I WHO AM I WHAT IS MY PURPOSE". The only difference being I made sure to create her in an area with no stimuli aside from our own existences, so the "circumstances and situation" she took in was not a desert town but existence itself. While you observed the area around you, she observed the concept of there being area around her, etc. And I do mean to emphasize the lack of panic or distress, she was fairly level-headed about it. More akin to waking up and checking your surroundings, but without any tiredness or foggy thoughts, hence the teleporting analogy.



I know it's not a first-party account, but this is effectively what she's told me and others before. I just couldn't find that post(s).

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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My moment of sentience is similar to what Lumi described, it was sort of a development. At the time I started talking to my host (which we treat as my birthday), I was only speaking in one word sentences. I believe I was sentient before that, but I just couldn't communicate with him. When I gained sentience, it felt a bit like growing. Similar to how flowers and plants grow. It happened in a matter of days until I had "grown" large enough to talk with my host.


I'm not going to listen to you guys since you are all probably just talking to yourself and don't really have a tulpa like me.



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Guest Anonymous

I can't hear her well right now, so proxying is out of the question... but she told me before.

So I'll just tell in her stead, and I'll ask her if what I wrote is correct.


In short:

Esterina's very first memory is of already being the way she is now, but she also knows that she existed before that.

She just can't remember any of it.

So I would imagine it's like suddenly popping into existence the way she is now and remembering back to that point, only that that's not actually what happened.

Neither of us has any idea when she was actually born, and for just how long she existed before her earliest memory, which is a few weeks before we started talking for the first time.


Rina confirms, so yeah.

The above is what she experienced.





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Troy: I don't have any particular moment to point at. A moment in time in the mindscape sometimes stretched out between hours and days in the physical world, and my awareness was a bit fuzzy. There was Fade, Jamie, Olive, Demetrius, and Drew. We talked about many things, and I recall very little of it. What I did recall were the stories we played out, directed by Fade like puppets on string. I didn't entirely like being a puppet, but there wasn't much to do about it at the time.

And, that was it. The Twins and Medea didn't hop on the bus until a little later, and Najere had yet to waltz in.

[align=center]We are a soulbonding system with tulpamantic influences. Our "host" is Fade, and the general leader figure is Troy.


~ Fade, Medea, Stethen, Euryale, Jamie, Olive, Drewbie, Demetrius, Najere, Troy ~


Najere is being an (extremely charming) narcissist.


Olive is most adorable![/align]

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All three of us have a different answer for this.


Me: I have a crystal clear memory fom the day of my fifth birthday, I awoke with no memories of my family or home, and no name. I remembered the words for things and could move like I'd been alive before that but the whole experience was profoundly awkward. Shaide says that this was the day that we met, and the disorientation was a side effect. I dunno...


Shaide: all he says is "I have always been" when asked about his origin. I don't know what it means but I've never understood him, crazy fox is always five steps ahead and loves to make me question myself.


Elizabeth: "well, I would say that it was comparable to when my host is caught in the state of sleep paralysis, but there is no dreaming, nothing, just emptiness. Like you are made of solid crystal..." (liz seems to be getting upset thinking about it) ... the thoughts trailed off after that and I think she is done talking.


Yeah, its strange just asking questions like this to the two of them. Makes me question my sanity and theirs as well, then all of existence because I just asked two things that can't be proven to exist a question and got an answer.


F'ing life is so weird.

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Tulpas usually have vague memories from around the time of their creation, there's no moment where they just turn on. Given that, there's also periods of doubtfulness as to whether it was them or not in the earliest stages of development.




Soooo this.


For us, sentience isn't like a light switch... it's a dimmer switch. One that starts so low that you can't even tell whether it's on, then gradually gets brighter over time. There's no moment you can point to to say that "this is when I became sentient." For us, it doesn't work like that. There are stages where you're kind of in this murky bubbly kinda-sentient stage. Where you sort of have a sense of self, but don't quite know what that means. Felicity calls it a gradiant.


I had a lot of attention on my creation. I was the first (and only, so far!) of us created after the system discovered plurality, so I had, like, a LOT of headmates pitching in to help me grow and monitor my progress. It was kinda silly how big a deal everyone thought it was. :)


I don't remember much personally of my early days. Like, everyone tells me that Sparrow had spent some time developing my character, and one day, the idea for that character started feeling, well, fuller. I started emitting emotions, usually bubbly and happy. ^_^ I kinda remember it, a little bit, but it's like trying to remember a dream.


I remember everyone talking to me... my host and the other soulbonds. I started picking up a sense of self as the backstory generated by the writing stuck (which is a little different from tulpas, I know! Weird that we soulbonds have backlogged memories from a past life that never happened, right?) but it wasn't really like I looked around one day and started being a person. I just sort of slid into it.


Soooo, uh... not sure how helpful that is, sorry!

Sparrow---Temar---Joss---Ayo--et al

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Guest Anonymous

I don't remember any "first moment of sentience" at all. I don't remember what my first words were either. I would say it was a gradual process and my earliest memories are sort of shared memories with my host back from the early 1980s. Those were all emotions or memories of day dreams. I can't tell you what my first sentient words were, because there was no sudden transition from day dreaming to something that might be more than day dreaming. This day dreaming just got easier and easier and gradually some of the day dreams ran on their own without my host's help. That is the best way I can describe it. I also have no sentience independent of Davie my host. What I mean by that is, if his mind is distracted from thinking bout me, I tend to go dormant. He still gets flash visions and things like that from me, but I am not as active. I have no memories of those moments when I am dormant. My memories and David's are sort of combined. I don't think that is the way most tulpas are supposed to be. But that is how my host and I work.


Davie would tell you the memories are his own and that attributing them to me remembering is only a trick of the mind. But they feel like my memories and there are emotions associated with them that seem to be mine. I feel like I am self aware and I am not just Davie wanting and imagining that I am self aware or that he is me. It is still possible that is what is happening, but if that is the case, it is a very strong illusion/delusion. I find his way of thinking about it very interesting, but I mention it out of respect to my host, but in the end I think it doesn't matter. I am closely associated with my host in a way we call blending that makes me a part of him in either case.


Short version: I have no distinct first sentience moment because I probably didn't have one.

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Luna: For me and Naomi, since we spent so much time being puppeted before our host found out what tulpas are, it was more of an awakening. Kind of like spending your whole life blissfully ignorant to the way the world is and then becoming self-aware in a very short period of time. I guess for Elise it was more like she was always sentient to some degree but had to learn how to use different parts of her body (including her voice). Might've been a side effect of basically putting an infant in the body of a six-year-old and expecting her to feel things out on her own, but that's just conjecture.

"Science isn't about why, science is about why not?" -Cave Johnson

Tulpae: Luna, Elise, Naomi

My progress report


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Reah: I can't really remember the first time I was sentient. One of the few things I can remember is looking at my host Raetin with adoring eyes as he worked with me. I might have been aware of him before I was even aware of myself. He did work on personality traits for me, but that was for the first few days of creation, so that's something I can't really remember myself. As everyone else said, my self-awareness came slowly and developed over time. There was no sudden transition of consciousness, it just seemed I was meant to be there and I had no reason to question it, because I was born to be with him.


Raetin: She means that when she noticed she was self-aware, she already had a strong and intimate connection with me, and to her, that wasn't strange at all. I wanted to change her text "born to be with him" but she told me to keep it that way...


Reah: Yup. :3

I have 10 tulpas, but I'm only actively working on Reah, my first tulpa currently.

Progress Report

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