Linkzelda

Treating Tulpas as Sentient - A Conviction-Based Ideology with Limits?

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The mentality of “treating a tulpa as sentient” seems to be something generally accepted in the community; a potential step-up from a previous ideology of assuming sentience from the start. In my opinion, it’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy in some way in that it seems to be conviction-based, and because of this, people will cultivate their own meaning-finding that almost seems similar to existentialism—which is basically the thesis that one can create their own sense of meaning through action.

 

And through the conviction-based ideology of treating a tulpa as sentient, the individual that wants to create and interact with their tulpa will ultimately have to rely on experiential cases of what they could consider validating sentience in some way. Whether it’s through the people they meet, or the things they do day to day, it becomes highly subjective, and the philosophy seems to be a useful heuristic in chalking up what we’re all striving for. However, as much as it seems to be a viewpoint that can generalize other potential conviction-based ideologies, it doesn’t seem to ease the apprehension, or the skepticism completely in whether or not the tulpa in question is truly sentient; at least in context of being true within the host’s internal, private experience.

 

And because we can’t step into another person’s private experience, and validate if they have a sentient entity, or not, the philosophy kind of falls apart when adapted to those circumstances that we can’t even conceive of being possible. However, it seems to be a form of consolation of telling us that tulpas are conceivable indeed, but that conceivability does not necessarily mean that they can be metaphysically validated. And to chalk up what I mean by that—basically anything that has to do with theories of mind, and how the concept of tulpas may coincide with certain theories of mind.

 

And because of this gap that’s just begging for scientific inquiry, philosophical discussions and theorizing, and what have you, there seems to be this frequent referring of that same meaning-finding being delusional, lying to oneself, and cultivating a reality in which one feels their tulpa as sentient while knowing they’re limited in validating this to others. And although one can just be content with the conceivability part, some may want their tulpas to reach to others, but are faced a challenge in how to assess themselves in having them being acknowledged for who they could be.

 

And it seems one of the few things a person can rely on is that through this conviction-based ideology, they can give meaning towards the goal, and find things that match the context of appeasing their questioning of what it means to be sentient, and such, but that cringe factor of “what if it’s just a lie” can still linger. A simple analogy for this is that we don’t really need to treat others as sentient outside of our experience because we already assume they have competencies as sentient beings. In fact, it doesn’t really matter what we think of them, and what we think goes on inside of their heads because their sentience isn’t really dependent on us creating a conviction-based ideology to validate this. And because that validation isn’t dripping with contingency on our end, it seems difficult to assume the case with tulpas. Because again, it leads to an assumption of sentience being cultivated from the start, or something that’s emergent.

 

To say the least, the philosophy seems to comfort in what-ifs on what it means to be sentient while allowing one to neglect those soft and hard problems with consciousness entirely. So, I have some questions:

 

- Do you feel treating a tulpa as sentient has its limits? For example, do you think it can be applied with the concept of switching, possession, imposition, etc.? What is the Achilles heel, to you, if there’s any?

 

- Do you feel the philosophy ultimately leads to one referring if they’re deluding themselves, creating a reality that can’t be validated to others, but only within their internal, private experience?

 

- Do you feel that even though they can be conceivable, can there be any hope of any metaphysical connections (e.g. theories of mind) that could support the concept of tulpas?

 

- Do you feel that over time, this conviction-based ideology eventually turns from treating to believing they really are sentient? Are we back to square one in assuming sentience, but with more of a fallback to rely on (e.g. the experiences where tulpas are putting things into context)?

 

- Do you think delusions can be put into a more positive context, or is it solely dependent on negative contexts?

 

- Do you think the conviction-based philosophy is a way for a tulpa to cope with the probability that they would exist in this mental, veiled prison (metaphorically speaking, of course with no negative context of booing a person in making a tulpa), and having to struggle, and using those experiences of struggle to find meaning in validation of their sentience?

 

- Is the philosophy really just a shift in semantics with assumptions that means the same thing (e.g. with the assuming sentience), or is it a real step-up in how we assess ourselves?

 

- Is there something else that can take its place after a person has an experiential fallback and assurance of their tulpa being sentient?

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Well, if you dare to ask me about my beliefs on tulpa sentience, I would say they're more logical and secure than what the average tulpamancer believes. For starters, I don't believe in this idea that we create a physically separate mind that then functions on its own and has no connections to you/your own at all. And I have never told people that was the case, because I don't find it a very secure ideology for something so potentially important. I say "assume sentience" not because their tulpa is likely sentient and they don't know it, but because believing in their tulpa's sentience will create it, "in the host's internal, private experience" as you so well put it, because "subjective experience" has lost some of its meaning by this point. This need for your tulpa to be as separate/independent from you as possible as a means of validation isn't healthy in my opinion. I don't consider just convincing yourself that they really are separately sentient a success. But it never mattered if they were separately sentient in the first place if you weren't afraid of them not being so. It's what you experience that matters.

 

So, my own beliefs on the nature of my tulpas' existences are pretty weird, I suppose. They sure took a lot of work to iron out though, and I consider myself more secure in them than basically anyone else without similar beliefs - not effectively, because such things will never be tested, but theoretically. There's nothing I could be told or explained by a theoretical being of much higher intelligence that would convince me my tulpas weren't real. But that's because I've accepted them as part of me, part of my mind, and as legitimate for the experience they create, not for the actual nature of their existence. Because it really wasn't safe for these beings I love more than life itself to rely on this idea of "sentience or bust". Their legitimacy is based on the experience they create, which means whether they're delusions, sentient, or metaphysical in nature doesn't change anything. And I'll still work on explaining their real natures as best I can for knowing's sake, but it will never really matter to me or them past that.

 

So on the typical belief of tulpa sentience. Those are my beliefs, which I consider a better system, if that's what you were asking for. The prevailing beliefs (and I want to emphasize that they're beliefs, because they still rely on assumptions or ignorances of truth) assuming tulpas are sentient don't have any real problems, except for the possibility of doubt. If you can not doubt your tulpas' sentience, you and they are fine. But doubt has been the biggest problem people face in tulpamancy (seconded by lack of motivation to spend time with them..) since it was conceived. And why shouldn't it be, most humans aren't comfortable believing in something so consistently without some kind of proof (besides, you know, anyone in most religions, because what they're supposed to believe was forced onto them early on. Notice how once they've accepted something as true that doubt no longer bothers them, however, and their beliefs are effectively their reality). People just want to believe their tulpas are sentient, because that seems like the only way to validate their experiences. Different people have different amounts of success with convincing themselves, or finding enough seeming proof, some with too little to maintain a tulpa in the end. But no, I don't consider that a good ideology, and I do think there's a better alternative.

 

It's called stop worrying about your tulpas being sentient and just work on creating the experiences you intend to experience. It's called "No One But You Cares So Stop Caring". If you experience a dang person talking to you in your head, that's what you're experiencing. There's nothing to prove or disprove. This isn't the physical, shared world and reality that requires proof that you're used to, it's your own mind. You will never prove your tulpa's sentient, at best you'll convince yourself they are. Whoopty doo, you wasted a whole lot of time and effort trying to convince yourself to accept the experience of this person in your head talking to you as legitimate. Now everything they say is somehow more important and real than it was before, now you're not talking to yourself, someone else in your mind is. Like, really?

 

The improved ideology here is the realization that proof of sentience is impossible and irrelevant to your own subjective experience even if it were. The belief that you're actually just talking to yourself is no different from the belief that another person is talking to you, it's just using the power of belief to influence your subjective reality (against the goal objective, in this case). All someone needs to know with this ideology, as opposed to "Your tulpa will become sentient, trust me", is "Their actions and responses will become autonomous and seemingly independent of your influence, trust me". No promise of sentience, which isn't something we can promise anyways. Just a promise that if they actually try to make a tulpa, under normal circumstances they'll end up with a being in their head that is apparently sentient. No room for doubt on if they're sentient or not, only progress on whether or not they've become or are becoming more autonomous.

 

Of course people are going to naturally want proof that they aren't talking to themselves, but we convince people of tons of stuff related to creating a tulpa they didn't previously believe (or know to believe/not believe), so if we could stop reinforcing the idea that that's even a productive thing to worry about, I think it would lessen over time. But instead we dance around this idea of sentience and constantly tell people "We don't know and can't know, but we assume so". Yet we apply so much importance to that assumed sentience, it's impossible not to cause problems eventually. So I would propose that we stop putting so much emphasis on necessary sentience/independent thought that we can never prove, and put more emphasis (for the skeptics) on the fact that what you experience is your reality, because there is no one else with which to verify it. In real life if you believe something that isn't true, it may end up not coinciding with others' beliefs, and they can prove why you're wrong. But no one can ever prove something you experienced in your mind wrong, because they aren't experiencing it. Wallah, sentience meaningless and not a factor of tulpamancy at all. No more issues with doubt and no more tulpa reliance on their host's belief to exist, and we can start focusing on the more important aspects of having a tulpa, such as their activity/autonomy, strength of conveying their actions/words, and so on.

 

 

I dunno that's all I got. It's 4AM and I feel like I'm writing the same stuff over and over. I can't tell you or everyone how to stop relying on the idea of sentience for validation, or explain how the lack of that makes a tulpa easier to believe in. It's just fact, just how experience in and of your own mind works. I can't prove to you that my tulpas are undeniably "real" to me because of this ideology, but then no one can prove their tulpas are sentient either. I would just say you've got nothing to lose honestly. But the general idea we've got set up in this community isn't conducive to it at all, considering it's based on having "Another sentient person in your head" rather than "Experiencing another person in your head".

 

Best way to change the world's to change yourself first, though.


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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Linkzelda, I think you can save a step in your reasoning process and first try to prove you yourself are sentient. Whether you use a neuro-scientific or a more ontological approach, no one has proven consciousness itself exists. Indeed, the standard medical model is completely reductionist in its position that we are are simply chemical-electrical reactions and that when the process stops, that's it, game over. That perspective, by definition, doesn't specifically deny sentience, but it does reduce consciousness to a mere hallucination. (If you really want a challenging read, i recommend "Dark Pool of Light: volume one the neuroscience, evolution, and ontology of consciousness, by Richard Grossinger. (Volume two and three reference tulpas, if you wish to delve further.))

 

I, personally, hold a belief that we are more than our brain/body, and that consciousness is not limited to that. I can't prove that. No one has ever been able to satisfactorily prove their ideas of spirituality to the point it has ended all religious debate: because no one has yet offered a paradigm that works consistently for every human. But this also is true of science; it ca't prove consciousness exist, nor can they explain it, or reproduce it. (And if the scientific view, the materialist point of view, is correct, that you are only your chemical/electrical reactions, there is really no need to worry about sentience, yours or your tulpa, because when the light goes out, it's out. Game over. (And that kind of philosophy feeds into a run away consumerism, which is really bad for people and life in general on this planet, because if everyone holds this idea that they need to get as much as they can while they can, well, that's a disaster.) There is sufficient evidence to know that personalities are not set. They have very strong biologically oriented predisposition, such as genetic preference, but environment and nurturing, and self determination are powerful factors. I bring this up to point out that, even the person you think you are is a fiction, and that fiction is grounded and even dependent on your contextual history, and to a greater degree, your personal bias and perspective on how you experienced it. If you were raised in Ethiopia scrapping siblings for the last bite of food that will sustain you one more day, while the other perished, I dare say you would not be so worried about the sentience of tulpae.

 

We are not the culmination of our personal histories, but we wear them as if these are us. And if you assume for a moment, their is an ontological perspective that allows not only for consciousness to exist, but even to exist outside of human life, then you exist, and you continue to exist outside of this life you call life. You are not your body. Within seven years, almost every atom in your body has been replaced, so you are not the same being physically as you were when you were six, and assuming you developed naturally, which based on your writing, I'd say you are also not cognitively the six year old that you once were. (But, interestingly, psychology allows for that six year old to presently exist, simultaneously with your present idea of self. (Umm, is the six year old sentient?))

 

Most of us, human beings, assume that other humans are sentient; we assume we are sentient. We think, there fore we are. That's really the only personal test for our existence, though it isn't a consensual test that we can apply to others. We accept on face value that their "I" perspective and stories is and feels qualitatively like our own.

 

Do tuplas have sentience? I can't prove your sentient, how do you expect me or anyone to prove tulpa existence? I do believe that the human consciousness has greater potential than we presently understand and or even use. Whether the tulpa is a separate entity, residing in the same prison that I reside in BTW, (oh, and thank you for that analogy, (if you really hold the belief your body is a prison and you just created a fellow inmate, I can only imagine the existential tangents of that are not good roads to go down)) or it is another aspect of self which allow tulpamancers in general to access more of their cognitive potential than the average population, the definition of sentience is really a mute point. I don't have to know my dog or cat is sentient to treat it kindly, or name it, or to even on the occasional moment, when a dog or cat does something unexpected like, save a human's life (both are known to have done so) to believe, oh, wait, there is more going on here than what "Sicence" or "mainstream" beliefs can account for.

 

And that's what it boils down to, beliefs. Belief is a game changer. If you believe the placebo they gave you cures your disease, you're are just as likely to get better as you might if they gave you real meds. (Hence the need for double blind studies. You really think pharmaceutical would waste research dollars if placebos weren't a factor?) If you believe you're a victim (like an inmate in your own body prison) you are likely to have negative outcomes, whereas if you believe you're a survivor, well, you will tend to have more positive outcomes. "Victim" and "Survivor" both originate in the same circumstance, but one take you down, and the other keeps you afloat, or takes you up, gives you hope that there is something better.

 

I don't have to know if tulpas, tulpae? are sentient. That won't change how I treat them. Even if they are complete fiction/fantasies that I have obsessed over sufficiently to manifest them in minute ways into my qualitative existential experience, they become a part of my life. It doesn't matter if it's a psychological artifact, because if you use that model... then I, you, and everyone around us, are are also simply artifacts of mechanistic system (Body, brain, atoms, chemical reactions, histories, and belief about those histories. (If you still doubt the power belief, read victor maslows "man's search for meaning")) I choose to believe we are more than this. My personal evidence for their being more is irrelevant, as those are only my personal anecdotes, and if you do enough research, there is sufficient anecdotes that support the idea we are much more. And as much for the opposite view. The questions then becomes, "which road do you chose to be on?" and "Why would you care what road anyone else is on?" We're not here to convince you of a thing, as much as to share our experiences.

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Reason and objective thought will always suggest that tulpamancers are master puppeteers, so skilled that they have fooled even themselves. There is simply no way to avoid this coming from the perspective of a skeptic. So that's why I would say that conviction in having a sentient tulpa is a matter of faith. The act of assuming sentience is not a logical proposition; it is the host believing that they can make a part of their head perceive the world differently. And that can never be objectively proven.

 

As such, the same limits apply to assuming sentience which apply to any other faith based things. Your above questions could easily be reworded to concern conviction towards a particular religion. Likewise, there can never be a scientific inquiry or reasonable argument to state assuming sentience is positive or negative, or even if it's unfounded delusion.

 

I can only say that there are two tulpas in my head. There's no proof I can submit for this, nor is there any argument I would accept that says I'm wrong. And that's all a tulpamancer can really say in terms of an ideology.


Currently share myself with four other entities.

Noriko was created on December 15, 2014.  Sabari was created by Noriko on January 22, 2015.

Anzu was reborn on May 23, 2016.  Xiri returned on June 16, 2018.  Both had been inactive since 2012.

Progress Report | Ask a Question Thread

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- Do you feel treating a tulpa as sentient has its limits? For example, do you think it can be applied with the concept of switching, possession, imposition, etc.? What is the Achilles heel, to you, if there’s any?

No. The only limitation is our own preconceptions and conditioning to thinking of tulpa as an imaginary/constructed entity. I don't think sentience and being treated as sentient could be applied to interactive concepts (switching, imposition, ect) any more than persinality or other traits. Meaning to say that it can be applied as it's part of the tulpa phenomena but either have little to no bearing on each other.

 

- Do you feel the philosophy ultimately leads to one referring if they’re deluding themselves, creating a reality that can’t be validated to others, but only within their internal, private experience?

Yes, but such is the nature of philosophy to question what can't be answered. It doesn't mean it's a useful endeavor.

 

- Do you feel that even though they can be conceivable, can there be any hope of any metaphysical connections (e.g. theories of mind) that could support the concept of tulpas?

Yes. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Hope is a matter of personal belief and opinion, but as long as there is no proof either way, it's reasonable to believe in the metaphysical side of things.

 

- Do you feel that over time, this conviction-based ideology eventually turns from treating to believing they really are sentient? Are we back to square one in assuming sentience, but with more of a fallback to rely on (e.g. the experiences where tulpas are putting things into context)?

If you don't want to believe a tulpa is sentient why even treat them so in the first place? And if you choose to believe in sentience why does this even matter? Because there's no way to even quantify, let alone prove, sentience it comes down entirely to personal belief. Either you believe tulpa are sentient, so that's how you treat them, or you don't.

 

- Do you think delusions can be put into a more positive context, or is it solely dependent on negative contexts?

The word is steeped in negative context and even by definition is a negative thing. Vehement belief contrary to hard evidence. What needs to be done is bring the term back to it's meaning, and cut out the juvenile misconception that anything not "normal" is a delusion.

Saying you can jump off a building and fly is a delusion, we can prove that is false without any doubt. Saying I have another person I share my mind with, cannot be disproved, and in fact has some evidence emerging to support the idea. So it's certainly not a delusion.

 

- Do you think the conviction-based philosophy is a way for a tulpa to cope with the probability that they would exist in this mental, veiled prison (metaphorically speaking, of course with no negative context of booing a person in making a tulpa), and having to struggle, and using those experiences of struggle to find meaning in validation of their sentience?

No more than believing you or I are sentient is a way of coping with this flesh prison, and trying to cope with our experiences and meaning to life.

 

- Is the philosophy really just a shift in semantics with assumptions that means the same thing (e.g. with the assuming sentience), or is it a real step-up in how we assess ourselves?

I think it's a step back. Keep it Simple, Stupid*. A moderate amount of discernment is good, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I'm not going to philosophize over whether or not it is a duck.

 

- Is there something else that can take its place after a person has an experiential fallback and assurance of their tulpa being sentient?

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. If you have confirmation of sentience, why would you move on to hem and haw over something else? Why would you go looking for more details to puzzle over?

 


 

* Keep it Simple, Stupid. - Also known as the KISS principle is a phrase similar to Occam's Razor. It means that things often work best when they are kept simple/not over-complicated.

 

Updated to add a note about what the KISS Principle is, since it seems less well known than I thought.


"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

-Arthur Conan Doyle

 

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Firstly, I wanted to make sure to everyone that I’m not going through a conflict in this. This discussion, and the questions were set up for the sake of ironing out how others would assess the situation; it’s really for the sake of knowing, and being in the spirit of wanting to know more. There’s no need to call me stupid, or regress to strawman and ad hominems now, okay? This is why I’m going to set up a disclaimer that this is merely a devil’s advocate type of thread where the person making the OP isn’t necessarily agreeing with the logic, and is only doing it to see if there can be an extension to the generalizations we see in threads before.

 

It’s like an interviewer being blamed for asking the questions when they didn’t even set up the questions. They’re just a messenger asking them to see how the person would handle them, even if the questions were mediocre at best. If philosophizing is very taxing for any of you, then that’s okay, but just know that acknowledging this is just a statement, not a means for discussion. No one is trying to make your tulpa question their existence, and pull the cord, for goodness sake.

 

Lumi:

 

[hidden]

This need for your tulpa to be as separate/independent from you as possible as a means of validation isn't healthy in my opinion. I don't consider just convincing yourself that they really are separately sentient a success. But it never mattered if they were separately sentient in the first place if you weren't afraid of them not being so. It's what you experience that matters.

 

I would agree that wanting them to be physically separate from you, and yet still be a part of you doesn’t seem healthy at all. Which kind of strips away certain ideologies that promote that possibility out of the window. Which is good because it saves me having to deal with making threads with those theories of mind. It seems ones that cater to some kind of dualism, and/or acceptance of immaterial things and experiences would be more fruitful.

 

Because it really wasn't safe for these beings I love more than life itself to rely on this idea of "sentience or bust". Their legitimacy is based on the experience they create, which means whether they're delusions, sentient, or metaphysical in nature doesn't change anything. And I'll still work on explaining their real natures as best I can for knowing's sake, but it will never really matter to me or them past that.

 

Right, because the legitimacy being chalked up in a black and white logic of sentience or bust doesn’t really make sense. It’s really through the actions, experiences, and the context built within those experiences that allows you to further your relationship with that. And any discussions for philosophy is just for the sake of knowing, but it doesn’t have your tulpas foaming in their mouth wanting to roast another person for questioning their existence. Your reasoning isn’t really that weird, honestly. I share the same sentiment, but whether or not we’re both weird, I guess that doesn’t really matter since that’s a societal cultivation of belief in us being so.

 

But no one can ever prove something you experienced in your mind wrong, because they aren't experiencing it. Wallah, sentience meaningless and not a factor of tulpamancy at all. No more issues with doubt and no more tulpa reliance on their host's belief to exist, and we can start focusing on the more important aspects of having a tulpa, such as their activity/autonomy, strength of conveying their actions/words, and so on.

 

Acknowledging this dead-end we have with others not knowing our internal experience, and coming to terms with that, and carving in the strive to continue the pursuit of cultivating sentience in spite of it being an illusion, or a probable, emergent event we can create is, IMO, better than masking, and wanting to sugar-coat ourselves into a web of lies. Thanks for your input on this, really.

 

If anything, when in doubt, spam those processes that presumably helps cultivate sentience until it becomes an industrialized process. By then, the ego should STFU at some point, lol.

 

But the general idea we've got set up in this community isn't conducive to it at all, considering it's based on having "Another sentient person in your head" rather than "Experiencing another person in your head".

 

Best way to change the world's to change yourself first, though.

 

Might be the difference in having a p-zombie (something conceivable, but nothing further than that), and experiencing someone that can presumably experience things themselves as well.[/hidden]

 

Solarchariot:

 

[hidden]

Indeed, the standard medical model is completely reductionist in its position that we are are simply chemical-electrical reactions and that when the process stops, that's it, game over.

 

Yeah, I’m not here to use reductionist viewpoints since they sidestep from theories of consciousness at some point. Which makes it pretty much useless to tie in with tulpas other than having intelligible parlor games in the forum.

 

(And that kind of philosophy feeds into a run away consumerism, which is really bad for people and life in general on this planet, because if everyone holds this idea that they need to get as much as they can while they can, well, that's a disaster.)

 

Yeah, fatalism, and dead-end philosophies don’t really seem to have much bearing other than to promote emos to contemplate the meaningless of life, and to just paralyze oneself from doing anything since it’s just a useless endeavor. Which is why we just try to do what we can for the moment, and move forward from there.

 

If you were raised in Ethiopia scrapping siblings for the last bite of food that will sustain you one more day, while the other perished, I dare say you would not be so worried about the sentience of tulpae.

 

Right, because that’s just a circumstance where a person needs to satiate biological needs first because getting into intelligible, contemplative thought. But this thought experiment is a distraction, honestly, as I’m not seeing how it pertain to the treating tulpas as sentient ideology. Sure, it’s understandable that there’s more important things to worry about, but we’re talking about events where a person has the time to get into an evaluative context over what’s getting on.

 

We accept on face value that their "I" perspective and stories is and feels qualitatively like our own.

 

Right. We don’t really have to consciously fixate ourselves into assuring that they’re sentient. We just accept, no questions ask. And if there are questions, it’s just for the sake of knowing, and human curiosity.

 

I don't have to know my dog or cat is sentient to treat it kindly, or name it, or to even on the occasional moment, when a dog or cat does something unexpected like, save a human's life (both are known to have done so) to believe, oh, wait, there is more going on here than what "Sicence" or "mainstream" beliefs can account for.

 

I’m sure there’s a degree of sentience with animals, but people tend to feel that sentience can’t be extended to animals. Ironically, that’s just what human beings would want to do to make themselves special snowflakes. We don’t know the ins and outs of the animal’s internal experience, but we can still assume there’s some degree of sentience without foaming in our mouths. Note, these are cases where we’re experiencing things outside of our internal experience. And I guess inward attention with tulpas doesn’t really seem to have much difference.[/hidden]

 

Akinkinit: Thank you for your response! I have nothing to add to it since what you’re saying would probably be similar to how I respond to others who have their own beliefs.

 

Drakaina:

 

[hidden]

Maybe you were poking fun at me for a bit, but just in case, this thread was just for discussion. It doesn’t mean I’m Richard Dawkins demanding hard, empirical evidence over internal private experience, nor am I trying to be Kant trying to philosophize why you should even care to treat them as sentient. :-P

 

Meaning to say that it can be applied as it's part of the tulpa phenomena but either have little to no bearing on each other.

 

So for something like switching, where the tulpa and host are shifting awareness, and one, or the other is taking dominion over the body…do you still feel there’s no bearing in discussing the potential intensity of what that means for a person? What it means for another subject to experience what’s going on in this reality while the other subject (e.g. host, or tulpa), is experiencing something else inwardly instead?

 

Yes, but such is the nature of philosophy to question what can't be answered. It doesn't mean it's a useful endeavor.

 

Agreed. I think this is something that needs to be acknowledged. That even though there may be an eventual reference towards potential delusions, it’s merely a heuristic for broadening one’s horizon in this journey.

 

Yes. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Hope is a matter of personal belief and opinion, but as long as there is no proof either way, it's reasonable to believe in the metaphysical side of things.

Proof and evidence can mean different things. I would say there is evidence, but more of anecdotal evidence (e.g. internal convictions, testimonies, and such). I think the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is based on empirical vs. non-empirical discussions, though.

 

If you don't want to believe a tulpa is sentient why even treat them so in the first place? And if you choose to believe in sentience why does this even matter?

 

It’s about the person not wanting to believe a tulpa is sentient because they’re questioning why they should be treated as such. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive from skepticism. A person can still treat them as sentient, but may just have curiosity for the sake of knowing. Especially for individuals that may want a fallback first over what they think makes sense, so that they can iron out, and tackle on the ongoing journey of treating them as sentient. To chalk up this distinction without going too deep: those that take the jump of faith vs. and those that take some time in making a fallback of reasoning, jumping through doubt and optimism, and eventually finding their silver lining to move forward.

 

Either you believe tulpa are sentient, so that's how you treat them, or you don't.

 

This is equivalent to what Lumi mentioned with the black and white logic of “Sentience or Bust,” interesting. I think there’s truckloads of gray, and that a person doesn’t have to be confined to choosing one of the two extremes.

 

Saying you can jump off a building and fly is a delusion, we can prove that is false without any doubt. Saying I have another person I share my mind with, cannot be disproved, and in fact has some evidence emerging to support the idea. So it's certainly not a delusion.

I would say that anyone can think that falling off and flying is a little bit out there, but they can’t stop the consequences (e.g. feeling the utter pain of having their bodies crushed reaching the asphalt). The delusion is just that they neglected the potential consequences, so figuring out non-falsifying logic doesn’t seem to matter here.

 

and in fact has some evidence emerging to support the idea. So it's certainly not a delusion.

 

The evidence is emerging from the person’s experience yes, but yeah, we can’t really grab the emergence of that assurance with a butterfly net, though. But that doesn’t mean there can be a conclusion that they’re not delusional, though. It’s just the person can’t formulate a decent argument to do so; they’re both at a dead-end.

 

I think it's a step back. Keep it Simple, Stupid. A moderate amount of discernment is good, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I'm not going to philosophize over whether or not it is a duck.

 

Looks like it, walks, like it, operates like it pew pew pang pang…but is it consciously experiencing these things? Seems like an interesting discussion for p-zombies, haha. Of course, if a person is content with things operating the way they seem to resonate with someone being sentient, sentience discussions are useless, but they might be okay with the probability of p-zombies, though. Uh-oh.

 

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. If you have confirmation of sentience, why would you move on to hem and haw over something else? Why would you go looking for more details to puzzle over?

 

Again, it’s just for the sake of knowing. It’s not so much of wanting to have dread over these things, but more of exercising our minds a bit while knowing that we can still close the laptop, and move on with our lives with our tulpas, and none of us could boo the other person in doing so. If you want it to keep it simple, then I’m not really going to do anything about it. It’s one thing to reach the conviction of moving forward in spite of whatever people think about tulpas, but it’s another thing to just have curiosity to satiate one’s yearning to know for the sake of knowing. That’s all the thread is for, honestly. [/hidden]

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There’s no need to call me stupid...

 

Just making sure you weren't getting this from my post. Keep it Simple, Stupid, aka the KISS method, like a lay-person's occam's razor. >.>

 

So for something like switching, where the tulpa and host are shifting awareness, and one, or the other is taking dominion over the body…do you still feel there’s no bearing in discussing the potential intensity of what that means for a person? What it means for another subject to experience what’s going on in this reality while the other subject (e.g. host, or tulpa), is experiencing something else inwardly instead?

 

Not that there's no use discussing it, it's an interesting topic/concept, but that these kinds of phenomena have little to do with the topic of sentience. So I see no reason to involve them in this particular topic.

 

Proof and evidence can mean different things. I would say there is evidence, but more of anecdotal evidence (e.g. internal convictions, testimonies, and such). I think the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is based on empirical vs. non-empirical discussions, though.

 

Copied from a topic on tulpa.io.

 

"documentation of psychosomatic shifts, documentation of different brainwave patterns in plural systems, documentation of the underlying dissociative processes of multitaking, and even the recent proposed redefinitions of what consciousness is and how much sway it has over the brain as a whole. In fact, to deny said observations is in itself a staple of delusion, in that it is ignoring the reality of plurality that has been observed in favour of insisting that none of it has any import."

 

Anecdotal evidence is in the majority, but you can see that empirical evidence is not nonexistent.

 

This is equivalent to what Lumi mentioned with the black and white logic of “Sentience or Bust,” interesting. I think there’s truckloads of gray, and that a person doesn’t have to be confined to choosing one of the two extremes.

 

In many cases there's grey, but I've found that when it comes to belief logically grey isn't possible. On the one hand you believe something. We'll call this the black, and white is you don't. A phrase like "I want to believe" or "I don't want to believe", is our right saying you are black or white but don't want to be. This doesn't make grey, just a dissatisfied black or white. Belief with the openness to being wrong, you still believe, you've just prepared yourself not to have a total breakdown if evidence comes along to debunk your belief.

 

Looks like it, walks, like it, operates like it pew pew pang pang…but is it consciously experiencing these things? Seems like an interesting discussion for p-zombies, haha. Of course, if a person is content with things operating the way they seem to resonate with someone being sentient, sentience discussions are useless, but they might be okay with the probability of p-zombies, though. Uh-oh.

 

P-zombie is a new term for me. I'm not gonna lie my mind instant went to Resident Evil to try and figure it out. ^^;

 

Again, it’s just for the sake of knowing. It’s not so much of wanting to have dread over these things, but more of exercising our minds a bit while knowing that we can still close the laptop, and move on with our lives with our tulpas, and none of us could boo the other person in doing so. If you want it to keep it simple, then I’m not really going to do anything about it. It’s one thing to reach the conviction of moving forward in spite of whatever people think about tulpas, but it’s another thing to just have curiosity to satiate one’s yearning to know for the sake of knowing. That’s all the thread is for, honestly.

 

There's a point where pondering things for the sake of knowing becomes like continually walking into a wall to see if you can walk through it. It's admirable in things that are knowable, but I believe in instances where there is and can be no answer (due to technological or whatever other limitation) running in mental circles is a waste of time. The wall isn't going to budge and it would be more prudent to just leave it alone until you can come back with a blow torch. :P


"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

-Arthur Conan Doyle

 

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Linkzelda, though your last post suggest your thesis was posed as simply an exploratory exercise, it wasn't prefaced as such, and it still feels like your stuck in some sort of logic loop, or that you have a particular agenda, which I think is highlighted by one, miss-reading Drakaina's use of a very popular vernacular expression (KISS, keep it simple, stupid) and that, two, even if you affirmed something as correct, you dismiss it as ultimately irrelevant, as if your position in inscrutable. It feels less like you want a conversation, as much as you wish to demonstrate your command over 'big words.' I thought the point about how your personality set would be different if you were Ethiopian, though an extreme and perhaps absurd example, was less about yeah, biological drives first as if this was simply a Maslow equation, but more to the point, if personality is not necessarily an indication for sentience, then your personality is not what defines you, and hence, does not define your tulpa, either, and so there is something else, qualitatively, that imbues or reflects sentience.

 

I'll offer you another pathway, which is how I came at a resolution to the question of sentience, which wasn't initially about tulpae, but I can easily apply it, and in fact, because for me the equation is so simple, the question of tulpae sentience has not even registered as an existential problem. I've been lucid dreaming for more than ten years. In my dreams, lucid and non lucid, I have encountered characters which are not just ordinary, 2 dimensional actors or agents, but beings that seem to express very clear wills and ideas, more complex and profound than I believe I am capable of generating. They seem sentient. I'm not the only one who has encountered this. There is a whole chapter devoted to this in the book "Lucid Dreaming, gateway to the inner self" by Robert Waggoner. From a psychological perspective, going all the way back to Freud, everything in the dream is 'me.' The table is me. The chair is me. The other characters are me. Jung would go further, and say the other characters are part of a collective consciousness, and are entities, or personality sets, that are just as real as the host personality. (Bearing in mind the the host personality, the one we deal with in the waking conscious isn't the personality which is running the dream, which some refer to as the unconscious or the super-conscious, and these are real things, that are just as real as the right brain is different from the left brain, which has been demonstrated by people who had their hemisphere severed to reduce epilepsy events, and you have a phenomenon known as 'alien hand syndrome' manifest, where the right brains tells the left hand to do something contrary to what the left brain is wanting it to do. And then there are the metaphysical beliefs, coming from every culture, that believe we actually engage other entities, mostly loved ones, on a different level of reality in dreams.

 

No matter which view you take, you come across this same problem. Are they sentient, or in anyway deserving respect, which is the basis of your 'musings' or, are they just made up artifacts that you can do anything you want to? (Remember, I already suggested by route of the Ethiopian example, that you are indeed an artificial construct, personality wise, which makes you no different than the personality sets assigned to the characters in a dream.) My solution: I have decided that I will endeavor to treat all characters in my dreams as if they were sentient, thereby solving all existential difficulties. If I'm wrong, and they're just so much cognitive fluff, all I've done is chosen to be nice. In a profound way though, by trying to engage the dream people as if they were sentient deserving respect, I have actually practiced a fundamental Tibetan Book of the Dead recommendation: basically, treat others the way you would have them treat you. If the dream characters are me, I have treated myself nicely and with respect, which is important because how a person treats themselves is usually a good indicator of how they will treat others. If the dream characters are actually true other consciousnesses interacting with my consciousness, then golden rule is still in effect. And how you treat people, or cognitive fluff, in your dreams, is a great indicator for how you would treat people in your waking life, and, or the after life, if there turns out to be one. (And I admit to bias on that point. I believe there to be one.)

 

Which brings us to tulpae. It's the same equation. The only difference between a character, personality set in a dream setting and a tulpa, is that the tulpa is there in the waking mind. (In fact, dream characters are the perfect example that everyone is capable of creating tulpae, and if there is any correlation between actual dream entities and tulpae, then it would probably behoove people to walk more kindly on this earth, and in their heads!) It doesn't matter, ultimately, what the tulpae actually is. It only matters how you treat it. That is where the meaning lies. Sure, you can make argument that treating a tulpae kindly is simply an anthropomorphic projection equivalent to being kind to a stuff animal. But if you're pulling the eyes off teddy bears, that says something about you. It's not saying you're evil or sick or you have a dark sense of humor, it's just an act that has meaning, with different meanings for each emotion that is playing during the act, or lack of emotions.

 

This question of sentience is better, and profoundly addressed in the movie Harvey. James Stewart says, "Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be' - she always called me Elwood - 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me." I can't see a down side to that, whether it's a tulpa, a Pooka, a six foot rabbit named Harvey, a dream character, a reflection of yourself, or the road rage guy that cut you off because he's in his own world, too. You deserve kindness, you get it by practicing it.

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Linkzelda, though your last post suggest your thesis was posed as simply an exploratory exercise, it wasn't prefaced as such, and it still feels like your stuck in some sort of logic loop, or that you have a particular agenda, which I think is highlighted by one, miss-reading Drakaina's use of a very popular vernacular expression (KISS, keep it simple, stupid) and that, two, even if you affirmed something as correct, you dismiss it as ultimately irrelevant, as if your position in inscrutable. It feels less like you want a conversation, as much as you wish to demonstrate your command over 'big words.'

 

Aaaaa, don't say that! Linkzelda is here to spur critical thinking and insights, he has no interest in impressing people, he talks like that because he is actually very well read. Like he has to try to use simpler terminology, not the other way around, and it's rude to say he's trying to sound smart, because he's not. He even agreed with you in his responses, I didn't see him dismiss anything.

 

I've also never heard of "KISS" before, though I would have assumed it wasn't just a sentence based on the capitals. And I didn't get what you were going for with the Ethiopian hypothetical either, so it is good that you explained your point. We agree with all of your points on the un-importance of sentience-testing and the inability to even do so. But he agreed with us on that before you even wrote your post, so like.. you were already on the same level with this. You probably haven't seen many of his threads before, but they are often posed in a devil's-advocate perspective to give people an incentive or starting point with which to discuss a subject, because sometimes when he doesn't no one really replies at all. Don't make personal judgements please, we're just here to discuss our theories on tulpa sentience.


Hi guys, plain text is just me now! We've each got our own accounts: me, Tewi, Flandre, and Lucilyn. We're Luminesce's tulpas.

Here's our "Ask Thread", and here's our Progress Report (You should be able to see all of our accounts on the second page if you want)

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I'll be honest, I read the OP and most of it didn't make any sense to me (it's possible I'm just too stupid, bare with me please). I've put in specific questions about each part in particular, I hope you can clear up my confusion.

 

I realize there are other posts in this thread, but I didn't want to try in participate in a discussion I apparently don't even understand yet.

 

The mentality of “treating a tulpa as sentient” seems to be something generally accepted in the community;

I agree.

a potential step-up from a previous ideology of assuming sentience from the start.

What? These seem like the same thing to me. If someone is truly assuming this, than anything that barely represents any sort of character has sentience, even if just created. This seems rediculous to me. I have always interpreted these as the same thing, because actually assuming sentience from the start seems rediculous. Treating as if they were sentient seems completely reasonable.

In my opinion, it’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy in some way in that it seems to be conviction-based,

I disagree that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy; Believing or wanting a tulpa to be sentient is not enough to make them so.

 

"conviction-based"? What do you mean?

and because of this, people will cultivate their own meaning-finding

Cultivate, as in grow and nourish, similar to caring for plants but in a figurative sense, right?

how in the hell do you cultivate "meaning-finding"?

that almost seems similar to existentialism—which is basically the thesis that one can create their own sense of meaning through action.

This makes zero sense. I have multiple different meanings for existentialism, but your definition is confusing. "Sense of meaning"?

 

And through the conviction-based ideology of treating a tulpa as sentient,

So you're saying that the general set of methods and reccomendations based on treating a tulpa as sentient (but not assuming they are), is based on holding strong beliefs?

the individual that wants to create and interact with their tulpa will ultimately have to rely on experiential cases of what they could consider validating sentience in some way.

"experiential cases"? Do you mean things that happened that they (individual wanting tulpa) think confirms that the tulpa is sentient?

Whether it’s through the people they meet, or the things they do day to day,

"it" in this case being what exactly?

it becomes highly subjective, and the philosophy seems to be a useful heuristic in chalking up what we’re all striving for.

A heuristic, as in a measurement, right? A measurement of sentience.

So, you're saying that "the philosophy" (of treating a tulpa as sentient?) is a good measurement of sentience? That makes no sense

However, as much as it seems to be a viewpoint that can generalize other potential conviction-based ideologies,

As in, you think treating-tulpas-as-sentient is an overarching umbrella that is a generalization of other, more specific methods, which are also, correct?

it doesn’t seem to ease the apprehension, or the skepticism completely in whether or not the tulpa in question is truly sentient; at least in context of being true within the host’s internal, private experience.

Well of course it doesn't, treating something as being in a certain state doesn't help any in believing that they're in that state.

 

And because we can’t step into another person’s private experience, and validate if they have a sentient entity, or not,

Even if we could step in, I don't think we could validate anything. I can't validate that you're a sentient entity, nor can I validate how many separate sentient entities there are inside you.

the philosophy kind of falls apart when adapted to those circumstances that we can’t even conceive of being possible.

Which circumstances? The circumstances we can't concieve? Haven't you just conceived them by saying that?

Or are you referring to circumstances that "we" don't think are possible? Why does it matter if the philosophy falls apart in impossible circumstances?

However, it seems to be a form of consolation of telling us that tulpas are conceivable indeed, but that conceivability does not necessarily mean that they can be metaphysically validated.

"metaphysically validated"!?

Metaphysical, to me, in the context of tulpas, means things which should be impossible, but people claim their tulpas can do through magic or similar, such as communicating with another person through thoughts.

To be metaphysically validated, then would mean that the tulpa proves that they exist outside the confines of the host's mind, or perhaps that they have supernatural abilities. If you want do discuss metaphysics, you're in the wrong section of the forms

And to chalk up what I mean by that—basically anything that has to do with theories of mind, and how the concept of tulpas may coincide with certain theories of mind.

"may coincide"? This seems obvious, the only reason tulpas exist is because of the human brain's ability to simulate other brains, including theory of mind.

 

And because of this gap

What gap!? At this point I'm convinced I'm talking to a markov chain... I'll avoid trying to comprehend the rest of this since I have no idea what gap you're talking about, I await your reply.


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