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


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Anyways, point or not it still wasn't really a post to further the thread. It was more of an expression of distress, I think. Something about the nature of the discussion bothered her, something that wouldn't bother the rest of us. Though I feel Lucilyn would tell us we were wasting our time worrying about such things.


I think a post of distress to such an extent that Reisen made DOES further the thread. It brings up a point that's become more apparent to me over time, and that this thread perfectly embodies. The total lack of consideration for the subject in question (tulpas).


@Linkzelda you said you like to toss topics like this around "for the sake of knowing", but someone as smart as you has to admit that you CAN'T know this. At least for now there is no way, so who does it benefit running around in mental circles with no answer. "For the sake of knowing" is only good if there is something knowable.

The manner in which this topic has been picked and picked at clearly comes off (if not outright is) inconsiderate, and dehumanizing to tulpas. There are no topics that debate human (host) sentience, only ever tulpas, why is that? You say your tulpa have little interest in the community, and while I don't claim to know you or them, if I were in a thought form's position I wouldn't care for a community that reduces my existence to the most basic principles, and then constantly questions even those.


Take every word form the original post and replace it with human, or person, and tell me that it isn't bordering on downright offensive.

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

-Arthur Conan Doyle


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Drakaina, I hope you forgive my ignorance, and help educate me. You use the word "dehumanizing" as if discussing tulpa sentience would make them less "human." Does this community hold that they're human? I believe tulpae or sentient, but I haven't considered them human. The host is human. If they are human by default of host being human, then discussing their sentience seems somehow more relevant, because it raises more existential question, such as what does it mean to be human. Those who created ponies weren't aiming for creating human, so are their tulpae different in quality than those that stuck to human form? One can argue anime is technically human, symbolically through art place holders... or perhaps when you use "dehunanizing" you are somehow suggesting an insensitivity that is specifically maligned and disparaging. I don't believe linkzelda was disparaging, or even cynical in his writing, but I would say there is an absence of emotion or passion as he is striving for a logical position that is so neutral it is likely to be perceived as disparaging by those who emoting. I emote, but I have found that if I respond to logic with stronger emotions, it tends to drive the other person deeper into logic. Indeed, I think linkzelda himself has hinted at he can not be persuaded from his position and that he actually shares our position, which means this was literally a "stirring the pot" exercise which was to rile up emotions and have folks align to a position publicly.

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Interesting thread. Here's my .02


For one I think that the emphasis on sentience comes from people wanting to make a distinction between tulpas and garden variety imaginary friends. Explaining the difference between the two (for ease of conversation let's just say they're two sides of the same coin) without backtracking and talking about autonomy and assumed sentience or just leaving the idea out entirely would leave new people confused, I think.


Tulpas: They're like imaginary friends but they do stuff on their own and we don't know if they're experiencing things separately etc etc doesn't seem like the hard bottom line that sentient (or just autonomous, but what the hell does that mean anymore) imaginary friend is.


Not that I'm against the community's philosophy moving forward and changing but I think when we start to lose sight of what originally attracted those people from /x/ and replace it with a bunch of "well, shit, we don't know so who cares" type philosophy it'll be a harder sell. Not that this is something we're trying to like enfranchise but there's a lot of complicated stuff for people to get a handle on already.


I don't necessarily disagree with anything that's said here, and I trained parallel processing like a motherfucker. I just think that there's already so many gray areas when it comes to tulpas, why create another one?

We're all gonna make it brah.


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Whoah, wasn't starting a fight for tulpa rights here. The thread isn't personally offensive anything, Reisen just felt people were forgetting tulpas were.. well, I guess not necessarily sentient, but apparently-sentient at least, and so talking about them like they're animals was dehumanizing, ie makes tulpas feel like less than humans. I have nothing against the discussion of tulpa sentience and neither does she, but she did recommend you guys involve your tulpas in the discussions to remember not to alienate them. I myself have no problem because, well, Reisen only felt that way in the first place because my own beliefs and how I treat them are not such. I know other people think differently than me, hence why I participate in these discussions.


Anyways, the point of this community is to discuss tulpas. And the point of this thread is to discuss viewpoints on a core part of tulpamancy. I don't see anything wrong with either and don't really agree with criticisms of Linkzelda for posting it or how he phrased anything. He has nothing to gain from what we say aside from knowledge of how we think, so I fully believe everything was portrayed as it was for the sake of encouraging discussion. And I don't have any problem with discussing the topic either, though you've gotta be careful to keep it productive and not just spouting unknowable possibilities I guess.

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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Luminesce, I would like to ask you the same question: does this community consider tulpae to be human? Being sentient and being human are not necessarily one and the same. Humans are sentient, but so are dolphins, but I would not consider a conversation about how their aquatic environment and lack of opposable thumb has limited them as dehumanizing. By definition, they're not human. I believe tulpae can be/are sentient, but are they human? If they are human by default of being in a human host, regardless of form, like ponies or aliens or anime, then even using the term "tulpa" would be dehumanizing, because your labeling them as something distinctly different than human. If they're human by default, then the question of sentience is mute, because we assume all humans are sentient. But if tulpa by definition is naming something non-human, even if it is limited to the confines of a human host, then sentience continues to be a valid discussion. If we go with a psychological perspective, and they are artifacts, then that is something entirely different, too, but "dehumanizing" would still be a poor choice of words, because an artifact is not human. I hold the perspective that they are sentient, but I'm not sure human is accurate, and the lack of their own human body and lack of autonomy is just part of why. I don't say that disparagingly. I doubt you will find anyone more compassionately anthropomorphicly kinder than i, as I will catch and relocate spiders to avoid killing them... but either tulpae are something in their own right, or they are fanciful wishes of humans, more akin to Autistic Fantassies. (And yes, that's a real psychological term.)

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Take every word form the original post and replace it with human, or person, and tell me that it isn't bordering on downright offensive.


I'll do it. But only if you're serious about this. I will really do it, if you want, but there's no need for that in something that's not knowable, right?


The total lack of consideration for the subject in question (tulpas).


Okay, so you felt that the “treating tulpas as sentient” prefaced in the title had nothing to do with tulpas? You want me to set up imaginary, existential rights just to defend the integrity of a tulpa? You want me to not be curious in theorizing what the ideology entails that could be used as a tool for others to better structure how they try to help others out who have questions in the Q&A and General Discussions all the time?


Do my words, and this discussion cause so much stress to a tulpa that just by looking at it, their sentience is somehow stagnated, or objectified? You talk about this not being human in any form whatsoever. This is no different than a human being going through an existential crisis, and trying to reconcile who they are in this world, and how they can find a place in this world. You talk about promoting humane discussions, but all you’re really trying to do is to shut down other tulpas and hosts that may not foam in their mouth so much just because someone is trying to question what sentience would entail for them, and the host.


How long do you want others to live in a bubble? If you want to avoid the thread, and the content within it, I can’t control that. That’s completely up to you. But if you have nothing to add to the discussion, then I acknowledge your distress to not go any further. In fact, PM it to the mods. PM this distress, and tell them to change the initiative of this forum. Because all of this is just a pre-meal warmup. I can only imagine if somehow, someday, where for example, soft science, were to apply their own viewpoints into this phenomenon, this so called objectifying-their-existence that causes so much distress that I’m promoting would end up looking like Disney World compared to what they can do. But they do it in a manner of trying theorize, and arrive at some kind of knowledge over what’s going on.


No one is promoting the idea that you should tell a tulpa that their sentience is nothing more than a fading memory; that they’re potentially p-zombies, and can’t get out of it whatsoever. No one is telling others to lose novelty with their tulpa, and to stop respecting them, and finding their own place in their mind, and ultimately, this world if they feel that’s a possibility. I’m not here with the intention to be cynical, throwing dark humor, or questioning how much quality of sentience a tulpa has to have.


@Linkzelda you said you like to toss topics like this around "for the sake of knowing", but someone as smart as you has to admit that you CAN'T know this.


Wait, are you assuming that by wanting to know for the sake of knowing, that I’m trying to know the totality of this phenomenon, and the universe? Who cares about whatever competency I have, that means jack shit here. Maybe you missed the part where I admitted in being agnostic. Hell, I even admitted that in a thread a long time ago when Xeare used to be more active here. There’s nothing for me to hide. And whatever curiosity I have doesn’t mean I’m trying to know in the sense of figuring out if there can be any empirical bearing in this, take my bags, and leave.


At least for now there is no way, so who does it benefit running around in mental circles with no answer. "For the sake of knowing" is only good if there is something knowable.


For the sake of epistemology, for the sake of science, whatever semantics we want to jump around in, I’m pretty sure discussions like this, especially when casually analyzed with a psychological perspective (and sub-sets of it), isn’t really against the rules. You talk about circles, squares, but I see nothing convincing in “sake of knowing” only being good if there is something knowable. So, do you think there are inherent qualities behind this phenomenon that everyone should know about? Because I’m all ears in whatever information you have that can strip away all future discussions about sentience, tulpas, and such. Really, I am.


There are no topics that debate human (host) sentience, only ever tulpas, why is that?


By theorizing the presumed sentience of tulpas, we HAVE to look in ourselves, theorize our arrival of being assured that we’re sentient, and utilizing whatever basics that entail sentience as a tool for learning. This goes without saying. I even mentioned concerns I had with solar here with switching, and what it would entail, and how my existence can be so along with theirs shifting their presumed existence to put things into context of this reality; that wasn't human enough for you? I bet if I emphasize human sentience, suddenly, another audience with a particular dogma against discussions only about humans will complain about there not being discussions of tulpa. Especially when the GD specifically states to keep all discussions about tulpas within the given section!


Can someone please tell me if I’m reading that part wrong, someone PLEASE clarify this to me?


Take every word form the original post and replace it with human, or person, and tell me that it isn't bordering on downright offensive.


No, not really. Because I know my existence, and the integrity of it isn’t dependent on words on the Internet. There are forums that philosophize about sentience, dehumanize it, and have the sole purpose of doing whatever it takes to talk about human cognition, and much more. Complain to Kant, complain to Aristotle, complain to any human being who has any strive for self-actualization, and trying to know their place in the world. Tell me if that strive of yours isn’t dehumanizing itself: to have others live in a constant state of repression over knowing themselves, or making inferences of themselves in spite of it having little, to no empirical bearing. I’m not going to be your scapegoat for whatever insecurities you may have over us not talking about humans more than tulpas to see some metaphorical mirror where I suddenly go, “Oh no, woe is me for objectifying my existence!” This isn’t human.info, this is tulpa.info.


Also, if you want to know their position in all this, they’re the ones that encouraged me to talk about it in the first place. They even told me that it’s going to cause backlash in some way, and man, they hit the spot here.


Until mods make militant attempts to give warnings and ban me for talking about tulpas in this manner, you won’t see the end of day with this. This is a pre-meal warmup, I guarantee this to you. I still haven’t covered a decent amount of topics to talk about that will go further into the rabbit hole. One thing I can do, and thanks to another user suggesting this to me, is not spewing this so called objectifying-their-existence in generic threads. I can go back to ’12 Linkzelda, with the whole “courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality; just do it without questioning it guys, because you just gotta believe inya self, man! Let me add a Roger Federer motivational video to make you cry every dam tim!” Or, I could just do the whole “maybe, but let me point a few perspectives in a casual, polite way to show you that IDK, man, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to better myself, and them.”


I’ll wear as many hats needed if a hugbox is what the forum wants. I can be whoever you want me to be. But if anyone that wants to make a thread that would imply something out of norm of generic threads, it’s no holds barred. It feels that I’m talking to someone that’s either promoting a tulpa to have a hermit crab lifestyle that didn’t go out anywhere beyond this forum, or something. But, that’s irrelevant. Thank you for being the sole motivator in me being more serious. I really thank you for this, and I’m not being sarcastic about it. To see someone spew such distress over words being discussed about; someone who probably feels a tulpa is going to jump off a cliff because of it is motivation for me to show that there can be people that can function properly no matter who objectifies who.

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Drakaina, I hope you forgive my ignorance, and help educate me. You use the word "dehumanizing" as if discussing tulpa sentience would make them less "human."

I used "dehumanizing" because of it's connotations, and that it's what the word Reisen used. My tulpa isn't human, and my own identity is trans-species, so I don't normally use anthropocentric words like this, but opted to because it doesn't quite carry the same meaning as "depersonalization" which I prefer to use.


I am unsure of whether the community considers tulpa "human" or not, but given my somewhat unusual position it matters little to me since "human" is not a wholly desirable or superior state of being. Any comment I make on this particular topic would be from that outside perspective, so I don't offer it or expect anyone to share my view.


or perhaps when you use "dehunanizing" you are somehow suggesting an insensitivity that is specifically maligned and disparaging.

Yes, this is how I was using the word. While the intentions may not have been negative more thought and consideration should have been given. It's like saying "no offense" and then going on to say something offensive. It doesn't excuse it.


(a side note, the phrase is "moot point" not "mute point")

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

-Arthur Conan Doyle


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Drakaina, I would like to blame "mute point" on spell check, but in truth I struggle with spelling. :) thank you for reminding me. I would like to know more on your thought's of trans-species, but at last it doesn't fit this thread. (Off topic is against rules?) Still, feel free to email if you wish to elaborate.

Riesen did use "dehumanizing" but I withheld the discussion point, as I was waiting to hear more from Reisen before pursuing that deeper. There was another point Risen made that I was going to be contrary about, and I just decided not to pursue, as opposed to feeling really comfortable "arguing" with Linkzelda. I'm still learning the culture and how to navigate.

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Take every word form the original post and replace it with human, or person, and tell me that it isn't bordering on downright offensive.




The mentality of “treating a person 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 person as sentient, the individual that wants to create and interact with their person 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 person 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 persons 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 persons 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 person 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 persons 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 persons. 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 person 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 persons?


- 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 persons 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 person 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 person), 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 person being sentient?

I find nothing wrong or offensive with either the above or the original post.

It may only be my view, but since the question was "tell me that it isn't bordering on downright offensive", well, I'll say it, it isn't.


Nobody got anywhere by closing their eyes, going "lalala" and never applying analysis to things. To be honest, we need more discussions where we can bounce ideas and thoughts around if Tulpamancy is to go further from where it is currently. The only thing that will probably happen if this forum enforces a hugbox will be that all newbies will ask the same again and again, there won't be any new methods/techniques and nobody will have any answers for anything because "muh hugbox!".


I think that nobody here is demeaning tulpas or anything, we're trying to understand more about their nature, not make them feel bad; in fact, I think it's nice that those tulpas that can participate do it and give their perspective as well; it's about them after all, and I highly doubt that anyone would stop treating their tulpa as a person because of thought experiments like this one. Of course, it's much more fun to just disregard all of this theorizing and going somewhere with your tulpa(s), but I don't think it's okay to imply the OP is trying to "dehumanize" or otherwise demean tulpas, especially when we're talking about Linkzelda (one of the few members who are willing to dig deeper, even if they apparently are engaging in an exercise in futility).


Also, it is solely my observation, but arguing logic about the term "human" seems like grasping at straws to me. I think that it conveyed pretty well the meaning, and I did not in any moment thought "human" referred to the homo sapiens species specifically, because if that's the case, then a lot of pony/furry/what-have-you tulpas aren't "human".


Anyway, if everything else fails, those offended can simply navigate away from this topic. You're arguing on the internet after all; if the discussion's not to your liking, go somewhere else.

Nice avatar Linkzelda, and nice reply. Can't wait for the main course. pls don't wear hugbox hat thx

Edit: no more nice avatar :(

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Dehumanizing means, in this context, treating something as less than human. I do not care if your tulpa is a pony, they're basically a human. No animal in the world thinks like humans do. No animal in the world communicates like humans do. Some come close, but I'm pretty sure your tulpa is a lot closer to a human than a dolphin. Dehumanizing doesn't mean treating a person like they're actually a dog, it means treating a person like they have the intellectual capability of a dog, or the simplified physical needs of a dog, or like they're easily trained like a dog, etc. By dehumanizing Reisen was making the fairly easy to understand point that we were talking about tulpas like they were a "thing", and what we were talking about was a core part of their being.


Imagine standing next to a group of children, and talking to another adult about the intellectual capabilities of said children. Not in science-y terms they can't understand, either. "I'm not sure if they're really as smart as adults. They're hyper and disobedient, making others do everything for them. Maybe some are alright though. There might be a chance a child could be as competent as an adult." Etc. The feeling the children get and the general implications of being "lesser" to be judged and discussed is what I'm comparing here, not the subject matter. The feeling of being talked about as if they are so much greater than you, without your own input, and about who you are just in general. Whether or not it's taken offensively, it's still dehumanizing. If a dog could understand what was being said about it, it would be dehumanizing for the dog too.


We call circumstances inhumane, I'm pretty sure calling the treatment of a seemingly-sentient being as less intellectually capable than it is dehumanizing.


I don't even know what I'm explaining here. What was there to misunderstand anyways? Do you not know what dehumanizing means? We sure as heck treat tulpas as human, whether or not their taxonomic classification is "human". Dehumanizing means to not treat them as human, in the sense of "inhumane/humane", not biological.

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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