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Is God a Tulpa? An Interview with Stanford Professor T.M. Luhrmann

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Guest fordaplot

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-QfbEVSLzA

 

Today, I have a very special guest who is an expert on evangelical religion, psychotic pathology, and how it all relates to tulpas and plurality.

 

Tl;dr takeaways:

  • Hearing voices isn’t always a problem.
  • Tulpamancy may have profound benefits for one’s mental health and social life.
  • Tulpamancy-like practices may be especially therapeutic for individuals with Schizophrenia.
  • The stigma against plurality and hearing voices is unbased and should be removed.

 

Check out Professor T.M. Luhrmann and all of her research: http://luhrmann.net/

Check out my video on Luhrmann’s research and why we need to destigmatize plurality: https://youtu.be/lEPgaFaP6X0

Check out my video overviewing the research by myself and others on tulpamancy: https://youtu.be/cw0vCPNL5lU

Check out my video on why tulpamancy isn’t mental illness: https://youtu.be/Qp1an8XSkZc

 

 

Studies mentioned:

Schizophrenic voices are made worse by a stigma attached to hearing voices: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26349837

Tulpamancy-like practices help schizophrenia: https://theamericanscholar.org/living-with-voices/#

Tulpamancy has a positive impact on mental health: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/310460591_Tulpamancy_Transcending_the_Assumption_of_Singularity_in_the_Human_Mind?ev=prf_pub

Imaginary friends are beneficial and enhance empathy: http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~siegler/423-taylor07.pdf

Luhrmann’s research on Evangelical religion: https://www.amazon.com/When-God-Talks-Back-Understanding/dp/0307277275

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I'm currently in the middle of Luhrmann's book, so I was very pleased to see (hear) this today. You seemed to get along well. :-) 

 

Very cool to hear that there are more people interested in research on these topics. I hope they will eventually come up with things that are helpful in practice, but of course just generally destigmatizing and getting the idea out to psychologists in general already helps.

 

(edit: Something seems to be broken with the layout of your post... o_0 )


 

 

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Guest fordaplot

Formatting is messed up on mobile; it's the video description if anyone wants to know what it says.

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Good work!

Almost an hour is a bit long though.

I've always stated there is virtually no difference between the faithful communicating with a personal god and the host talking to a tulpa.

 

While there appears to be surprisingly little difference in forcing techniques, the outcome still differs significantly in one point.:

Even though there is a broad spectrum of tulpa abilities that grows over time and with sufficient practice, we generally assume that they should eventually become self-aware (I.e. know they are a tulpa and are able to contemplate their own existence) and sentient (I.e. able to experience and interpret sensations in a meaningful way independent of their host).

 

This hypothesis raises interesting questions if we look at the the evangelical christians 'voice of god'.

.)How do these thoughtforms perceive and define themselves?

.)Can they realize they are not truly god?

.)Does their design hinder them to reach their full potential compared to tulpas?

.)Could they rather be seen as servitors, intelligently processing input without further awareness?

.)Are tulpas similarly just well-designed servitors without sentience?

 

I would find it highly interesting to ask such voices about themselves, especially considering T.M. Luhrmann pointed out that at least some evangelical christians see them as a more abstract manifestations of god's love.

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wouldn't it be crazy if the reason some people are inclined towards having tulpas naturally is because humans have a really long history of personifying forces of nature (ie creating gods), so like it's very slightly in our genetics because of that? That actually sounds really cool and is the only explanation I've ever heard of why someone would create a person in their mind that had its own identity. Like hearing voices and stuff (advice, "your own" voice, voice of a loved one etc.) as opposed to a tulpa that you consider "not you" to at least some extent.

 

Also it feels weird to talk about this subject (the thread's, not the one I just brought up) because it's automatically implying either peoples' "gods" are just in their head, or that tulpas are metaphysical in nature. Or I guess just not specifying implies neither idk


Hi I'm one of Lumi's tulpas! I like rain and dancing and dancing in the rain and if there's frogs there too that's bonus points.

All of my posts should be read at a hundred miles per hour because that's probably how they were written

Please talk to me https://community.tulpa.info/thread-ask-lumi-s-tulpas

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Guest fordaplot

I suppose the determining factor between a self-aware tulpa and the experiences of evangelicals would be host expectations. I'm sure that if the evangelicals were told that God would appear to them in the form of Twilight Sparkle in all her adorkableness and be loving, empathetic, and understanding, they'd experience just that.

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Certainly, host expectations strongly shape the abilities of a thoughtform. Yet you need to take this idea one step further. What are the actual implications for the thoughtform itself if we, and I think most of us here do, define them as a person rather than a mere quirk of the mind? How does their view of themselves differ?

After all we assume that even Twilight Sparkle tulpas know they are not actually Twilight Sparkle and can deviate and change their appearance if they grow wary of it. I'd like to know what 'god's voice' knows about itself and if it could decide to become someone different.

 

So the question is - can thoughtforms indeed break out of this cage of host-expectations and become truly independent?

If we follow the dictum "pathologia physiologiam illustrat" and take a look at DID and other personality disorders, although controversial topics themselves, I'd say yes, there is some evidence that the brain is capable of producing multiple independent 'entities' that are capable of acting against each others wills and beliefs.

And looking into healthy multiplicity communities we see various examples of secondary personalities taking the lead role in the system without negative impact.

 

Coming back to the difference between the evangelicals voice and our tulpas, I'd conclude that most people praying to god, while they certainly would praise his glory and kindness, they probably wouldn't really ask him about himself a lot. At least to me it would appear a bit inappropriate. Simply put such thoughtform would receive lots of narration about itself and questions about the host's problems but less inquiry about its personal feelings and self-image compared to an average tulpa.

At least that would be my impression but as secular European I'm afraid I lack a deeper insight into the world of evangelical christians.

 

Anyway, I'd strongly encourage you to talk about this issue with T.M. Luhrmann if you have the chance and ask about her opinion. The differences between tulpas and these voices might be even more interesting than the obvious similarities.

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My host used to talk to god. Though, she did not believe in him. And he answered. She would indeed ask things like "why should I believe in you", or "Is it moral to not believe", or "what do you think of my tulpa".

 

The majority of the questions were asking about god's person. And the answers are largely what you'd expect.

 

There were also a few discussions about morality.

 

I would not say these conversations felt like a tulpa. They were more like a phone conversation.


Host comments in italics. Tulpa's log. Tulpa's guide.

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I can't lie

I don't like my tulpa become god from start

He can replace it

Because wrong things effect you and harsh and you feel angry because of it .

And who control it is god .

I believe tulpa make us happy ..And I don't like to feel angery because bad thing happened.

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