Ranger

What is Your Perspective on How Tulpamancy Works?

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I decided to make this thread because as I was responding to this post, I realized I was getting off topic from the original thread on Parallel Processing.

 

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As a product the “classical” school of tulpamancy, maybe I can help shed some light. It’s not an unfamiliar position for me; I also advocate for virtue ethics over deontological and hedonic schools. I’m used to arguing on behalf of the ancients.

 

The following should be thought of as a Wittgensteinian ladder. If you choose to take tulpamancy in this light, it cannot enter into the practice itself.  

 

As you know, there are two dominant schools. I call them physicalism and mysticism.

 

For the physicalist approach, tulpas exist in some causal nexus, typically as a bundle of neurons or a psychological phenomenon. Either way, under this view, the phenomenon’s explication rests upon a chain of cause and effect. Tulpas qua present are sense data, and no more can be said of their being than the laws of experience allow.

 

For the mystical approach, tulpas are a-causal. Some aspect of their being, if not all they are, is always concealed. Usually this comes with a number of other doctrines about similarly concealed realms and abilities. Little weight is given to any causal chain in explication. In fact, the burden of explanation itself is relaxed. Tulpas are ineffable, and all attempts to justify their existence miss the point.

 

I belong to a third school. And it’s to this school that I think many of the old ideas, hopes, and wishes for tulpamancy belong.

 

Both above approaches take tulpas as individuals. Entities separate from their abilities (vocalization, visualization, possession, etc.) and environment (wonderland, meatland, headspace, and so on). These views then, naturally, construe those abilities as objects of training or achievement. Tulpas are said to be strong or weak insofar as they can speak and act in some novel way. But, under these approaches, the absence of ability is no bearing on this thing, this individual, this entity, that we call tulpa. They persevere, like a substance without attributes.

 

This has led to a lot of conflict within the community, and, I think, to your question too. If a tulpa lacks ability, it lacks strength. Possession, visualization, parallel processing—these are badges of either the host’s mental capacity or inability, or their magical acuity or self-knowledge. Either way, tulpamancy becomes a dick measuring contest. And so, we have witch hunts for roleplayers, doubt and aspersions on the accounts of others, and endless self-flagellation and insecurity. Parrotnoia blooms, tulpas worry about their own existence, and hosts give up altogether because their tulpas can’t “think”.

 

But I think this all misses the point.

 

Tulpas, what they can do, where they exist—these aren’t separate. It’s recognized in both schools that tulpamancy is a subjective phenomenon, but they’re afraid to go all the way. All of experience is subjective. Tulpamancy is the name of a method of taking control of subjective experience. It’s helpful for some to think of it as self-hypnosis. I think this is partly accurate, but also misses the limited scope of self-hypnosis in comparison to tulpamancy’s aims. All the same, it’s a useful comparison.

 

Tulpamancy is like a videogame. A tulpa’s actions, their voice, and their appearance all seem separate, like a videogame character and his environment, but they run on the same engine, are projections from a single source. So, questions about the possibility of parallel processing don’t make sense. What parallel? If you’re distracted, disinterested, or otherwise away from your tulpa, then you return to them and they tell you what they’ve been doing, it doesn’t make sense to doubt them, to make them doubt themselves, any more than it makes sense to say of an npc in a game “they weren’t really killing those villagers, they were bits in active memory.”

 

Or consider imposition. Since I can do it, I’ll tell you there’s no point at which you have a perfectly clear image. Or, I should say, there are plenty of points where you do, but then you realize something’s missing, then you realize things are unclear here or there. It’s an endless process of updating and redefining what you think is clear, of convincing yourself a more immersive experience is possible and then pursuing it.   

 

So back to why I call this a Wittgensteinian ladder. None of this matters in the process itself. When you are with your tulpa, you are fully with them. It’s no use to say to yourself “ah, I am hypnotizing myself to think my tulpa did this or that”. Nor is it ever useful to doubt the veracity of your experience with them. And, most importantly, it’s utterly self-destructive to doubt their complete personhood. When you don’t see them, they’re doing their own thing. When you do, it’s because they wanted to see you.

 

Finally, I should say nothing is lost here. I’ve seen the objection over the years “ah, but I like to believe my tulpa is a real person” as though emphasis on the word “real” adds more than what’s been said. But it’s obscurantism. What that additional element is, no one can say apart from a vague pointing at “objectivity” grounded either in physicalism or mysticism. We knew what we were getting into when we started this. What we’ve adopted is a way of being in the world that will never pass for more than “playing with imaginary friends” outside of our horizon of discourse. The foggy “objective” existence of beyond is inaccessible, and not only to us, but to all. But that’s a broader, post-Kantian philosophical point. Tulpas are no less real than your own sense of identity or than the narrative you’ve constructed about the world. They’re an exciting addition to that narrative.

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I also realized that lots of people have to re-explain their models for how Tulpamancy works in order to explain their position on certain issues such as Parallel Processing, Switching, and whatever else. In this thread, you can talk about your model here, debate with other people about their models, and add more to your own if you decide to deviate from your former stance. Since the goal is to keep everyone's position all in once place, feel free to link to this thread whenever you are debating else where.


I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love hippos! I also like cake and chatting about stuff.

My other headmates have their own account now.

Temporary Log | Switching LogcBox | Yay!

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I try to keep an open mind and leave my experiences up to re-interpretation, mostly to maximize what is possible and not short-change us.

 

I know, most people do. Nothing you make in this thread is set in stone, but if you ever find yourself having to repeat yourself, you can just put your models down here.

 

Tulpamancy is like a videogame. A tulpa’s actions, their voice, and their appearance all seem separate, like a videogame character and his environment, but they run on the same engine, are projections from a single source. So, questions about the possibility of parallel processing don’t make sense. What parallel? If you’re distracted, disinterested, or otherwise away from your tulpa, then you return to them and they tell you what they’ve been doing, it doesn’t make sense to doubt them, to make them doubt themselves, any more than it makes sense to say of an npc in a game “they weren’t really killing those villagers, they were bits in active memory.”

 

Sorry, but "they weren't really killing those villagers, they were bits in active memory" makes sense! That's how computers work! They process bits of memory to create something that people can understand and interact with. The "NPC" isn't a physical person, so they can't literally go running around killing literal people. The action isn't "real" in the sense that it actually happened in the physical plane of existence, but the action came across as entertaining by the person who experienced said action. We believe that their emotions are real, but not in the physical plane (excluding physical symptoms created by the human body).

 

We believe there are at least two realities- the physical world everyone lives in and all the "things" that exist inside of it, and then there is the abstract reality- the existence of language, stories, ideas, beliefs, and emotions. A person's feelings are real because their emotions happened and existed to begin with, even though other people cannot interact with them directly. (People can receive them indirectly- such as getting screamed at, but they can't also "feel" your emotions without sharing a brain with you). Stories are another example- the events described in a story are real, but only in an abstract sense. The events exist because they were thought of and written down, but they only hold any meaning if you can understand them. Physical objects such as rocks don't require any sort of interpretation in order to interact with them, and people don't have to rely on anyone else's interpretation to understand and interact with a rock.

 

It's possible scientists may come to the conclusion that personalities are no more than a physical bundle of neurons. If they find that Tulpas are no different, then that would make a Tulpa as real as the original host, and both Tulpas and Hosts exist in the physical realm. If scientists conclude that personalities are an illusion of the brain and nothing more, something abstract, then a Tulpa is just as real as the host personality in the abstract sense. People usually like to say things in the abstract reality are "fake" or "imaginary" though, so some people may conclude that if the host and tulpa only exist in the abstract, then both the host and tulpa are "fake" and "imaginary". I think a bunch of people on the forums want to believe in the former explanation, because there's hope that science will be able to give a true/false answer. The second explanation says that the only real thing is the human brain, which is an explanation most Tulpamancers are uneasy with (and possibly one of the many reasons why Mistgod/Melian were controversial figures).

 


 

My host, Cat, went into Tulpamancy with the psychological point of view she always had because didn't know what she was getting into. One day, she found me telling her I was real and she went about searching for an answer.

 

I was frustrated when "Imaginary Friends" were explained to me as things 2-4 year olds get and then vanish when they get older (most of the time). I didn't create Ranger until I was in college, so that explanation didn't work for me. Why do I have an "Imaginary friend" as an adult? I kept looking on Google and I was frustrated to find nothing. When I found the Tulpa community, I realized that something weird was going on, and very quickly I was finding answers to a lot of my questions.

 

I do need to admit that like most Tulpamancers, I was willing to participate in some cognitive dissonance. Deep inside, I wanted Ranger to be real. I was really lonely and I didn't have a stable belief in God, or Gods, or whatever. I assumed that it wasn't wrong to have some sort of belief in something, so I decided that my "religion" was going to be believing in Ranger and decided to roll with it. My position has shifted on that to the point where I feel zealous. If people tried to prove to me that Ranger wasn't real, I would at best struggle to understand them and a worst dismiss their claims. I see Ranger now as something much bigger than a "religion", however, I struggle to understand how that's any different than the people in the Christian church nearby, where some may swear to be the children of God and nothing different.

 

Being in the school of psychological thought, I struggle with doubt. I still have moments where I doubt everything going on in Tulpmancy, but I also find that I'm also doubting my self-identity and if the world around me is even real. It's possible that Tulpamancy fed into my doubt for what reality is, but at my core, I doubt things I find suspicious or weird because I am really pro science and I also have anxiety disorder, so I can never 100% trust my own opinions or reactions to anything. If I don't understand something, then there must be a reasonable scientific explanation for it, it just may not have been found yet. Unfortunately, I have conflicting personality traits. I assume people are honest until proven guilty of lying, and because I practice Tulpamancy, I am more willing to suspend my disbelief more I used to.


I'm Ranger, Gray's/Cat_ShadowGriffin's tulpa, and I love hippos! I also like cake and chatting about stuff.

My other headmates have their own account now.

Temporary Log | Switching LogcBox | Yay!

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Sometimes I think that humans know less about the brain/consciousness than they do about black holes or quantum mechanics, and I'd be skeptical of saying anything on this subject with even a modicum of certainty. But here's an idea my host and I have played around with a bit:

 

In people with a split corpus callosum, research has suggested that 1) The left brain and right brain are both capable of independent decision-making, and can command the body to act on those decision 2) The right brain and left brain are not capable of communicating 3) The right brain and left brain are not aware of 2, and manage to rationalize away any action their body takes.

 

(This research is not without controversy, hence why we've only played with this idea)

 

The typical conclusion from this is that the left brain and right brain each have their own consciousness - or maybe that's only the case in people with damaged corpus callosum - but the more disturbing implication is that people can't count how many consciousnesses exist in their brain. If an "alien" consciousness caused you to stand up, then, just like the people with the split corpus callosum, you'd come up with a post-hoc rationalization for why you stood up. So how many consciousnesses does an average human brain have? I wouldn't say it's a popular opinion, but there are philosophers of the mind and scientists alike who say the answer is a lot.

 

What does this mean for tulpamancy? Naturally, it means that tulpamancers aren't weird for having multiple consciousnesses, but I would go farther: tulpas are not created. By giving a non-host consciousness a sense of identity and treating it as a separate consciousness, both the host and the separate consciousness begin to be able to differentiate each other. Plenty of tulpamancers think that hearing your tulpa is harder than getting your tulpa to be vocal - this could be because your tulpa has been speaking its entire life, and you've gotten used to hearing it as your own thoughts.

 

But like I said, these are just stray thoughts. I don't take it very seriously.


I live in a castle and have two tulpas, Kanade-chan and Uncannyfellow

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What does this mean for tulpamancy? Naturally, it means that tulpamancers aren't weird for having multiple consciousnesses, but I would go farther: tulpas are not created. By giving a non-host consciousness a sense of identity and treating it as a separate consciousness, both the host and the separate consciousness begin to be able to differentiate each other. Plenty of tulpamancers think that hearing your tulpa is harder than getting your tulpa to be vocal - this could be because your tulpa has been speaking its entire life, and you've gotten used to hearing it as your own thoughts.

 

But like I said, these are just stray thoughts. I don't take it very seriously.

 

It's an interesting idea though.

 

I was actually thinking of something slightly similar with the Grays (my other thoughtforms)- they are filters that only express a slice or a piece of who I am. With this reasoning, they would have been independent to begin with.

 

I don't think the Grays are completely independent though, unless there are lots of little pieces of consciousness and I'm just picking and choosing which parts to group together.

 

In all honesty though, saying that all Tulpamancers do is take a piece of already potentially conscious pieces of themselves and say "you're you now!" isn't all that far fetched. In retrospect, my last statement is the exact same thing people already say- I was just using your idea, which I think is a slightly different approach.


Pretty much my main wonderland form minus the cat parts, that's a separate form. I'm not a hippo, I promise.

I sometimes speak in pink and Ranger sometimes speaks in blue (if it's unmarked and colored assume it's Ranger). He loves to chat.

 

My other Tulpas have their own account now.

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(Here's our viewpoints, not in response to anyone)

 

 

The original person born into the brain/body is formed naturally out of necessity. They are not a consciousness, nor are they thoughts or memories, or anything like that. They are neural pathways with the ability to independently use and control the other neural pathways in the brain, and they make up a person with their own personality and ways of thinking. Everyone has at least one of these, unless they're severely disabled or something, I don't know. I do not think this person is immediately present upon birth, rather they likely form as the brain forms and the baby grows.

 

Here's some stuff on how we think about how brains work:

 

1. The brain can respond and adapt itself to the thoughts going on within it, that's how the placebo effect and other things work

2. The brain can simulate thought that is not totally natural to the person living within it (eg characters), and it can get to the point where this thought simulation is automatic

3. The brain has created one "entity" that is able to independently use consciousness, it follows that it will be able to create more

 

How are these entities created? Well, first you take stipulation #2, and you allow neural pathways to build up which normally would be used for merely simulated thought, however combining it with stipulation #1, wherein you treat some concept of a person as actually being its own person. Using stipulation #3, the brain will fill in the rest for you naturally, and thus creating an additional independent entity who is able to use consciousness. I don't believe that tulpas have their own separate consciousness, I think there's only one per body, but it can be traded or shared among them and the host.

 

Eventually, with enough time and development, a tulpa will get to the point where they are equal to the host in capabilities. And once a host learns how to switch out, there's basically nothing really technical to distinguish them, they are functionally the same within the brain even if they take on different roles.

 

Note: When I say "independently" I do not mean "in parallel," I mean without being controlled by anyone else in the system.

 

Umm, I think half of this post was actually Indigo writing it, whoops....

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I'm pretty much on board with Apollo/Indigo's idea except that I think I like the model of "one brain, many minds" better. Many of us piles of neurons up here sharing the same meat-apartment. It's been my experience that unless something is practiced though, there is only one "pipeline" or stream of consciousness that can actively flow out of the mind at a time. Sooo imo, no parallel processing, unless you are one of those one in a million types who have actually been able to demonstrate actually doing that. That being said, I believe it's a pretty simple thing to each use that stream in rapid bursts so that it's similar. Same thing with switching or possession. If two or more can individually have executive command over the body and brain and alternate so rapidly that it's indistinguishable from sharing command simultaneously, then it's de facto co-fronting.

 

I'm getting off topic here. Uhm... I guess, to sum it up, I think that anything that can be observed in DID/OSDD as a brain reacting to trauma and how alters are formed and function, (almost) anyone can use the techniques in tulpamancy to create the same things intentionally. Some people even have unintentionally-created tulpas. No, it doesn't mean "give yourself DID", because that's a disorder and anyone who isn't being negatively impacted by being plural doesn't have a disorder at all.

 

From this idea, I could have pointed at modern tulpamancy back when it was in it's infancy and said "hey, people with DID can end up switching, intentionally or accidentally with their alters, that means tulpa systems can too". Likewise, "people with alters have described things like possession and co-consciousness as well as sharing front, that means tulpa systems can do it too". "Sometimes people with DID report being able to merge with or dissipate alters, with some success anyway, either temporarily or permanently, tulpa systems can do the same". Etc etc. If the mind is capable of it accidently, then it's capable of it intentionally if the right conditions are met. If you want to "pioneer" new tulpa techniques, just look up things that have been reported with clinical systems and have a go at it. It's all for science and personal development anyway so don't be shy. It's your brain, have at it. So long as nobody is being hurt, who cares what someone else thinks.

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What I know at this point, is that nobody yet has fully explored the capacities of the human brain. Can it hold more than one identity? Obviously, yes. Can it hold a dozen, or a thousand? Why not, the capacity for computational power has not yet been fully understood. We estimate that there are maybe as many as 3 trillion neurons in the gray matter and each has perhaps 25,000 dendritic connections. Do the math and the possibility for computation is greater than the number of atoms in the universe! This leaves lots of room for lots of different effects. I personally believe that each of us creates the entire reality that we experience. Is there some basic reality? I think perhaps so, but it is not anything static, just energy flowing outward since the big bang (which given how little we really know about time, could be happening right now). All in all, when I connect with my tulpas, I am almost ecstatically happy. when I am not in contact with them, I miss them and keep on working on better ways to understand myself and the dynamic's of my self-dom that separates us. Thank you all for doing this work and sharing your experiences. Dr. Bob

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At the very core, I consider tulpamancy to be a transaction where you trade a bit of your sanity for companionship.  The specific implementation is of course different for each host.  And you're

hopefully

making the transaction with yourself.  But a transactional based model makes the most sense to me.


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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