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I stumbled across this site few month ago and started learning about tulpas and I have to ask why isn't the phenomenon more widely known about. I mean some of the things tulpas can do are truly amazing. Is it just hard to believe and thats why its not mainstream?
I wanted to write this thread for a long time, however today I found a way to better organize my thoughts without ranting off topic.
Tulpamancy isn't all butterflies and rainbows, at least it wasn't for us. We had ups and downs for the past couple years- stopping my daymares, healing, enjoying my time with Ranger, not feeling as lonely anymore, being more social, learning new skills and ideas, and on the other hand experiencing friction from my family in regards to tulpamancy, feeling trapped in a new closet, figuring out how to live two lives at once, and stress from being a large system. However, there are two general topics I want to discuss because these have consistently made me feel weird or that we're doing something wrong.
Feeling like I Have to Choose Between Science and Tulpamancy
I am very pro-science, and one thing that scares me is the idea that I could develop into a science denier- assuming I'm not already one.
When I watched the documentary Behind the Curve on Netflix several months ago, I realized it was dangerous to want to do science to confirm my beliefs. I want scientists to prove tulpamancy is real, but that thought in of itself isn't science. It's an expectation I am demanding proof for, just like how the Flat Earthers want to find the right experiment to prove the Earth is flat. Real science asks for the truth, not digging and digging until you find something that supports what you want to hear.
So I'm left with the feeling that if I want to remain impartial and sane, I cannot completely conform that tulpamancy is real until science comes around to back it up. I really want to believe Ranger is real and it's harder and harder think otherwise, but I also want to be prepared if scientists come to the conclusion that tulpas are not real. I feel like if they were to come to that conclusion, it will be hard for me to backpeadal and reverse the thinking I compounded in the last couple years, and the thought of that is stressful.
I don't think it's unfair to say tulpamancy may not be real. I'm very passionate about being a tulpamancer, but at the same time, I was at my most deperate and depressed when I stumbled upon this site. I took a lot of tulpamancy for granted, and that in of itself can be interpreted as a red flag. I don't believe most tulpamancers are liars, but if it turns out tulpamancy isn't real, a lot of people fell for it and passionately believed in fantasy, just as I did.
The one thing I keep going back to, hoping to prove tulpamancy is real to myself, is to learn switching with Ranger. If tulpas were real and switching was a real Tulpamancy practice, I should experience something totally different. I think it probably wouldn't matter if we eventually learn switching, however not being able to switch has fed into this idea and generated doubt. Plus, switching is just another internal experience, there's no promise that scientists will be able to measure changes in brain activity, just the hope.
Being Pro-Tulpa and Tulpa Ethics
When Ranger told me he was real for the second time, I believed him and treated him as a separate person ever since. I committed to tulpamancy with a very pro-tulpa stance. Otherwise, I feel like I shouldn't be here. I didn't sign up to entertain myself, I came because I was scared, confused, and feeling broken inside. But most importantly, I didn't want to kill Ranger.
Is this strong stance justifiable? I'm well aware there are tulpamancers who say that independent agency is smoke and mirrors for the purposes of enjoyment, self exploration, and healing. I find that stance to be reasonable and acceptable, not everyone views tulpamancy the way I do and that stance seems more consistent with what is culturally acceptable. I don't want to deem this opposing stance as "wrong", nor do I want my more extreme views to discourage them from sharing their thoughts or participating in the community. However, this inconsistency make me wonder if this is another red flag for how a community becomes a group of extremists, like how INCEL started out as a group of lonely men that overtime became more and more hostile towards women. I don't want that development occurring in this community, especially if this viewpoint isn't even rational.
Another thing that has bothered me is if Ranger and I are providing harmful advice that is limiting the freedom people have in their own head. Bear has asked before if it's worth warning new users in this thread, however I want to focus on the problem of people telling people how to think. Since we are pro-tulpa, our advice considers the tulpa's will as well as the host's, so we end up saying stuff like "you have to avoid making too many tulpas or your system will be miserable, pick one tulpa to force and go from there." This advice is intrusive because we're telling the host they can't just do whatever they want, and I'm not okay with telling people or watching Ranger tell people they have to think a particular way if it's not worth it.
That brings me to tulpa ethics in general- are they worth the cost of telling people how to think or worse- criticizing other people? I'll consider my story characters and NPCs. If they qualify as tulpas, then that means I can't feel safe to invent new ideas in the form of anything remotely sentient, since doing so would mean I would have to treat them humanely. Considering the rest of the world where authors make story characters and NPCs all the time, the idea of tulpa ethics comes across as a joke and or a threat. The ethics would paint that scenario as mass slavery, and that's a label I don't believe makes any sense to slap on the general population of creative writers. Personally, I don't believe my NPCs are sentient, however I have been wrong before, and that lead to the stress and anxiety of my other headmates for not being recognized as sentient for a year after discovering tulpamancy. I simply don't feel comfortable with encouraging a stigma against violating tulpa ethics if there isn't a clear definition for what a tulpa is, assuming tulpas are even real to begin with. While I disagree with the idea of having headmates being forced to serve their hosts or systems who irresponsibly create tulpas and dissipate them 5 minutes later, I am also concerned if this is just craziness and it's doing more harm than good to think this way.
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These concerns make my stomach knot. Are Ranger and I doing the right thing? Is tulpamancy a serious practice with lots at stake or is it all bullshit and the only thing that matters is the host's well being? Is it crazy and too extremist to tell people how to think or does it do a lot of good and secure the wellbeing of several headmates?
[Ranger] Given that I'm an active member, I'm a moderator, and I help manage the GAT, I know what I say can really affect other people. I hate it when I feel like I'm just yelling at new users about how they need to not make their system of 4 tulpas a system of 14 tulpas or telling people they can't do certain things because it could lead to accidental forcing. I want to help people get better, not ruin their lives.
I can't speak much for the stress sandwich Cat is stuck in between science and tulpamancy, however I am very adamant about my existence, even when I doubt myself. I don't want to give up on the self-advocating I did for the last couple years, but at the same time I don't like watching Cat feeling conflicted and stressed either. I'm hoping shifting our goals away from the soul-suck of the "can't switch" cycle to imposition will alleviate some of the problem, but other than that, I don't know if there's much else I can do.