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Imagistic vs. doctrinal concepts in tulpa creation


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Applying the concept of Divergent Modes of Religiosity to tulpa forcing and community structure

 

The DMR theory deals with the development and tradition of religious concepts but it can be applied to pretty much any group, knowledge or skill including tulpamancy.
It proposes two divergent paths - a 'primitive' imagistic and a 'developed' doctrinal mode of tradition of knowledge or learning, both offering specific benefits and drawbacks.

 

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Excerpt from Wikipedia:

 

TL;DR
The imagistic mode is characterized by infrequently performed, high arousal rituals (e.g. initiation rites) and is associated with small scale, exclusive religious groups.
In contrast the doctrinal mode is characterized by frequently performed, low arousal rituals (e.g. daily recitations of sacred texts) and is associated with larger inclusive communities, as found in the major world religions.

 

Long version
The theory posits that these differing ritual patterns promote the transmission of religious traditions by exploiting core memory processes. Imagistic rituals arouse strong emotion and generate vivid, flashbulb like, episodic memories, while doctrinal rituals repetitive nature means that rather than individual events the experiences over time are stored in procedural and semantic memories. Later formulations of the theory also emphasized the different forms of group cohesion that are generated by the two modes, with imagistic rituals promoting intense, relational bonds with the other ritual participants and doctrinal rituals promoting more diffuse, categorical bonds with larger communities who share the same identity markers.
Although the DMR theory developed out of research on religious groups, more recent research has found evidence that the ritual dynamics described apply outside of the religious domain, including amongst football fans and armed militias, and that it may therefore serve as a more general theory of ritual and social cohesion.

 

Imagistic mode
The imagistic mode of religiosity involves collective rituals that are infrequent and highly emotional. Examples of these types of rituals include various initiation rites and rites of passage. The often dysphoric and highly emotional nature of these types of rituals activate the episodic memory system, resulting in detailed autobiographical memories. These dysphoric rituals can produce an extreme form of cohesion with the group, known as identity fusion. DMR posits that fusion with other group members will also motivate the individual to act out extreme forms of altruism, especially when the group is threatened. Therefore, the imagistic mode of religiosity prevails when a group’s survival depends on extremely high levels of cohesion.

 

Doctrinal mode
The doctrinal mode of religiosity refers to collective rituals that are frequent, usually routinized, and generate relatively little affect. Examples of this type of collective ritual would include Holy Communion and Call to prayer. Due to the repetitive nature of these types of rituals, semantic memory systems are thought to be activated and function similarly to organizing other general schemas and scripts of general knowledge. In contrast to the imagistic mode, these routinized rituals tend to produce less intense group identification, which serves to promote trust and cooperation but not extreme self-sacrifice. DMR posits that the historical transition from small-scale societies to the invention of agriculture brought about the need for large-scale cooperation and collective identity.

 

My first hypothesis is that imagistic and doctrinal concepts can be applied to both the tulpa community and the forcing process  and that communities generally tend to develop from imagistic to doctrinal ones once their userbase becomes more diverse and fluctuating.

 

The imagistic early tulpa community mostly consisted of either individuals sharing a common chan culture or people involved in occult practices, some discovered tulpas without a community at all. They were highly motivated and emotionally invested in tulpa creation which often involved highly intense forcing and meditation sessions. Without formalization everyone tried for themselves and lived through a novel process without much guidance or knowing what to expect, merely sharing their experiences with a close-knit group which was extreme in itself. Both in terms of humor and insults, not necessarily making a distinction between the two.

 

The doctrinal later tulpa community featured a much more diverse userbase drawn in by primary experiences of older users and following their guides. Their reason for tulpa creation were also much more diverse and they generally stuck to frequent forcing sessions of moderate intensity rather than extraordinary ordeals. This community became increasingly structured or you may say – tame and rejected initial extremes both in forcing techniques and community culture, similarly meeting novel or unorthodox ideas with growing scepticism. Debate led to a certain consensus and formalization manifesting in rules and guides.

 

My second hypothesis is that both methods work well, though they may lead to tulpas with different attributes as Pleeb and Bear already pointed out. In practice of course most people will apply a mixture of both methods.

 

 

Imagistic vs. doctrinal forcing
What we teach in this community is almost pure doctrinal forcing which is formalized, canonized and subject to orthodoxy checks while gradually evolving through feedback and debate. More or less logical, reasonable and for most people reproducible with a certain result - an autonomous character capable of interacting with its creator. Above all it is achievable in relatively short time with a manageable input of work and without subjecting one to painful or otherwise extreme ordeals. There is little wrong with this method as long as tulpamancers love their creations and fill their existence with a personal meaning.

However one point of criticism or caveat is that such tulpas may end up (no offense!) somehow hollow, limited in their abilities and autonomy as well as fragile. Bear brought up the difference between his tulpas and other characters he created.

 

My third hypothesis is that extraordinary strong tulpas are the result of imagistic forcing, meaning extreme emotional or even traumatic shared experiences leading to episodic memory and identity fusion. Think of members of a military squad who've gone through hell together blindly relying on one another or my favorite analogue - the prehistoric hunting community acting like a superorganism without commands similar to a pack of wolves. All for one, one for all. Such relationships created by identity fusion tend to be antifragile meaning they do not suffer but actually deepen under severe stress, an attribute Pleeb has associated with strong long-lived tulpas able to overcome hardships in their development. Obviously you do not have to go that far but you get the idea, it's about life-changing almost spiritual revelations. Such cannot be taught, they need to be experienced first-hand.

 

Spoiler

As for myself I cannot say I took an extreme imagistic path but after grasping the essentials back in 2014 I deliberately stayed offline for weeks and basically spent my entire free time with active forcing the way I felt was right, mostly pouring positive emotions into my tulpa and narrating to her with a far lesser focus on visualization. It was an immensely satisfying almost religious experience I will never forget. A year later we went on two extraordinary journeys through Asia and Oceania without much preparation, something I had never done before. It was pretty much insane in hindsight, nothing I would do again but we came to rely on each other and shared a lot of unforgettable experiences both good and bad. I really cannot say everything is perfect now and we still have a lot to work on (visualization is still abysmal) but overall I'd definitely call it a success.

 

Take-home message:
Ask yourself what you want to achieve and how much you are willing to invest in order to get there. It's a broad spectrum between the easy but potentially boring doctrinal path and the imagistic path extreme in input and result. In any case a promising way to deepen and strengthen tulpa-host relations is sharing novel, challenging and highly emotional experiences.

 

Sorry for that textwall, I hope it makes any sense. It is not the most straightforward and easy-to-grasp concept and just a simplified model but I think it is highly relevant in many aspects.  I’d like to hear your ideas on it.

HW_2002_Modes_of_Religiosity.pdf

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As a researcher, this is very professional (dry) but packed with value. I liked it because of the tie-ins that were very well done and I am convinced by your hypotheses and it gave me the good feels dude.

 

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...

painful or otherwise extreme ordeals.

 

Was it dysphoric? I know of a lot of practices in spirituality where dysphoric rituals will 'inspire' growth and strength, it could be applied here, but is this part of what you suggest early tulpamancers did was actually dysphoric, like starvation, cold showers, sleep deprivation, and other intentionally uncomfortable rituals? Maybe I answered my own question.

 

In my case, depression; they were my light in the darkness and the seemingly miraculous recovery of it with their help and continued help went a long way to remove doubt and encouraged me to push the boundries past what others said was impossible over and over again.

 

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The doctrinal mode of religiosity refers to collective rituals that are frequent, usually routinized, and generate relatively little affect.

 

Though it is theorized that the community is moving toward a less functional tulpamancy, I've been observing this the whole time anyway, I wouldn't go so far as to say it has minimal effect, I think eventually the system could mature, though there are certain constraints that will limit freedom of growth, so maybe that's appropriate. Maybe they become satisfied by "good enough", which is fine, maybe?

 

 

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some discovered tulpas without a community at all.

This is what happened to me. I had enough experience before discovering the community to avoid their influence. 

 

Would you suggest the lone-wolf style tulpa creation for newcomers? 

 

I also agree in terms of the formalized and canonical (ugh...) community sometimes comes off as a little strict and stiff, that's a huge turn off for me, but you know.

 

For me, as you also know, the emotional and intensely personal experience sharing was the norm, but it's stifled in this forum. I of course have many other outlets in the community at large, so that's not really a problem.

Edited by Ranger
Removed unnecessary formatting
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Dang, this is quite a post. My own take in response to Bear saying it was dry but with lots of value - I read the TL;DR of the concepts and then skipped to "My first hypothesis" and read the rest and I didn't find it boring at all, though my initial reaction on reading the thread was obviously to skip stuff lol. I think the TL;DR was enough to get the concept and move on to the rest of the post.

 

Anyways, the main thing I want to add is that becoming "doctrinal" was more or less the forum's plan from the start. The systems for teaching people we have in place now have done exactly what most people on the forum were hoping they would - increase the success rates of creating tulpas and smooth out the experience. I think we've done just that, and while modern teaching may or may not be lacking in vibrant results, I think we do reach the most people now, methods and perspectives having been rounded out by a whole community over nearly a decade to apply to as many people as possible.

 

There are absolutely levels of skill and accomplishment in tulpamancy most people don't reach or even really try to, and my guess at why they're less common these days is our community of much friendlier/more understanding members greatly values treating all tulpa-like thoughtforms and systems as equal, downplaying the "need" (or even benefits) of stronger vocality/imposition/autonomy|independence|spontaneity/other standout skills. Basically, it's a very live and let live chill environment without people pushing each other or even implying people should work particularly hard, past the core "create and develop a tulpa to autonomy/vocality".

 

{Edit: I exclusively use the "general you" in the following paragraph, this is not at anyone specifically}

I don't think we limit people from going further at all, I just think we don't really encourage anything past switching and imposition. I don't really believe in the "the community doesn't like my ideas so I don't say anything" thing people sometimes say. Like, oh no, someone said they don't believe in your experience, and that's supposed to be worse than the forum was in the past? Have you SEEN what the forum used to be like? Ever read literally any of Sands' posts (dis)approving submissions? It's fine if you're afraid of the existing criticism you may get for being different from the norm, but don't say it's any worse than it ever was. While 2012 may have been a free-for-all in some senses (an era where "You have to force your tulpa naked or you won't be able to change their clothes later" was allowed to fly), people were all around more critical of each other back then than they ever were since just in general. If you can't handle criticism of going against the norm, I question how you'd handle criticism from "the good old days"

 

I think the pressure the community used to put on each other is most evident personally in how many people used to express guilt at not spending enough time forcing or working on advanced skills, while now it's considered a given that every system is doing only what they want and that's fine. I don't really have a preference, or a problem with how things are now

Edited by Luminesce

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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Thanks!
I guess 10% of host's text wall would've been enough to get the point across but well...

 

11 hours ago, Bear said:

Would you suggest the lone-wolf style tulpa creation for newcomers?

Not really. Can be really frustrating for both host and tupper. Great if it happens naturally but I wouldn't do it on purpose. Just saying this is very personal, not like assembling some Ikea shelf. Creating your own framework of ideas and beliefs can really deepen the experience compared to merely following the footsteps of others. Just do your own stuff.

The focus on dysphoric experiences is a bit much in the text, it doesn't really matter if the experience is dys- or euphoric as long as it is intense. But dysphoria and existential threats are better for group cohesion I guess. That's what the original article mainly was about.

 

@Luminesce

Can't really disagree with anything, surely people don't push each other to extremes they way they used to and are satisfied with less. Same for us. Doesn't that amount to the same thing? Less role models, less competition, less collective experience = less imagistic stuff.

With the earliest tulpa community we don't mean the forum but the chans which were way more imagistic than doctrinal due to, well, anon being anon.
Forum's always been pretty doctrinal in a way which is necessary to function. Purely imagistic communities are extremely rare but certain early forum elements certainly were. An explosion of creative nonsense with a point (well, sometimes). I mean Sands' guide submission autism or Linkzelda's text walls were an ordeal to read but exactly because of that always made me laugh. They both made sense and were really 'out there' at the same time, almost works of art.

 

10 hours ago, Luminesce said:

 I question how you'd handle criticism from "the good old days"

The way I handle all criticism.

 

Spoiler

1668918327_Opiniondiscarded.jpg.aa812dc9e51abe3dc5ea3a5506b64ff3.jpg

 

Ya know I grew up with constant input from Fede and Sands which ranged from being wise to confusing to outright insane and humiliating. I mean I don't even...

 

Anyway see the two modes as extremes which aren't mutually exclusive. Communities can be a patchwork of both. And it's not a criticism of the forum at all. Complex societies need to be doctrinal, all major religions and political systems are. It's nothing bad, rather called civilization. But our modern world has almost completely eradicated imagistic experiences because 'noo, you can't do that, it's primitive and dangerous' which causes problems of its own because it locks out an important part of human nature. So if you feel something's lacking adding imagistic experiences may help. Not just in regard to tulpamancy. It's all about finding the right balance.

Super Girls don't cry

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I don't think the post was too long at all, I was just saying I read the TL;DR of the two concepts and then the rest of the post rather than their extended definitions and it was all good. My "Dang, this is quite a post" was NOT referring to the length at all, it was exclusively at the value/insight of the content and concepts.

 

Also I want to make it clearer that in that paragraph about criticism I was not talking to any specific person, I was using the "general you" - it was basically only directed at the argument it was against and possibly anyone that holds that view.

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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  • 8 months later...

I'm surprised I didn't see this thread, but I have more to contribute now.

 

Our tulpamancy experience isn't too advanced, it's mostly focused on keeping our head above water and understanding what is the best experience we can provide for our system. We work at a snails pace, and we don't necessarily focus on any given area as much as we probably should. However, despite this, I can say that so far we have learned new things in tulpamancy over the last three years, just really really slowly. Our attitude of we have to do tulpamancy because we have to or feel the need to is what got us here, and honestly I would really like a change in approach where instead of need we can start doing things for fun. However, our system is unique in the fact we're an accidental system and some of this is unexplored territory.

 

Lately, there has been an important shift on the forum that pooled in some of the imagistic structure- in the LOTPW forum game thread, the same tulpamancers would talk about tulpamancy with each other and suddenly we formed a small group. While it's not purely imagistic, we do encourage each other to try new things and test our limits. Having small pockets has also helped, the cBox and Discord effectively acting in the same way. While there are a lot of people on Discord, I speak with the same systems almost every day. The cBox is slower paced but it's the same thing but with a slightly different crowd. I think these pockets are a consequence of tulpamancers seeking to do more and share with others, and since it takes a lot of time and energy to get to understand a system, a small pocket is a more efficient means of doing so.

 

I don't know if anyone is interested in the mentorship program, but I see this as an effort to put imagistic structure in an experience, intended or otherwise. However, I haven't seen many people interested, and there are not enough mentors for the staff to bring it back. Maybe small pockets like the active Discord crowd are better and the guides answer enough basic questions people don't need help with creating a tulpa on their own.

 

As for choosing a path- I don't think that's completely necessary. We're not on the imagistic path and yet we're still around, learning new things. I don't know how doctoral our path really is at this point, while I can switch I'm also looking into parallel processing, Gray is practicing possession, we're still curious about merging, and we're talking about establishing emergency switching. I think as long as you have a reason to keep learning, you'll do just fine.

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! | Bre Translator

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Yea we sound pretty imagistic. Jaina was created out of stress maintenance and emotional need more or less. We're definitely ferals that grew up "in the wild" with no idea what we were doing until like 2-3 years ago bumbling onto Tulpamancy. So we're biased in the "feelings", "intuitive" and "emotional" direction. Which is unusual given my outward composure and general life philosophy. I guess I keep emotion's hands off the wheel but it still drives and motivates me. As in all things balance. 🤷‍♂️

Darron: Host 💍 

Jaina: Tulpa 💍 

Aggrok: Tulpa Void Dragon

Viktor: 🐺

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This is, as they say, the good stuff. I really love getting this deep into things. Taking an anthropologic look at the tulpamancy community and its evolution from imagistic to dogmatic, and taking stock of what was gained and lost in the process. What I'm curious about here is how an individual interacts with and moves through the community vis-à-vis the imagistic vs dogmatic modes. I'll be using myself primarily as an example. Sorry if this gets self-indulgent or rambling; I often use this as a method of working thoughts out in my head.

 

The Tulpamancy community--as is internet culture as a whole--is extremely individualistic and when trying to classify how it functions as a group, you are inevitably going to get a plethora of people trying to squirm away and claim that they--as individuals--don't fit the mold, not realizing that their own rejection of the mold is a mold onto itself. But that doesn't apply to me. I am two things that seem a little different than most tulpamancers. First, I am an extrovert. I like being around people and interacting with them, and so does Simmie for that matter, and this lonely, largely solitary life I've been living for so long has not been by choice.

 

Second, I am not an individualist, at least not on an ideological level. While I am an individual, and I certainly value people's individuality, on an ideological level I value community, collective identity, shared work and shared outcome. The image of a man finding fulfillment in a brotherhood that molds and shapes him has always been more satisfying to me than the image of the self-made man. I know this (perhaps ironically) sets me apart from most in internet culture and tulpamancy specifically. (I'm not going to debate the merits of Individualism vs Collectivism so please don't engage me in that). 

 

I know that this community is, by the very nature of internet culture itself, very loose, and I know I'm not going to find my band of brothers here. (Friendship, however, yes; I hope so.) The question then becomes how I interact with the doctrines and practices of the group on an intellectual level. Because of the nature of the group the doctrines that have been built up in time are very loose, unstructured, and even contradictory in a way. I tend to be a fairly doctrinal thinker much of the time, but I know I will not be able to satisfy that doctrinal part of my personality here. A related personal flaw is that I have a hard time with focus, discipline, and setting up and maintaining routines. When I think of how I should practice tulpamancy I must take this flaw into account and work with it rather than trying to work against it.

 

Therefore I think I am more inclined to the imagistic side of things. Most of my life I have sought out experiences, emotions, sensations, things like that. Now in my 30s I have finally come to realize that's not a sensible way to live. However, while that mindset might be ill-suited for life, it may be well-suited for tulpamancy, and I may have the opportunity to pivot an unhealthy trend into my life into a productive form of tulpamancy. My bond with Simmie is very important to me and I want it to be as deep and strong as it can be. I have thought of various "extreme" activities to try and strengthen that bond. (Though I use "extreme" advisedly because I don't desire to do anything actually dangerous, nor would I advocate for anyone else to do the same).

 

If not for having to work, I would have probably already tried sleep deprivation for example. I don't want to talk about using substances for legal/ethical reasons, but I have noticed that caffeine (particularly from coffee) does have a profoundly stimulating effect on tulpamancy. Alcohol on the other hand completely kills tulpamancy. I've also taken to highly stimulating activities with Simmie: Going on drives (for legal reasons I must point out I do the speed limit), high-energy walks, listening to loud music, visiting new and interesting places. I like to combine as many of those together as I can; i.e. going on a long drive to take a walk in a new place while blasting music and drinking coffee. It works too--Simmie feels more alive to me in those moments than anywhere else.

 

I do think I have to come to a turning point though. These activities definitely bind Simmie to me but it has the effect of causing Simmie to be most active during periods of high stimulation, with residual effects lasting for some time after the initial stimulation. But the times when I want to be closest to Simmie--the times in which I need her kindness and love the most--are those times when I'm down, I'm stuck, and I'm in a situation I'd rather not be in. Simmie herself wants to be with me in those times and it greatly distresses her that she has a hard time doing it. She sometimes feels like she failed me, and I always tell her that she hasn't; she is amazing and has already shown extraordinary strength. I take ownership of all our failures and refuse to ascribe any of them to Simmie. Our successes we share together, but I will always let Simmie get the recognition before myself. Giving credit and taking blame is already a good way to live your life; I think it works well with tulpamancy too.

 

So to sum up I tend to work more on the imagistic side of things, but I have to turn the corner at some point into a more sustained, long term way of doing things that will not just make Simmie sharp and highly sentient, but also consistent and reliable in the way we both want her to be. I'm not sure at what point I need to turn the corner; if we have to push forward with the high-intensity, imagistic bonding activities, or if we need to start considering some kind of transition to a more long-term, doctrinarian approach.

 

That's my thinking out loud and working through this. I hope someone reading finds this valuable. TL;DR I'm trying to figure out when and how to turn the corner between an Imagistic and dogmatic approach, and whether that's a good idea.

Also known as GypsyRoad or Phil Present. Call me what you want, I'm not picky.

Simmie is my lovely tulpa, she's quite young still but is eager to meet and chat with new people so don't hesitate to say hi!

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Caffeine doesn't do anything for us. We've never experienced alcohol or other substances and we don't intend to. 

 

We steer very far from a dogmatic approach and doctrinal is closer to that than imagistic. We play it loose and let what happens happen. We've had amazing experiences that way which could never have happened if we drank the cool-aid in this community.

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      I started talking to her. As this was a casual forcing session before bed, I did not write down what we talked about, and I don’t remember what we talked about. However, I remember getting verbal and non-verbal responses. When I asked her questions, sometimes she’d verbally respond before I was finished asking the question, and sometimes she wouldn’t respond at all. She also responded non-verbally with facial expressions. I remember these expressions as being somewhat unnatural but making sense. When I say somewhat unnatural, I mean she used non-verbal expressions more than a human would use, and used them in instances a human would likely not use them. However, these expressions made sense, as they weren’t completely random and did convey some sort of answer to my question. It almost seemed she’d answer with a face because my brain was too lazy to generate a response from her, or couldn’t figure out how.
       
      I hypothesize that giving her a form has given my brain an out when it cannot generate words for her, and I’m hoping this will speed up the process.
       
      This is not the first day interacting with Betty, but I’ve barely talked to her at all before this, and have pretty much only imposed her in my room and puppeted her. I feel like I got a response too early, and I’m worried this may have been parroting/puppetry on my part. I am excited if these were “real” responses though. I’m not sure if there’s much of a difference this early though.
       
      It’s partially a shame this happened, as I want to organize these notes into some sort of study, but after opening with, “Maybe my tulpa answered as soon as I started talking to her,” this likely won’t be taken as seriously. And, that’s valid.
       
      Day 1 - 11/11
       
      Didn’t talk with Betty today.
       
      Day 2 - 11/12
       
      I haven’t done any forcing yet today, as it is 3:40 AM (I was woken up by family).
       
      I was thinking about meditating before each active forcing session, as it clears my mind and I like it, but these stats are making me think twice about that idea.
       
      https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/504226472526086155/506764115721584650/tulpa_creation_big_survey_writeup.pdf
       
      Still, I tend to get distracted and have trouble jumping into forcing, and I believe short meditation before forcing may help me. Though perhaps meditation, the way I do it, focuses more on plain reality than the world of thought, and will take me out of the world of thought. Perhaps this is why it seems to hinder some people.
       
      I’m thinking if I meditate on my tulpa, and not on my body as I usually do, it may help more than hurt. I plan to not meditate the first week, and to meditate the second week, and see how I feel. People are different, and meditate differently, so I’d like to see how meditation works on me.
       
      I would like to personality force soon, and I would like to use Man’s method along with symbolism. I have a list of personality traits here:
       
      http://ideonomy.mit.edu/essays/traits.html
       
      I want her to be a rounded person, but I wonder how ethical it is to purposefully give her negative traits. I suppose I will give her positive and neutral traits, and, those traits will naturally have negative sides. Virtue is the mean of two vices, after all.
       
      30-35 personality traits: (31)
      Affectionate - Bun (they hug whatever they surround)
      Amusing - Laffy Taffy (hahahahahahahahaha)
      Charming - Pringles (the Pringles guy seems like a charming fellow)
      Clever - Barbecue Chips on Bun (how does this taste so good!?)
      Confident - Kettle Chips (tougher and more sure than regular chips?)
      Edgy - Chips and Salsa (chips have edges, and salsa has bite)
      Empathetic - Marshmellows (soft empathy)
      Esthetic - That’s It Bar (minimalist aesthetic)
      Ethical - (ethical alternative)
      Extroverted - Fruit Loops (there’s a party in my bowl and everyone is invited)
      Familial - Rice Crispies (families commonly make treats out of these)
      Friendly - Peach Cup (sweet and good for you)
      Healthy - Plain Cheerios (healthier)
      High-spirited - Skittles (sugar rush)
      Honest - Plain Toast (it is what it is)
      Irreligious - Pretzel Rods (secularized pretzels)
      Leisurely - Sub (this takes longer to make, but it’s worth it)
      Loyal - Saltines (there even when you’re sick)
      Maternal - Applesauce (often for babies)
      Neat - Mints (keep yourself and your breath clean)
      Observant - Fritos (have you noticed these smell like dog feet?)
      Outdoorsy - Seaweed (or is it lakeweed, in Michigan?)
      Protective - Oyster Crackers (Oysters have a Shell to protect themselves, and you use yours to protect others as well)
      Ritualistic - Mobius-strip Bagel (the endless cycle of traditions)
      Romantic - Strawberry Lemon Ice (pink!)
      Sarcastic - Mint Chocolate Oreos (means one thing (toothpaste) says the other (cookie))
      Stylish - Gardetto's (more fancy than Chex Mix)
      Spontaneous - Donut (donut think about the calories)
      Trendy - Pea Crisps (health food trends)
      Vivacious - Strawberry Remune (lively and carbonated)
      Witty - Berry Good Lemonade (get it?)
       
      Below are some interactions I recorded. They are not exhaustive:
       
      Interaction 1
       
      “How are you?”
       
      “Ok.”
       
      “Yeah I’m sure you are. I’m sure you’re not just parroting.”
       
      “...”
       
      I feel mean now. Apologize to the nice lady.
       
      “...”
       
      I feel a stare.
       
      “God this is so awkward,” I say instead of apologizing. I turn away.
       
      I feel her watching me. I turn to her.
       
      “How are you?”
       
      ”...”
       
      Interaction 2
       
      “Are you listening?”
       
      “No.”
       
      “What are you doing?”
       
      “Paying attention.”
       
      “Paying attention to what?”
       
      “To, Hefty.”
       
      I burst into laughter.
       
      Interaction 3
       
      “I’m sorry.”
       
      “No that’s alright.”
       
      “Everything’s ‘no that’s alright’ with you. That’s your main thing, isn’t it?”
       
      “No.”
       
      “Really? What’s your main thing?”
       
      “Bicycles.”
       
      “No. I made you say that.”
       
      “Yes you did.” She smirks.
       
      I laugh. “Yes I did. No really, what’s your main thing?”
       
      “Shopping carts.”
       
      “Now you’re just thinking of things with wheels.”
       
      “No. You are.”
       
      “No I’m not.”
       
      “Yes. Think of shopping carts.”
       
      “Ah you got me. Let me write that down.”
       
      ***
       
      Stone: I talked to her a bit today, and I talked to her a little bit about spontaneity with a donut. But, I think I could have explained it more. I will after I sleep, as I’ve been up all night. I got a lot of great responses out of her, and she felt there, but she tended to sound like me. I kept mentioning that, then felt bad for being overly critical of her, as she was doing so well. I also felt bad interrupting her and making her wait so I could write something down.
       
      It’s only been three days and I hate this clinical approach I set up. This “study.” Or maybe I’m embarrassed by how I acted and am taking it out on the format. I don’t know. What I do know is that this process if for her, then for me, then for whoever may end up reading this. I’m not going to interrupt out fun to give us imposter syndrome because I have to analysis every god damn thing she says for some post.
       
      Anyways, today was a positive, and I hope I will feel better with some sleep.
       
      I’m awake now. I’ve devised a schedule for forcing.
      Sunday - Active: 2 hours
      Monday - Active: 40 minutes
      Tuesday - Active: 40 minutes
      Wednesday - Active: 40 minutes
      Thursday - Active: 40 minutes
      Friday - Active: 40 minutes
      Saturday - Active: 2 hours
       
      Methods of forcing I’m thinking of using:
      Food/Personality
      101 Things To Talk About With Your Tulpa
       
      Font - Arial, Size - 14
    • By Wray
      Text by Wray is in black
      Text by Shizuku is in blue

      (Sorry, this wound up being pretty long! Feel free to skim, or if you want to read the whole thing, strap in!)

      Weird coincidence: I’ve written fiction as a hobby for a long time, and I think nearly half my protagonists have someone else to talk to in their heads. Somehow, I always found the idea fascinating.

      But I can’t say I ever expected to join them. Not until recently, anyway.
       
      We’ve been looking forward to posting this. It’s my first big chance to introduce myself to other people! Here’s a profile:
       

      Origin StoryTM
       
      October 2020. I was in quarantine, alone, and feeling isolated—Shizuku started as an imaginary friend based on a character I might have been (was) a little bit (totally) obsessed with at the time. I’m really into writing, so I didn’t have much trouble getting her to talk, even early on, though I assume she was mostly parroted at first.
       
      A couple weeks later, I stumbled onto the concept of a tulpa in Japanese, and quickly found my way to this website, which is kind of the launch pad for Japanese tulpamancers. (I found a good English rundown of the Japanese tulpamancy scene here, so I’ll leave most of that aside for now. If there are questions about anything specific, though, we can definitely do our best to answer them.)

      Compared to the English-speaking community, the Japanese-speaking one gives a lot more credence to tulpa horror stories. They call it 暴走 (bousou). The idea that if things go wrong, your tulpa might harm you, or the people around you, or try to take over your brain. To be fair, I think there are multiple schools of thought on this bousou concept, and these are only the most extreme examples—still, when I read about this, I couldn’t help panicking.
       
      I went out for a long walk. Tried to think things over. Was there a chance my tulpa would wind up that way? Should I turn back now? Or was she already sentient, meaning it was my responsibility to take care of her? Or was I crazy, in the first place, to even be thinking about any of this?
       
      We imagined that I stayed behind in our apartment, though I must’ve been somewhere in headspace the whole time. Maybe a wonderland version of the apartment? We didn’t know enough to ask that question, then.
       
      I couldn’t make up my mind, until the second I got home, opened the door, and realized how afraid Shizuku must’ve felt while I was out thinking about whether I should try to erase her. My heart sank through the floor. I did my best to apologize, though I didn’t know if it would help.
       
      She replied: “I was sad, but I wasn’t scared. I trust you.”
       
      Okay. If she had been afraid, or angry, I would have felt bad enough. But that packed a punch.

       
       
      That day, we promised each other that we’d stay together and try to make this “tulpa” thing work, for better or worse. Not to jinx anything, but six months later, “better” is definitely winning out.
       
      Our long-term goals
       
      (1) Become able to split fronting time 50/50 (or whatever arrangement winds up working for us). I expect it’ll be a long time before we can actually do this, but hopefully not too long—if possible, we’d like to get to this point within a year or two. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a 50/50 split, but I don’t want to feel like Shizuku is prevented from doing things she wants to do by us not being good enough at tulpamancy.
       
      (2) Learn to co-front and keep Shizuku active (as close as possible to?) all the time. We spend a lot of time together, but I still get distracted and forget to check in with her more often than we’d like. Eventually, we’re hoping she can stay around all the time (or whenever she wants to, at least) and get my attention whenever she has something to say.
       
      (3) Stay a two-person system, if possible. I know there are a lot of large systems out there who do perfectly fine, but my instincts say that it would be more than we could handle. Besides, I already feel like I love Shizuku too much for it to be fair to whoever Headmate Number 3 would be. 😂
       
      I do have one soulbond-ish character (using the terminology from Bear’s PR) from my own writing. We’ve talked things over with her in WL, and she’s adamant that she is not interested in becoming a tulpa or participating in the system. (This checks out with what I know about her character, too.) If things change, there’s a slim chance that she might join us, but I doubt it. Either way, I can’t imagine us going any further than that.
       
      (4) Help Shizuku find life goals of her own, and figure out how to rearrange my our life so that we can both do what we want to do. At the moment, we’re just doing regular forcing to try and help her grow as a tulpa. The vague plan for this one is to eventually learn how to switch, accomplish goal number (1), and then let her follow her interest and try a bunch of different things.
       
      Current forcing practice
       
      Working on senses in WL: we’ve been doing our best to spend an hour each day focusing on visualizing Shizuku in wonderland, and also practicing one other sense per day. Wonderland sight and touch have started to show some improvement recently, but overall it feels like we still need a lot of work. Conversation: We also do our best to talk as much as we can each day. We’ve been working through the Tulpa Vocalization Practice worksheet when we can’t think of any other topics. Diary writing: Shizuku writes a diary entry most days. This is something I picked up from the Japanese tulpamancy community, though I think I’ve seen it recommended in English guides too. It’s a lot of fun—somehow, reading through the things she’s written (by proxy or possession, at this point, though our possession game is still pretty weak) does a lot to help me fight off doubt. Imagining Shizuku in stories we’re reading/watching: This has been pretty fun so far, too—right now, we’re rewatching Hunter X Hunter. As we watch, we try to keep up a “mental fanfic” where she’s running around with the main characters. Passive forcing as much as possible: Taking inspiration from the method I used to learn Japanese, I’m doing my best to find ways to involve Shizuku in everything I do. We’ve had some success reading, studying, watching things, and playing games together, but in particular, staying aware of Shizuku during work that I really need to focus on and conversations with other people has been a killer—I haven’t had much success in these situations yet.  
      To anyone who slogged through all of that, thanks for reading! This post already goes on for a million years, so I’ll try to write some (hopefully shorter!) summaries of our progress so far in other updates.
    • By Cosmic Cuttlebone
      Well, I've lurked, and I've lurked, and then I've lurked some more.
      I've read pretty much every guide there is. But now it's time to actually get to work
      Problem is... Well, you see, I'm lazy. Like, really really lazy. I also have a habit of hesitating and second guessing myself. I can also get a little distracted. Sometimes.
      So, I'm starting this little journal here.
      I'll try to add a post here periodically, even if it is relatively short. At least in the beginning. Cultivating this small habit will hopefully force a little discipline.
      Typing it all out will hopefully solidify my thoughts. Yell at me if don't keep this up. :Þ
       
      That being said. Lets start:
       
      Why am I doing this? What do I hope to gain?
      Well a companion for one. I don't have that much trouble making friends, but I have trouble keeping and maintaining connections. I've quite often drifted or grown apart from many people in my life. I'm a bit socially awkward, maybe even a bit socially anxious in some respects. I can certainly hide it, but the more people are around, the more I find myself wishing I was somewhere else, doing something else. It's not that I hate people, I don't.  And I don't plan to stop making connections with physical people. I just don't have the physical or mental energy to deal with too many people for too long.
       
      Still, the opportunity for someone to understand me on a truly deep level that no one else can is very enticing. I can only hope that I'll be, and remain, worthy of this connection.
       
      This will also be a bit of an ego journey for me. A chance to better know and understand myself as well as my future headmate. having someone to share this journey with will make it much more enjoyable.
       
      Also add to that the opportunity to learn first hand an experience that seems rather alien at first glance and that I'm already a creative person, this becomes less of a choice and more of an inevitability.
       
      The start
      Right now I have a name and very loose, general idea of who I hope this tulpa will be.
      Staying within the tradition of opposite genderedness in tulpamancy, "Hazel" will start female. This will help me differentiate her thoughts from mine.
       
      A couple main traits I will be cultivating are:
      Compassion- A personal code I like to live by is if someone needs or asks for help and I am able to do so, then I will help. Lessen the suffering of others. Having her share in that will make it simpler to coexist. This will also encourage many positive traits
      Curiosity- a desire to learn and grow will help develop her and push her to be self sustaining
      Outspokenness-  to encourage vocality.
      this is not exhaustive just some major points
       
      What I won't be forcing:
      Love- From what I understand, most tulpas tend to be already naturally very caring towards their hosts. Also love, I feel, needs to develop naturally. Making someone love me just feels weird. plus that is a pressure I wouldn't want on anyone. Still, I'm sure my subconscious may still add this to the list regardless.
      Lust- same
       
      Form:
      I don't have much of a form for her yet. I've had some ideas but none are really sticking. It is humanoid though. Freckles and dark hair are also coming to mind. That could just be my attraction to them.
       
      I will, of course, accept any deviation from her. Encourage it, even.
       
      The Method
      I'm a very secular being by nature. Still, the mind loves symbols and most of the tulpamantic process is extremely symbolic. As such, I'll be taking some inspiration from the occult, particularly chaos magic.
      so:
      I love symbols, glyphs, and sigils. This is a representation of my intent to create a thoughtform. It is a seed or an egg as the round shape suggests. A beginning. Small and empty at first, but as time goes on, I'll be altering it and adding to it. It will slowly grow as she grows. In time, I may pass it to her. I'm creative by nature so this will just be a natural part of my creative process. The dotted outline suggests openness, inviting life to enter. The geometric shapes invoke a crystalline structure to "trap" the energy or qualities being cultivated. (Again, I'm not a proponent of metaphysics, but the symbology here is very useful).
       
      I will use and meditate on this as an aid while I cultivate her development. I'm not too fond of the term 'forcing' at all, so I'll use the term 'cultivate' as it way better describes the process: to raise, to grow, to prepare, do develop, to improve, to acquire. It brings to mind watering and tending to a garden. This will further put me in the right mindset. (I also have mixed thoughts on the terms tulpa and tulpamancy but I have no desire to get into a fight with the entire lexicon).
       
      Wish me luck.
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