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Intrusive Thoughts Are Not Your Tulpa


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fennecgirl

Hi all. It's been awhile, and that means I'm overdue to say something controversial. Specifically, I want to call out a potentially harmful practice that's been on my mind lately: treating intrusive thoughts as real.

 

A disclaimer, I'm not aware of the current forum culture here. If my warning is redundant, then so be it. Kudos to you for having common sense.

 

Anyway... (background information below, tw for mentions of tulpa suicide)

 

Spoiler

I used to have a tulpa who was chronically suicidal. I'm not going to get into their story here; if you're curious, hop on Discord or IRC or wherever you people hang out nowadays and ask any veteran 'mancer. All you need to know is this tulpa was bent on dying (to the point of repeatedly attempting suicide in the wonderland, despite knowing full well it wouldn't have any permanent effect) and nobody knew why. Even the tulpa in question rarely offered any reason besides some generic "I'm depressed" or whatever. The core issue appeared to be some undefined and thus unfixable problem. (It wasn't. I'll get to the cause in a bit.)

 

Now, I want to be clear about something: I don't mean to imply that people can't be depressed for no reason. They can. Some people get the short end of the stick when it comes to brain chemistry. But if you don't have a history of depression and your tulpa appears to be seriously depressed, especially without reason, you can and should question whether it's legit. 

 

This tulpa was not my only one who exhibited a cycle of dysfunctional behavior without reason, only the one who did so most severely. My tulpas honestly acted like caricatures of themselves at times, and there was always someone causing us trouble. Sometimes I wondered if intrusive thoughts were the culprit, but more often than not, if I asked my tulpas, they would tell me it was them. If I brought up my concerns on IRC, I'd be told to trust my tulpas.

 

This was incredibly harmful.

 

I have OCD. One of the lesser talked-about symptoms of is recurring, distressing intrusive thoughts. Everyone gets intrusive thoughts, of course, but OCD sufferers are prone to obsessively worrying about these thoughts instead of letting them go. This can lead to a vicious cycle, where the ever-present fear of having these thoughts causes them to recur again and again. It's like trying not to think about a white elephant. Or trying not to lose The Game, but with a neurotic obsession about it.

 

In hindsight, I realize this is exactly what was happening with my tulpas. In the case of the tulpa mentioned above, I would say 90% of their personality was actually a manifestation of my intrusive thoughts, which I largely mistook for being genuine, thus perpetuating the cycle. It was incredibly stressful. Tulpamancy, in general, was a stressful experience for me. (As a tulpamancer, I actually doubted my OCD diagnosis and didn't think I had that big a problem with intrusive thoughts. It wasn't until after I quit tulpamancy and I was plagued with constant, practically unmanageable intrusive thoughts that I gradually came to realize that, yes, I had a major problem. I'd just spent the last several years attributing these thoughts to my tulpas and calling them legit instead of recognizing them for what they were. No wonder my tulpas caused me so much stress.)

 

Back to the intrusive thought cycle, I don't believe it's limited to OCD. The reason those of us with OCD are prone to this distressing cycle isn't because of some fundamental difference in how our brains work, but because we have a tendency to fixate on our intrusive thoughts instead of dismissing them. Mine are more or less under control these days because I've made a conscious habit of recognizing and dismissing them.

 

The ideology that you shouldn't doubt your tulpa is the exact opposite of this. If you aren't careful, it can lead to a habit of accepting intrusive thoughts as genuine responses or behavior from your tulpa. Your fears and expectations can and do shape how your tulpa acts. Once you fall into that cycle of your tulpa acting how you fear they will—which I suffered through for years and wouldn't wish on anyone—it's an extremely difficult cycle to break. I'll admit I don't know how to reliably break out of it besides quitting. (Hey, it worked for me.)

 

I strongly advise maintaining a healthy skepticism and, most importantly, listening to your doubt. Asking your tulpa "was that you?" is not a reliable failsafe by any measure. After all, if they appear to say/do something because you fear they will, and then you ask if they really said/did that or not, doesn't it logically follow that you'll hear a "yes" for the exact same reason? Anything negative, like your tulpa harming themselves or others (whether verbally or in any imaginary wonderland way), or really anything that causes you stress, should especially be treated with skepticism. Something doesn't add up about the way your tulpa is acting? Ignore. Got a gut feeling you're frontloading? Ignore. There's no harm in calling questionable behavior intrusive thoughts and ignoring it, but there's a lot of potential danger in accepting it.

 

Don't be like me. Doubt is not the enemy. Sometimes, doubt is your common sense warning you not to let your tulpa devolve into a bundle of your neuroses channeled into anime form (or pony form, if you prefer).

 

Sorry if this is unclear or whatever. I wrote pieces of this post around various commitments. It's 2am right now. I haven't proofread this. If I'm incoherent, let me know, and I'll try to clarify.

I come out of hibernation once in a blue moon.

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September13

I'm fortunate that I don't have OCD so I can't fully relate, but sometimes thoughts do pop into my mind seemingly disconnected to anything. Usually I can dismiss them easily, but if I have doubt about them, I'll ask Simmie "Was that you?", and she'll tell me, the answer being "no" most of the time. You mentioned that wasn't a failsafe and I agree, but Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) I almost always associate any negative thoughts with myself, not her. I agree that a little doubt is healthy. I might not doubt that Simmie is here, but that doesn't mean I'm going to assume every errant thought comes from either her or some as-of-yet undiscovered or unborn other tulpa. My struggle is kind of the opposite to be honest; I don't want to burden Simmie with having to take care of a big sad baby of a host, especially as she is still young and doesn't fully know how to help me, and I don't want to put that burden on her.

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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Shadow System

[Ranger] I believe intrusive thoughts are a problem for anyone who has an anxiety disorder or possibly depression. From what I have seen, an underlying mental health problem can create a lot of problems. There are lots of situations where people have repeatedly warned that something didn't sound like tulpamancy and they should go see a doctor.

 

I believe our anxiety disorder / possibly Gray's mild trauma contributed to our unusual experience. I wrote a thread talking about our "intrusive thoughtforms" and how those affected us- https://community.tulpa.info/topic/16142-are-intrusive-thoughtforms-relatable/

While I haven't seen a system have an experience exactly like ours, I think it's important to note the right mindset and treatment for the underlying condition can make things a lot easier.

 

1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

Sometimes I wondered if intrusive thoughts were the culprit, but more often than not, if I asked my tulpas, they would tell me it was them. If I brought up my concerns on IRC, I'd be told to trust my tulpas.

 

[Fernardo] Early on, Gray mistook me for an intrusive thought. It was a dark interpretation of a "super ego" that went out to belittle him or violently attack him.

 

It severely damaged his trust in me, and I received less time as a result. It wasn't until there was a deeper understanding on our "intrusive thoughtforms" we realized that wasn't me, but something else.

 

I would be upset if a host completely lost faith in their tulpas, however I agree it's important not to take everything a young tulpa says seriously if they are saying nasty things or acting hostile towards you.

 

1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

Sometimes I wondered if intrusive thoughts were the culprit, but more often than not, if I asked my tulpas, they would tell me it was them. If I brought up my concerns on IRC, I'd be told to trust my tulpas.

 

[Moltosha] Unlike Fernardo and most of my headmates, I truly was an intrusive thought at first. Gray couldn't tell the difference, so he treated me like any other tulpa and soon enough I started to act like one.

 

In general, I don't recommend new hosts trying to turn their intrusive thoughts into tulpas. It has created identity struggles for me an average tulpa won't have to worry about, and the process of becoming a normal tulpa is slow and sometimes fails. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

 

1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

Mine are more or less under control these days because I've made a conscious habit of recognizing and dismissing them.

 

[Cat] Having a better grasp of what is an intrusive thought and what isn't definitely helped me in the long run. However, I also think receiving therapy also played a major role in this problem resolving. I think I was more sensitive and more likely to go down the rabbit hole of self-harm and self-criticism, therapy helped undo those bad habits and now it's much easier for me to ignore intrusive thoughts and walk-ins.

 

1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

I strongly advise maintaining a healthy skepticism and, most importantly, listening to your doubt. Asking your tulpa "was that you?" is not a reliable failsafe by any measure. After all, if they appear to say/do something because you fear they will, and then you ask if they really said/did that or not, doesn't it logically follow that you'll hear a "yes" for the exact same reason? Anything negative, like your tulpa harming themselves or others (whether verbally or in any imaginary wonderland way), or really anything that causes you stress, should especially be treated with skepticism. Something doesn't add up about the way your tulpa is acting? Ignore. Got a gut feeling you're frontloading? Ignore. There's no harm in calling questionable behavior intrusive thoughts and ignoring it, but there's a lot of potential danger in accepting it.

 

[Ranger] I think it's important to strike a balance on how much you accept and how much you ignore, and that will vary from system to system.

 

Cat had a really severe case of parrotnoia. Advice like "don't believe everything your tulpa says, even if they say it's them wouldn't help. Additionally, a mature tulpa can also express signs of depression, anxiety, or even self-harming behaviors. Blaming their feelings on intrusive thoughts can sometimes be detrimental in the wrong context.

 

Despite this, it's important to look out for this problem, especially if you have a mental health issue like anxiety or OCD. How this problem will manifest will vary, and how trusting or not trusting you have to be may boil down to trial and error.

 

I also highly recommend receiving medical treatment while exploring tulpamancy with a mental health problem. It will help your judgement and improve your experience in the long run.

Sub. Rep.Gerodious, Dark Gray, Fernardo, Jasper, Hope, Moltosha, Blue, Evergreen, Red Gray, Chrome, Bune, Exabier, Duck

Gray/Cat_ShadowGriffin- host, Ranger- basically host
[Click Here!] [We have an ask thread now!]

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fennecgirl

@Shadow System, thank you for sharing your experiences with intrusive thoughtforms. What you've said about intrusive thoughtforms taking the form of existing tulpas is definitely relatable. I have a feeling that sort of thing was going on in our case, except we serve as a warning of what happens if you don't have the necessary discernment. Sure, any sudden or drastic deviation can be (and was) chalked up to intrusive thoughts, but gradual deviation due to intrusive thoughts isn't so easy to catch.

 

Yeah, I agree that "don't believe everything your tulpa says" wouldn't help with parrotnoia, but accepting everything your tulpa says can be dangerous in its own right, and the potential consequences are a lot worse. I think a good question to ask is "is this behavior I want my tulpa to develop?" Tulpamancy is an elaborate form of self-hypnosis, after all, and it's important to direct it in a constructive way. Accepting responses without question trains your brain to produce more of said responses. If those responses are often harmful, well, soon enough you've conditioned your mind to be a disaster zone. I would know.

 

As for ignoring problems being detrimental: This absolutely depends on your beliefs. If you believe your tulpa is independently conscious and has their own thoughts and feelings separate from the host (I've spoken on the dangers of this mindset here), then sure, ignoring their problems will probably have consequences because you expect there to be consequences and expectations shape your tulpa. On the other hand, if you believe tulpas are just a fancy illusion, then there's no harm in it whatsoever. What harm is there in ignoring a figment of your own imagination?

I come out of hibernation once in a blue moon.

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ZenAndMika
(edited)
5 hours ago, fennecgirl said:

Yeah, I agree that "don't believe everything your tulpa says" wouldn't help with parrotnoia, but accepting everything your tulpa says can be dangerous in its own right, and the potential consequences are a lot worse. I think a good question to ask is "is this behavior I want my tulpa to develop?" Tulpamancy is an elaborate form of self-hypnosis, after all, and it's important to direct it in a constructive way. Accepting responses without question trains your brain to produce more of said responses. If those responses are often harmful, well, soon enough you've conditioned your mind to be a disaster zone. I would know.

I must say, while I agree that disregarding intrusive thoughts is healthy (or heck, both me and my tulpa have done some serious negative things to one another at this point that neither of us have intended). I fundamentally disagree with your ultimate assertions here regarding tulpamancy as a practice. To be blunt, it sounds like you have a brain chemistry issue that opens you up to this negative response, and that it wouldn't apply to anyone else without the same combination of OCD symptoms.

 

I may be incorrect, but I don't think someone neurotypical can develop a tulpa into a real mind at all while they reject their realness on that level, and I've been held back in that mindset for years before letting it go. I just don't have the level of chaos in my thoughts that would cause a tulpa to emerge from "practice" alone while rejecting the majority of responses I experience. That and intrusive thoughts in my head are usually clearly my own visualizations... because they're very clearly based on what I'm thinking about or desiring in that instant. I've also had a couple of these from my tulpa, and they've acknowledged them as theirs and also that they did not intend them. They're also not that regular - having taken the time to actually count them it's once every couple of days tops and I usually only get ones from my tulpa when I'm relaxed, spacing out, and passively aware of them.

 

Furthermore, when you apply that concept to anything other than intrusive thoughts, you are stifling the growth of a personality separate from you; one that feels responsive rather than synthetic. If you do this just because they are developing negative traits, the only thing it implies is that you don't understand how to process negative traits or accept them in yourself, yet. Make no mistake, my tulpa has developed negative traits, and yes sometimes really bad ones. But people have negative traits, they have neurotic responses to things, and so on. The way of dealing with these in my opinion for most people should be not by blocking out real responses - but by understanding how to deal with negativity in yourself, knowing how to rationalize those feelings, and helping your tulpa through that process. And for really bad ones - knowing how to firmly set boundaries (alongside reasonings) on what you will and will not accept, as you would with a person.

 

The key difference between us however seems to be that your tulpa has developed traits with no experiential or even neurochemical reason to exist, which simply has never happened to me, nor do I think it actually can. Your current mindset may be necessary for you to deal with it, it may be not, I don't know your head enough to say. But I think it's equally dangerous to suggest that what is essentially a coping mechanism for an extreme circumstance should be universal. I know for a fact this advice would hurt me if I took it on board because I started in the state you are describing.

Edited by ZenAndMika

Zen - Host 

Mika - Tulpa

If text is uncoloured, presume Zen is talking.

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fennecgirl

@ZenAndMika I don't believe it's possible to develop a tulpa into a real mind, period, so we're taking vastly different approaches here. Yes, you're controlling how your tulpa grows, but is that not the point of tulpaforcing?

 

I used to believe that tulpas are real, separate minds, but it's absolutely possible to develop a tulpa—in the sense of an independent thoughtform—with the "figment of one's imagination" mindset. Two of my three "difficult" tulpas were created before I even knew what tulpamancy was. I considered them daydream characters, or imaginary friends, or what have you, so I had control over them, but one of them was pretty independent even then. When I discovered tulpamancy, it wasn't hard to surrender what control I had and let her act on her own. Neither of these tulpas became problematic until I came to believe that they were real, actual people I couldn't rightfully ignore or control. Prior to that, while my overactive imagination and generally chaotic mind did influence them, it was entirely up to me which thoughts to accept and which to reject.

 

I'd give anything to go back to those days, but I digress.

 

As for neurotypical people developing tulpas? The "tulpas are a cool mental illusion" mindset was a prevalent one in the early days of tulpa.info. There are a couple tulpa subreddits (though much less active than the main one) that still adhere to the older mindset. Modern, western tulpamancy was founded on the idea of training your mind to produce the illusion of a separate consciousness, not inducing legitimate plurality. If that mindset inherently prevented tulpa creation, I don't think the practice would have survived at all. Sure, it can be a barrier to some, but then again, some people can't create tulpas despite fully believing in the phenomenon. Everyone's different.

 

I don't deny that OCD was a factor in my bad experiences, but brain chemistry and habit are both important to consider. Someone who doesn't have any underlying mental illness can fall into that obsessive thought cycle (and have their tulpas influenced by it) with the right combination of intrusive thoughts and a dogmatic refusal to question their origin, just as someone with OCD can learn to tame theirs—at least to the extent of not being stuck in a neurotic cycle—through consciously dismissing them and refocusing.

 

Of course, someone who has no underlying mental illnesses and is reasonably mature probably won't have any serious problems with tulpamancy... but the majority of tulpamancers are young (and more susceptible to indoctrination) and/or mentally ill. I was both.

 

If you have few intrusive thoughts and can easily identify them for what they are, good for you. Not everyone has it that easy. Intrusive thoughts are something I've seen talked about time and time again, and the typical response I've seen (and which I used to promote myself) is "trust your tulpa", except for obviously nonsensical responses. Nowadays, if I were to amend my old advice, I'd say "trust your tulpa, unless it's nonsensical or harmful."

 

I don't believe that not desiring negative traits in your tulpa necessarily corresponds to an inability to accept your own flaws, nor am I advocating for ignoring everything negative, full-stop. Flaws do add realism to a personality, after all. What I am advocating for is using "is this constructive or harmful?" as a heuristic when you experience doubt. In other words, if in doubt, accept the good and reject the bad. If you're certain it's your tulpa speaking/acting, then by all means, accept their flaws. The exception to this would be if your tulpa is becoming a recurring source of stress in your life. In that case, the host has every right to intervene. Re-training your mind to produce desired responses—the underlying concept of tulpamancy—is a valid way of fixing a problematic tulpa, especially if trying to talk things out fails.

I come out of hibernation once in a blue moon.

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ZenAndMika
(edited)
1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

I don't believe it's possible to develop a tulpa into a real mind, period, so we're taking vastly different approaches here. Yes, you're controlling how your tulpa grows, but is that not the point of tulpaforcing?

 

1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

The "tulpas are a cool mental illusion" mindset was a prevalent one in the early days of tulpa.info. There are a couple tulpa subreddits (though much less active than the main one) that still adhere to the older mindset. Modern, western tulpamancy was founded on the idea of training your mind to produce the illusion of a separate consciousness, not inducing legitimate plurality.

Though I didn't actually make a tulpa back in 2012 when this stuff started, I was actually around at the time and had a look(Exposed to it from /mlp/ originally), and as far as I understand there has always been underlying current of "Nothing in Neurology opposes the existence of a tulpa currently, and some of the things we know might actually imply their existence". That's also how I've always viewed it too. It's strange to me that you have rejected the premise entirely like that.

 

Neurology implies that any ego in the mind is essentially an illusion - and that the way the mind tags constructs of any kind in your mind as "false" are all fundamentally tagged that way through feelings that are equally illusory so they don't get out of control. They're also ALL fundamentally real cognitive processes that operate exactly like your own ego - any stray thought not from your perspective, any mental model of anyone else - all thoughtforms to some small degree comparable in a spectrum to your own ego. The act of making a tulpa is little more than working to strip out that sense of falseness the brain applies from the already-real thought-construct, alongside developing its vividness, functionality and completeness in concrete terms by making the mental model bigger through repeated exposure to stimuli and ideas both external and internal. In a sense you are partly right - of course tulpas are false constructs. But so are you.

 

Honestly, you seem to be rationalizing your beliefs in such a way as to get your head under control in any way that you can - by rejecting their realness flat out to re-assert the control of your ego over your somewhat unruly brain/system. But objectively speaking I actually think what science we do have opposes your beliefs here.

 

1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

Someone who doesn't have any underlying mental illness can fall into that obsessive thought cycle

This is not correct. Uncontrolled negative obsession is by definition a pathology and may be a sign of OCD or some other condition. I've seen no evidence of anyone without an underlying mental illness experience the kind of negativity you're describing, at all. And if someone claimed to have no mental issues and fell into that kind of obsessive behaviour, I would instantly point out that it may be pathological and advise that such a person set aside tulpamancy and see a therapist before continuing, as it might point out an underlying issue they are not actually aware of. What I will say is that your model certainly may help these people if it helped you.

 

1 hour ago, fennecgirl said:

but the majority of tulpamancers are young (and more susceptible to indoctrination) and/or mentally ill. I was both.

The former has definitely been the root of my major issues with tulpamancy. I've come to slowly think that you probably shouldn't even get into the practice until adulthood, and more specifically, when you feel you've got your shit in order consistently and feel content with your mind - which essentially no teen, and very few young adults, actually feels.

 

Just to reiterate I do not think there is anything wrong with your model for you, if it works, it works. Your model also has value insofar as it may certainly help someone in a similar situation. However it is a mistake to presume that it should be the commonly accepted model. It seems to be both slightly in contention with what we know about the brain, and reduces overall belief in the phenomena - the latter which in my experience reduces the efficacy of forcing substantially. I would only ever point this model out to someone going through the same situation as yourself, wherein their mind is almost constantly throwing unusual stuff at them, and they need to find a way to dial it back.

Edited by ZenAndMika

Zen - Host 

Mika - Tulpa

If text is uncoloured, presume Zen is talking.

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fennecgirl
5 minutes ago, ZenAndMika said:

 

Though I didn't actually make a tulpa back in 2012 when this stuff started, I was actually around at the time and had a look(Exposed to it from /mlp/ originally), and as far as I understand there has always been underlying current of "Nothing in Neurology opposes the existence of a tulpa currently, and some of the things we know might actually imply their existence". That's also how I've always viewed it too. It's strange to me that you have rejected the premise entirely like that.

 

I'm aware. From what I recall, the attitude was "tulpas might be real, they might not, we don't know, but they act pretty convincing regardless." There was an openness to tulpas being real, independently conscious beings, but most didn't take it to be the gospel truth like they do today.

 

10 minutes ago, ZenAndMika said:

Neurology implies that any ego in the mind is essentially an illusion - and that the way the mind tags constructs of any kind in your mind as "false" are all fundamentally tagged that way through feelings that are equally illusory so they don't get out of control. They're also ALL fundamentally real cognitive processes that operate exactly like your own ego - any stray thought not from your perspective, any mental model of anyone else - all thoughtforms to some small degree comparable in a spectrum to your own ego. The act of making a tulpa is little more than working to strip out that sense of falseness the brain applies from the already-real thought-construct, alongside developing its vividness, functionality and completeness in concrete terms by making the mental model bigger through repeated exposure to stimuli and ideas both external and internal. In a sense you are partly right - of course tulpas are false constructs. But so are you.

 

I see what you're saying, and I agree. When I say I don't believe tulpas are real, I mean I don't believe they are separately conscious minds. Tulpas are real identities in the sense the host identity is real. They can be simulated or even assumed so that the core consciousness swaps out one identity and its associated patterns of thought and behavior for another. But there is still only one consciousness, regardless of what "self" it takes on. Identities are fluid and can be manipulated, but you can't literally create a new mind that experiences, thinks, and feels concurrently to—and independently of—the first.

 

I think we may have a similar understanding of what a tulpa is, but I've heard—and argued for—the "tulpas are literally real people" claim too many times to count. (Again, my experience is mainly from IRC/reddit/tumblr. Maybe the forum community is less extreme/dogmatic about it. I don't know.)

 

40 minutes ago, ZenAndMika said:

Uncontrolled negative obsession is by definition a pathology and may be a sign of OCD or some other condition.

 

That's my bad, I should have said prior mental illness. Cults, solitary confinement, questionable psychological experiments, and good old fashioned manipulation all prove that the right circumstances can lead to pathological behavior, even in individuals with no history of mental illness. At the heart of pathological behavior often lies psychiatric pathology. Uncontrolled negative obsession usually stems from mental illness, but I don't see why it can't result from someone too rigidly sticking to beliefs they've been fed.

 

47 minutes ago, ZenAndMika said:

I've come to slowly think that you probably shouldn't even get into the practice until adulthood, and more specifically, when you feel you've got your shit in order consistently and feel content with your mind - which essentially no teen, and very few young adults, actually feels.

 

Now there's something we can agree on.

 

48 minutes ago, ZenAndMika said:

Just to reiterate I do not think there is anything wrong with your model for you, if it works, it works. Your model also has value insofar as it may certainly help someone in a similar situation. However it is a mistake to presume that it should be the commonly accepted model. It seems to be both slightly in contention with what we know about the brain, and reduces overall belief in the phenomena - the latter which in my experience reduces the efficacy of forcing substantially. I would only ever point this model out to someone going through the same situation as yourself, wherein their mind is most constantly throwing unusual stuff at them, and they need to find a way to dial it back.

 

Different strokes for different folks. Your model works for you, and that's equally valid. But I don't believe there should be a pressure to accept without question. At the very least, tulpamancers should be aware of the potential dangers of intrusive thoughts and know that it is okay to dismiss responses they aren't sure are genuine, particularly if unwanted. Figuring out what works for you is important. Treating doubt as the enemy and blindly accepting anything that might have been your tulpa certainly doesn't work for everyone. I wish someone had told me when I was younger that there were other options.

I come out of hibernation once in a blue moon.

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ZenAndMika
3 minutes ago, fennecgirl said:

But there is still only one consciousness, regardless of what "self" it takes on

I have just one quibble to unravel with that post. There is no real neurological distinction between ego(the sense of identity) and a consciousness(the continuous processing of information that the identity is experiencing) - The Ego IS the process. Or perhaps more accurately, ego is a symptom of those processes. When Ego-death occurs due to psychedelics for instance, it causes you to actually reform different neural pathways and essentially reboot yourself. Consider this example: As you look out of your eyes the process you are experiencing is fundamentally associated with you. A set of neurons in your brain are lighting up in a way that completely encapsulates that experience. Your sense of ego is not separate from that process. You are not some other part of the brain watching that - that is you in that moment. In order for another identity to even exist in the mind new, conscious neural pathways must be formed from scratch to allow for the sense of their identity to exist overtop the processes they are using. Then that process becomes them. Their process isn't arbitrarily less conscious than you, it's exactly the same, though it might be more one-dimensional because it simply doesn't have the breadth of experience and information you have access to, and has fabricated traits rather than learned ones that it must either grow into or out of. The reality is that with any unwanted system-mate thoughtform we just tell ourselves it isn't conscious or real to prevent that model from gaining power over the system, and then usually prevent the brain from dedicating resources to it unless it is necessary as a simulated model, by not paying attention to it and discounting it as incomplete and "other", all completely unconsciously - because the alternative of accepting all that results in a form of psychosis.

 

If you mean alternatively it's not possible for two sets of cognitions to exist, ie parallel processing... The brain does have limited cognitive power; and operates in a layered neural structure that objectively cannot process in the same way at the same time. You can't do two math equations simultaneously because you're using the neural pathways required to do that for the first abstraction. If you randomly gained a second set of eyes you would not be able to process the information they give at the same time as your current set because you'd need several new brain parts to accommodate them, and so on. The brain also cannot have more than one visualization operational at one time, but can extend the visualization to impressive complexity and scale.

 

However that said, it can process using two unrelated parts of the brain at the same time, and usually your brain is doing this naturally and unconsciously in numerous ways. Whilst true parallel processing thus seems to be impossible if that's what you're referring to - as long as a tulpa is active, they seem to be able to process on different circuits in tandem with you by processing the information either by using parts of the brain that are being used unconsciously from your perspective. Though I note the less attention they are being given, the more likely they are to just slip into a dormant or semi-conscious state.

 

Consider the example of singing while driving, which is a skill which requires processing information on some level. The process of driving may not perceptibly reduce in quality - but it becomes less conscious as you divert the decision-making parts of your brain away from it. The same is true for a tulpa's state of consciousness once it develops into reflex - they would live in a partially reduced state when not at the forefront of the mind, but their process is still running in a passive way with a reduced system-drain on the autopiloting parts of the brain - likely in a state that could be described as hypnotic or dreamlike.

 

In essence, there is a fully-aware space in the mind, where its "attention" always is, and your tulpa can only be fully aware there when you are focusing on them - but the brain has more to it. It can render many skills, or even a thought or mindset into reflex, and play it automatically on other parts of the brain. That's essentially what a unconscious bias is, after all. And reflexes can have a sense of identity the same as any other process in your head.

Zen - Host 

Mika - Tulpa

If text is uncoloured, presume Zen is talking.

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