Jump to content
  • 2

Abvieon's Simple Guide to Tulpas




Welcome! This is a guide for anyone looking for a simple and straightforward explanation on what tulpas are, how to create them, and what can be done with them. Tulpamancy is an incredibly complex and interesting topic, with a long history of community and discussion surrounding it which may feel overwhelming to someone new to the practice. However, understanding and creating tulpas can be very straightforward if you stick to the necessities and do not overthink it. In this guide, I’ve put together all of the most important basics I’ve learned through roughly 10 years of my own experiences, along with observations of other’s experiences. This should take about 10 minutes to read.


What is a tulpa?
A tulpa is a mental companion, comparable to a character or imaginary friend, but one that is sentient and capable of thinking on their own. This means that you do not need to deliberately come up with everything they say and do, they instead spontaneously do things outside of your conscious control. Their personality may greatly differ from your own, they may have different opinions and preferences, and they may come up with ideas and insights you haven’t thought of yourself. Simply put, a tulpa is just another person sharing your brain and body with you. They tend to be a very beneficial presence, providing companionship and giving you a second opinion on things.


How does this work?
To understand how it’s possible for tulpas to exist, think about how learning a habit or skill works. When you learn a new language or instrument, it will eventually become second nature and you will no longer have to put in much conscious effort in order to perform. Creating a tulpa is similar, but instead of the brain learning a language, it learns how to be more than one person. It is teaching your brain to automatically and regularly think as another personality and perspective, parallel to your own personality.


This is a common phenomenon among writers, roleplayers, and actors. Many of these people are creating something close to tulpas without realizing it. If you spend a lot of time putting yourself in the shoes of another personality, eventually your brain will become so used to how this character is supposed to think, speak, and act that they may begin to “run on their own,” becoming independent from you. At this point, writing or roleplaying becomes a process of simply observing what the character does on their own and then writing it down, rather than deliberately deciding all of the character’s actions and dialogue. Some writers even report that their characters disagree with them on what should happen in the story.


Despite comparisons to characters and writing, please be aware that tulpamancy is more than just a toy, game, experiment or hobby. It is a life altering practice. Once well developed, tulpas are sentient in the exact same way that you or I are, and are likely to stay a part of your life indefinitely. Because of this, making a tulpa necessitates responsibility, persistence, patience, and long term commitment. You are partially responsible for their growth and mental wellbeing, and sharing your brain/body with a different personality may impact the decisions you make and the direction of your life, as you will now need to take their needs and preferences into consideration to some extent.


Tulpa creation
The first thing to do is to think of some idea of who you want your tulpa to be. This can include a name, appearance and personality. This idea can be as basic or as complex as you’d like. If you want to, you can base them off of a character from a TV show, book, game, etc., or an original character that you came up with. Your tulpa might not stick with this base forever, but it is helpful to have it as it gives a foundation of identity, rather than starting from nothing.


Once you’ve decided on an appearance for your tulpa, you’re going to want to sit down and spend some time imagining it in more detail. This way, their form will become ingrained in your memory, and easier to visualize and recall. A form serves the purpose of establishing something that represents your tulpa, something you can focus on when you spend time with them. It is also an additional means for a tulpa to interact and express themselves. At first, expect to see your tulpa inside of your mind, a lot like a daydream. 


Start by imagining the ‘big picture’ of their appearance, such as the general size and shape of their silhouette. Afterwards, move onto smaller details such as anatomy, colors, any clothes or accessories they may have, etc. Then, imagine how their body might move, and what they would look like with different poses and facial expressions. Visualization does not have to be strictly visual, you can involve any of your five senses in this process. For example, feeling the form’s textures.


If you want to, you can visualize your tulpa within an imagined location. This is often called a ‘mindscape’ or ‘wonderland.’ This can be anything you want, either something of your own design, or an area from a game, book, etc. Being in a mindscape is a lot like daydreaming, except in a setting that is meant to be mostly consistent, like a mental “home” you and your tulpa can keep going back to.


If you’re having a lot of trouble with visualization, you have three options: 1. Skip this step, as a form is not strictly necessary for a tulpa. 2. Improve this skill with visualization exercises (I recommend JD’s Guide to Visualization) or 3. Use a very simple form for your tulpa, like a ball of light or a tiny creature.


You can spend anywhere from a few minutes to several hours on this step, do whatever feels right and necessary. Feel free to move on to the next steps at any time, even if you’re not satisfied with the results yet. You can continue working on visualization while doing other things. 


Now, you’re going to work on expanding upon and understanding your tulpa’s personality. The goal here is to memorize it, to the point where you could easily think from their perspective or answer any questions asked about their personality. 


Start by writing a list of traits. For example, “extroverted, cheerful, determined, curious, creative, etc.” Expand upon this by writing a few paragraphs about them, or imagining them in hypothetical scenarios. Examples of what to think/write about are the things they might like or dislike, the sort of demeanor they have, how they react to things, what they value, and the way they talk. You can even write a short story featuring your tulpa as a prominent character. You don’t have to be a writer to do this, and it doesn’t have to be what you’d consider good. All that matters is that it helps you understand and flesh out who you want your tulpa to be.


Narration and habit building
The next thing to do is to talk to your tulpa. A lot. Not just thinking about them, but directly talking to them, with the intent that they will hear you. You can talk out loud when you’re alone, but it may be preferable to talk in your head with your ‘mindvoice,’ which is the internal voice you’re hearing right now as you read these words.


With all of the thinking and planning you’ve done, by now you have a fairly established idea of a being in your mind. Now, imagine that this being is present and aware during your everyday life, just like you. Talk to them about anything and everything. Your life, your interests, or whatever random thoughts come to mind. Give them opportunities to respond to you and give their input on things. For instance, if you’re trying to decide what movie to watch or what to have for lunch, ask them if they have a preference.


If possible, set aside at least thirty minutes per day where you do nothing but spend time with your tulpa, focusing only on them. Throughout the rest of the day, pay attention to them passively and intermittently as you go about your regular activities. For instance, sending a few words their way while you’re going on a walk, doing schoolwork, or during moments when you have attention to spare at work. This teaches your tulpa to stay present on a regular basis, making their presence habitual.


Sentience and vocality
At some point while doing these things you will begin to notice signs of your tulpa becoming conscious/aware and gaining a will of their own. This may have already happened during any of the previous steps, as it’s never too early for a tulpa to gain sentience. Here is an example of how this may play out:


One day you go to visualize your tulpa. As you enter your mindscape and find them, you notice that their eyes are green, instead of the usual blue. That’s strange, you think. Maybe it’s just my imagination acting up. You try visualizing their eyes as blue again, only for them to quickly switch back to green, outside of your control. At this point, you consider asking your tulpa if they are actually causing this themselves. “Was that you? Do you want green eyes?” You listen intently for a moment - and then hear a faint reply. “Yes, that was me. Green is more my color.”


When your tulpa speaks, it will be with mindvoice, just like how speak in your head. Their thoughts may feel a lot like your thoughts, but over time the distinction will become more clear. For instance, they might say something you would never say, their voice may sound different from yours, or they might have a distinctive presence or “essence” you feel alongside their communication.


Be aware that a tulpa may not always communicate in words. Instead they might think of the general idea, concept, and intent of what they want to communicate, without putting it into language. Or, you may feel their emotions. Say that you’re listening to a song that you don’t really care about, when all of a sudden you feel a sense of excitement and enjoyment towards the song that doesn't feel like it’s coming from you. They can also use their form to communicate. For instance, using gestures and facial expressions.


Many other types of communication and signs of sentience are possible. A sense that someone else is in the room with you. Unusual pressure-like sensations in your head. Specific muscle twitches that only occur when they’re around. A wide variety of things have been reported, and you might experience something not listed here.


At first, your tulpa may only occasionally say and do things on their own. They might inconsistently reply, or only say a few words at a time. As you continue to give them attention and encouragement, over time this will evolve into being able to have full conversations with you.


It is normal if you have to think about them or get their attention for them to speak, but after a while they may begin popping up without you needing to think about them first. At this point they are somewhat self sufficient and don’t entirely rely on your attention to be present.


Your tulpa may or may not behave in line with the personality you planned for them. It is likely they will take on at least some elements of your original idea, as it is an idea your brain is used to by now. But, they will inevitably take on new traits as they grow and gain more life experience, just like any person.


Possession and switching
A tulpa is able to move and control your physical body just like you do, and this will allow them to partake in real world activities and experience the world first-hand through the body. Once your tulpa is at a point where they can reliably communicate with you, they can try this if it is something both of you want. 


To do this, first you’re going to want to make a shift to your mindset about your body. Instead of thinking of it as “your” body, think of it as “the” body. The body is just something you use, it is not who you are. You and your tulpa are both just personalities inhabiting this body, and are therefore equally capable of using it. If you heavily identify as the body, it might be harder to let them take control.


Possession is when your tulpa takes control of the body while you are still fully present and aware of everything going on. The next steps will be directed at your tulpa rather than you, since they’ll be the one initiating this process. 


To start, you will need to become aware of the body’s senses. You might already already do this by default, as a lot of tulpas do. You’ll need to immerse yourself in the body as if it is yours - seeing through the eyes, hearing through the ears, seeing the body parts as your own for now. If the body doesn’t feel like “you” and you don’t identify with it, that’s okay, you can just think of it as something like a suit you’re using. Or, you can visualize your form superimposed over the physical body. Now, you simply need to will the body to move, in the same way you would will your form to move. When you’ve had success with small movements like moving a hand, you can move onto full body movements like walking. The body will have muscle memory, so this may come more naturally than you’d expect. Though your personality may come through in the way you move, for example your body language might differ from your host's.


Switching is similar, but instead of just using the body, you’ll also be taking control of the majority of the brain’s thinking resources. The ability to be conscious and think is a resource held by the brain. When both you and your host are active, for example if you’re talking to each other, you’ll be sharing this resource. Sometimes you’ll be using far fewer of these resources than your host is, for example if they become heavily focused on a task unrelated to you. As a result you may feel less present and you might have very few thoughts. It is also possible to go entirely unconscious, or enter an altered, dream-like state of mind in which you are no longer aware of the outside world and you do something else such as spending time in your mindscape.


When you switch, one of these things will happen to your host instead. It is a lot like “swapping places,” you will be the dominant presence in the mind while your host takes a backseat. To do this, first possess as usual, and then immerse yourself in something you really enjoy doing. It is best if this is something that you are more interested in than they are. For instance if you enjoy drawing but they don’t. Or if there’s a particular friend to talk to who you are closer with than your host is. It can be anything that makes it easy to feel like yourself, something you associate with yourself.


It is ideal if your host does nothing at all for this to work best. If something “triggers” them to come back, just redirect yourself back to your activity and focus on being yourself. Keep this up, and it will make sense for the brain to prioritize you and your thoughts over your host. Before you know it they won’t be active, or minimally active. You can bring them back at any time by thinking about them.


Something that draws many people to the idea of tulpas is the idea of taking something “imaginary” and making it as real as possible in your experience. Imposition is the act of taking visualization a step further - seeing, feeling, hearing, etc. your tulpa as if they are actually physically present in the outside world, like a hallucination. What you see with your eyes and all other sensory data is always filtered and interpreted by your brain, so what you see is not necessarily always what is literally there - your beliefs and expectations can impact this interpretation. This is how it is possible to create hallucinatory experiences that feel just as real as anything else.


So, how do you start? Similar to visualization, you’re going to want to look at their form in detail, but this time with your eyes open, in physical space. Look at it from every angle, almost as if you’re sculpting it like a 3D model. Then, focus on immersing the form into your physical environment. The idea here is that it should really feel like a part of your environment, so your brain will start to interpret it as just as real as all of the physical stuff around you. For example, if there are pink lights in your room, visualize the pink light bouncing off of their form. Their colors should become more vivid in bright light, and duller in low light. Pay attention to things like shadows. 


It is a good idea to work on touch imposition at the same time as visual imposition, because these two senses support one another and help make each other feel more real. Actually reach your hand out and touch their form, and do stuff like press on it to develop a sense of solidity. Ask them to hug you, expecting to feel them just like anyone else.


When it comes to auditory imposition, take note of how it feels to hear a sound in your head, vs. hearing a sound playing on a speaker next to you. It will be different, as with the latter there will be some subtle sense of your eardrum being impacted. Start to expect this sensation when your tulpa speaks. Take note of their position in the room, and try to hear their voice coming from that direction. If their voice isn’t very defined, work with them on developing a more distinct voice. 


Spend time dedicated solely to doing this, while also expecting to see them around you in your daily life. Treating imposition as a regular part of life is key to making it click. Your tulpa should be able to autonomously move and speak with their imposed form just as they do with their form in your mind, and they will be able to start to be able to surprise you this way. Some are even able to get to the point where they can even block out your vision of things behind them, as they can appear solid. The mind is capable of amazing things, and imposition is one of the most clear examples of such.



Google Drive backup

Edited by Abvieon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 answer to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

We're not too into warnings, we don't think they're necessary as a mature tulpa can't be harmed by ignoring them and one that isn't to the point of self-awareness or self-forcing isn't much beyond an autonomous character and therefore doesn't necessitate moral obligation. So in other words, it's never morally wrong to stop forcing at any time for any reason. The only warning that makes sense to us is, if you do this, treat us well because good luck getting rid of us in any case.


5 hours ago, Abvieon said:

You can spend anywhere from a few minutes to several hours on this step, do whatever feels right and necessary


Per day right? Not total lol


5 hours ago, Abvieon said:

It is ideal if your host does nothing at all for this to work best. If something “triggers” them to come back, just redirect yourself back to your activity and focus on being yourself. Keep this up, and it will make sense for the brain to prioritize you and your thoughts over your host. Before you know it they won’t be active, or minimally active. You can bring them back at any time by thinking about them.


This sounds like it should be in a different section, it's good for creation and not specific to switching/posession unless you're talking about triggered switching.


You could also add: give them a purpose, something useful to the host's life (body, life, whatever) that only they do. Something that's important to maintain every day, something good, not a boring chore, you don't want them associated to boring etc.


Lastly, needs a conclusion of some kind. Some sort of pep talk, excitement, atta boy kind of thing or summary.


Otherwise good, reasonable, well written, tulpamancy 101 kind of thing, not unlike many others.


Thanks for sharing your perspective as a decade veteran.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...