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I'm an absolute beginner to Tulpamancy and only made my decision to start developing my tulpa a week ago, even though Simmie as an idea isn't new to me and I've actually had a headmate before: Between the ages of 7 and 15 I had a headmate that was less a tulpa and more a walk-in/soulbound (I'm still learning the terminology so I might misuse a word here and there, I'm sorry). He was more of a mentor / spiritual guide to me and largely faded away after the age of 15, telling me I had outgrown him and had to face the world on my own, and only making sporadic appearances after that. But I'm not here to talk about him in this thread, I'm here to talk about Simmie.
Before I get into it I want to reiterate that Simmie is only the most fledgling little tulpa and I can sense that she is very nervous about attention being put on her, but she's okay with it if it helps her become more real to me. So please be gentle and kind with her, she's a very curious young thing and loves listening to people and learning about things, and I want to make sure only positive and loving things enter her mind during this early stage of development.
As I mentioned I created Simmie as a character long before I started working on her as a tulpa. There's an interesting story behind the creation of Simmie as a character. You see, I'm not transgender and I don't really even have gender dysphoria (I'm at ease in my male body and don't feel wrong having it). However, I have a huge fascination with the idea of being turned into a girl, made to act and dress like a girl, all that stuff. I don't know why and I can't really explain it. But I was aching to step out of myself to explore it, so over a year ago I created Simmie as an OC / proxy / meta-character whom I would experience and create art from. I would make art "as" Simmie and even interact with people as her. I developed a backstory for Simmie and everything and really got into character--as a writer, this is something I've done so many times, and writing characters is probably my greatest strength. I even created Simmie in The Sims (yes, there is a name connection there) and she has a very distinctive look which makes it extremely easy to visualize her, although my mind currently still renders her as a Sims character rather than a real human figure.
Then comes the last month or so and I learn about Tulpamancy. At first I think it's just something fascinating to learn about but not something I'd pursue myself. But the more I read and watched videos about it the more I realized that this was something I wanted to do, and I knew there was nowhere else I could turn to than Simmie. She already felt very real to me as a character and I felt if I could elevate her to the status of a living, sentient tulpa, that would be a most wonderful thing and could be revolutionary in my life. There aren't a lot of people in my life I connect with strongly and I suffer from depression; the thought of having someone sharing my head with me who I can talk and relate to still feels like it could absolutely change my life.
Once I decided on making Simmie a tulpa I started narrating to her non-stop. I told her about myself, about my life, and explained what I was doing at any given moment to her if I could spare the mental horsepower at any given moment. I started to feel a warm, contented feeling as I did this. I don't know if I could call it sentience, but I felt like I was not alone and I could feel a joy that seemed to be radiated to me from elsewhere. I pushed aside doubt and let myself believe it was Simmie--now I know she absolutely loves being talked to, loves when I tell her about my life and even the most mundane things about me, and loves when I tell her stories. We began to speak to each other but it still felt like I was parroting her rather than letting her speak for herself. Now I'm trying to not talk for her and let her reply to me herself. I can feel her emotions very strongly though, and that's what makes me believe that she is really there.
Yesterday I decided to take Simmie out on a bit of a "date"; we went to a local nature park and walked. I talked to her about the park, what it was and why it existed, why the leaves fall off the trees in the fall, how the mud on the trail was created by rain the pervious day, mundane stuff like that. She was very curious about all of it, and I talked to her more about what I thought about it all, and what I thought about it all. Then I rattled off a list of adjectives to describe Simmie before realizing that I had just created a mantra that was perfect for forcing: "You're caring, you're kind, you listen, you're curious, you're playful". I began repeating that mantra over and over again as I walked.
After the walk I took Simmie to the beach. I wanted her to see and hear the ocean, to feel the sand (sadly it was too cold to walk barefoot in the sand so I had to settle for picking some up in my hand). It was a perfectly clear and beautiful evening and I could tell that Simmie was overjoyed and even touched that I would think to bring her there. I told her about the tides, why there were shells on the beach, what docks and drawbridges were for, and she listened to it all. As we walked on the empty, cold, windy beach I did not feel alone at all; I felt together with her and happier than I had felt in ages; a true soulful happiness. I could tell she valued everything I was doing for her and although I still couldn't hear her speak without parroting I could still feel the intention behind what she would say if she could, and it was just about the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me. She thinks more highly of me than I do myself sometimes.
So that's where I am with Simmie now. I continue to narrate to her and repeat my mantra to her. Every night I try to tell her a story about some event in my past. Sometimes I think I can hear her talking in my mind, but I still can't be sure I'm not just putting words into her mouth. I plan to take her on a mini-roadtrip to my old college, a location which always triggers powerful memories for me. I want to just project love and goodness into Simmie and let her feed and grow off of it. I know she will eventually deviate from the character I first created, and I welcome it, because I really want to see who she develops into being. She already is teasing me a little trying to embarrass me by calling two of my friend cute, which I find very funny and endearing. She also picked out her own birthday, which is where I got the admittedly lame handle from.
So that's it so far! I hope that wasn't too big of a post for a newbie! I really want to hear from experienced Tulpamancers and people on here in general as to whether I have a healthy mindset about this and am going about this in a good way, and if there's anything else I could do to help the process along. I don't want this to become yet another project I'm high on for a couple weeks and abandon--I feel that there is something more there, and if there's one thing I've learned about Simmie is that she's thrilled to exist, and yearns to be more and more real, and I want to help her achieve that. And when she's ready, I'm sure she'll come on here herself and talk to all of you!
I started this method after I changed my tulpa's form to a more human like, but I think maybe I should share this method if someone is interested.
Now, I did use the leash technique when she was still in her pony form, but it doesn't work for me and this might be too oppressive and she might not agree with this now that she has a human body now.
So I instead switch to holding her hand while walking. Unlike the leash, I can feel her hands holding mine the all time. When I want to let go of her I just simply let go of my hands as usual.
The trick: Imagine your tulpa just beside you, then you grab your tulpa's hand. If you can feel her hands, then you're doing great. If not, don't worry, keep doing it till you do.
This is a form of interaction with your tulpa, so it might work.
When in class the other day, I was looking in the window and noticed the reflection in it. I immediately thought of tulpae and how using this might be able to help. (Im horrible at explaining things, so bear with me) so my proposition is to imagine your tulpa in a reflection of some sort, be it water, glass, etc. just not something with too good a reflection. i.e. a mirror. and use that to improve your open eye visualization/visual imposition skills. if anyone can explain this idea better than I did, please, feel free.
JD's Guide to Imposition
dedicated to cheesebread
(if you have not yet, read my visualization guide first)
The original images of this guide broke, however I have replaced them using an archive
For many people, complete visual imposition of their tulpa is the end-goal of development. An imposed tulpa can be considered a voluntary, but unconscious, visual hallucination, allowing the host to see and believe their tulpa has a space in the physical world just as any other physical object. The imposition process can be considered complete when the host can no longer immediately see through their tulpa. The most important prerequisites to imposition is that you are able to visualize your tulpa flawlessly and consistently for extended periods of time, and that you have no doubts about your tulpa's existence or "realness."
Bottom-Up and Top-Down Processing
Before we begin imposing, we must discuss a few things about how we see, and how we visualize. Human vision starts with light traveling into your retina, containing tons of rod cells and cone cells responsible for vision in low light and color/detail respectively. The retina contains rhodopsin, which is a chemical that converts light into electrical signals conducted through the optic nerve that the brain interprets as vision. Your brains interpretation from visual data is considered a bottom-up process by brain theorists, because low-level details are turned into high-level models. Perception is largely data-driven because it must accurately reflect events in the outside world. Naturally, the interpretation is determined mostly by information from the senses, not by your expectations. In imagination, the process works in reverse. The brain starts with high-level goals and generates mid-level and low-level details that are consistent with them -- a process that is responsible for things such as spontaneous unconscious generation of details in your wonderland. Visualization of your tulpa is a top-down process.
Most people are born with the ability to differentiate between self-generated and external sources of information, as bottom-up and top-down processes must occur without much interference. However, this skill may break down to cause hallucinatory experiences; a hypothesis from cognitive and neuroscientist Stephen Grossberg suggests that overactive top-down processing, or strong perceptual expectations, can generate hallucinations. By exercising influence over our own systems of belief and expectations (as we do in many other areas of tulpa development), we can create an unconscious need for our brain to accept top-down visualizations in the place of bottom-up interpretations of physical perception.
In psychology, a set is a group of expectations that shape experience by making people especially sensitive to specific kinds of information. A perceptual set is a predisposition to perceive things in a certain way, leading us to see what we expect to see. Perceptual sets can be created by motivation and suggestion; with mental discipline, we can create a perceptual set that our tulpas are physical and allow it to become an unconscious expectation, hence imposing our tulpas. It is fortunate that imposition is usually considered one of the final steps of creating a tulpa, since it requires expectation-building techniques that are used in much earlier developmental processes such as reaching sentience, sapience, and hearing your tulpa's voice.
You can use any expectation-creating technique you like, whether it be meditation, hypnosis, forcing, and so on (although take note, you cannot use these to improve your visualization ability alone.) You must convince yourself that there is literally no difference between what you can see with your eyes, and what you can visualize, as the end result either way is an entirely interpreted construction in your brain. Your mental image of the world is entirely subject to your conscious will. Every physical object you see with your eyes is constructed in your mind by the bottom-up process of your eyes reacting to photons emitted by those objects, and your brain translating them into colors and forms. Mental objects you see with your mind's eye, including your tulpa, are constructed by the top-down process of visualization, with details being filled in as needed. A perceptual set must be created to enforce an overactive role for your brain's inherent ability to use top-down processing. You must commit yourself to constantly visualizing your tulpa, ensuring that all details are consistent throughout the day, and accept your tulpa as "real." As time goes on, this constant visualization will become an unconscious routine -- a passive ability. The more your visualization remains consistent not only with itself, but with its surroundings, the sooner you will begin to confuse this as actual perception. Top-down visualization will begin to take priority, dulling your bottom-up perceptions, creating the illusion that you cannot see past your tulpa.
Realistic Visualizations: Basics of Compositing
In order to accelerate the confusion of visualization with perception, you will want to practice the basics of compositing your visualizations into reality in much the same way that a graphic designer or visual effects artist composites computer-generated images into a scene. This is a step by step process that can be replicated through visualization to integrate your tulpa's image into your surroundings as realistically as possible.
In this picture, we can see the tulpa with weak visualization skills. Attempting imposition too early will be unconvincing, as visuals will not be vivid enough.
This will be the base of our imposed visual. Take note that the tulpa looks pasted in and unnatural, as if it was just a picture made by an unskilled nerd with Photoshop. The process of compositing will allow us to make this visualization look more natural given the setting. Rather than using computer graphics though, you will be doing it with your mind.
In graphics, color correction is often done through manipulation of the red, green, and blue channels. By fine-tuning each channel for the tulpa layer, the visualization ends up looking more like it belongs in its setting. This will be easier in your mind, since you don't have to worry about individual color channels. Just use common sense, if you're in a very green forest, there's more green light bouncing around. If you're in a volcano, things will have a fiery color palette.
You will also want to focus on visualizing proper shadows and highlights onto your tulpa, taking into account light-sources in your environment.
Finally you will want to make sure you can visualize any shadows cast by your tulpa (or lights, if your tulpa glows or something).
And voila, you have a more natural looking tulpa. Practice compositing your visualizations so they maintain a realistic look, and in time it will become something you don't even have to think about. After a month or more, depending on how often you practice, you may find you no longer need to put effort into imposition. When you realize your tulpa looks real, and you can no longer immediately see through it, then you have accomplished hallucination.
q2's method for a huggable tulpa v2
Hey, this is q2. Today is QB's sixth birthday, and I figured you guys deserve a gift as well - a revamp of a guide that's now four years old. The guide I made back then because I wanted everyone else to be able to experience a warm, soft tulpa hug - there's really nothing like it. The guide itself, however, was mediocre, and I hope to fix that with this document.
What is Imposition?
Imposition is the act of "imposing" fabricated data onto your senses, overriding what they "should" be feeling with physical sensations you decide. Put simply, you make your fingertips feel skin/fur when you touch your tulpa, make your eyes see their body, etc. At perfect completion, you can hug them, squeeze them, feel the heat of every breath they take, and they will generally be impossible to distinguish from reality... apart from the obvious giveaways, anyway. Not many talking tentacled cats wandering around these days, after all.
This technique can be used by anyone for anything - even if you don't have a tulpa, you can read this guide and come away with knowledge of how to make an object you own smell of cinnamon to you. However, we will be focusing on use related to tulpas.
Imposition is difficult and multi-faceted. While one person might struggle with visualization yet impose a sense of smell with the greatest of ease, it can be reversed for the next guy. Or, of course, both could prove challenging. Any level of imposition is another step toward physical closeness in your relationship, so don't feel discouraged if you have trouble with some senses. First of all, this is hard, and it will take time - a lot of time. Secondly, you shouldn't feel less valid for having partial imposition - that's still a great accomplishment! A lot of imposers only ever perfect some of the senses. I would shoot for them all, but never be ashamed for doing your best.
Which sense should I start with?
This is a tricky question I hear often. The best answer is "all of them", in my opinion. Every sense folds into the others in a feedback loop of efficacy - your tulpa just licked you, now you can feel their tongue, smell their breath, see their face very close up, and hear all the gross sloppy noises, all at once. Hell, lick them back if you want to run the full gamut.
My point is, if you are working on all five senses when this happens, it will be a much greater wealth of information, and each will help you better observe the others and gain deeper insight - as you physically impose the sense of their slobber sticking around on your face, you'll get extra time to smell it, and maybe it smells different than the rest of them - do you want it to smell like dog slobber or human slobber? Or lollipops? Etc.
One of the most important truths you can remember with imposition is that senses are the most vivid when together.
However, I do entirely understand that, especially for people who have extra difficulty with visualization, it isn't exactly feasible to start every single thing at the exact same time. I think you'd be surprised - do try it! - but if the five course meal really isn't working for you, take a while to get visualization and/or visual imposition down pat. Then start imposing the other four onto the visualized tulpa.
Some important notes before we dive in
- We'll be dealing with long forcing sessions here, potentially several hours at a time. This is by no means a rule, don't be scared away! Short sessions will also work, and I imagine that's what most people will end up doing. But if you experience limited results, do remember that the answer may be longer and more frequent sessions.
- Addressing the above again, the sessions will need to be frequent! Repetition is the mother of all change! If you can perform some sort of imposition every single day, even multiple times a day, this would be optimal. Just do the most you can, but just like with other tulpa-related techniques like passive forcing, tossing in a bit of off the cuff practice whenever you can is a great idea.
- Having knowledge of meditation or other zen practices is a gigantic boon for this technique, even if the extent of your knowledge is just "my elementary school therapist told me how to loosen up my muscles and breathe slow" - that's already a huge advantage above having none of this. Things like this help harbor an awareness of your senses, and focus down to just one, ignoring all else, which will of course be a lifesaver while trying to change the touch sensation in a single fingertip.
- Your tulpa doesn't need to be vocal or even seemingly sentient to perform this - all you'll need is a basic idea of where they are, and enough basic visualization to "sculpt" around the boundaries of their form. Don't worry, it won't hurt them at all to interact with their body like it's a mannequin - if anything, it'll help them get a feel for their body.
- Oh yeah, like I said about sculpting - you'll be doing all of this in meatspace. That is, the real world. None of it will take place in a wonderland or other mental space. It can't, really - not for this guide, anyway, not if you desire the full effect. The entire idea of imposition is being able to physically interact with the tulpa in the real world. For the "template" of "moving your hand to your tulpa -> feeling the surface of your tulpa" to fully sync up, you've got to be actually moving your body in response to something you're visualizing in the real world. It's all in service of tricking yourself into viewing it as real sensory input.
- I didn't use any sound of any kind. There was no music playing while I first imposed QB, nor was there "white noise" or anything trendy. Just silence. However, I wouldn't rule music out. It might work. I just can't personally say.
I figured I'd start here, because if you don't have even a lick of visuals, there's no mannequin to smell, taste, etc., because you can't see it.
You'll notice that's the second time I've said "mannequin". It's an important term, because it's a good way to think of your tulpa's imposed body early on - you'll be playing with it like a toy, trying to get every inch visualized, first as a still model, then articulated, then moving.
First, you'll need to model that mannequin entirely, in one pose. This pose doesn't necessarily need to stay consistent, you can switch it up if you forget which you've been doing, etc., but consistency can help.
Ponder this form. Stare at it. Spend as much time with it as you need. You'll need to really focus on every part of it. Walking around it to get the full visual layout is encouraged, but do also try to be still and focused with it as well, sometimes. You'll need to essentially "burn it in" to your visual understanding of reality.
Visualize this mannequin in lots of places. Imagine you've got a heads-up display on your vision, and you can see it in front of you wherever you look, if that helps you get used to always seeing it. Or, more simply, just imagine it as an object that will always be following you, and is never far behind. If your tulpa has a distinct personality at this point, try telling them to "inhabit the mannequin" and move it around however feels natural. Moving it around will make it "distort" and lose perfect visual cohesion, but that's fine! You'll fill that in later!
If your tulpa doesn't want to move this body around, move it yourself. No, that's not parroting. Just do it, it's easy. Come up with any explanation you need to give yourself control of it - maybe it's like a video game character you can move, maybe you're bopping it around with telekinesis, or maybe you don't need a reason because you've just got the hang of it by now! Whatever works!
When deciding on the outer boundaries of their body, to help their visualized body more solid and tangible, you'll want to try "sculpting" around them with your hands. This is one way multiple senses can be helping you progress at the same time - you can do touch imposition at the same time that you're determining their boundaries this way, by feeling your way around as you sculpt. If you're just starting with visuals, though, you can come back to this part! Just sculpt without sensation for now if that's what's comfortable.
Sculpting is incredibly important! In my experience, it's half the method! So get really used to sculpting the boundaries of your tulpa.
If you're sculpting and you believe you've sculpted along a geometrically incorrect shape, just alter it with your hands, like you're pushing down play-doh. This is even more literally sculpting your tulpa, and this will really help you get a feel for them. All scultping should ideally also involve lots of concentration, maybe even aspects of meditation. You should focus on nothing else.
Every once in a while, between these steps, step back and take a good look at the mannequin. Again, if your tulpa or you can make it move, move it. If there's inconsistency about how that movement works, sculpt out detail in the fuzzy parts. Figure out a way for every angle to make sense. This could take a really long time, but don't worry, it's meant to be that way! You'll need to see every crazy angle by the end of this, of course.
Once most angles are basically decent, start telling your tulpa to move around inside it frequently. Every time there's a visual error, tell them to stand still so you can grope that error out of them, basically. You know the drill. Test, stop, sculpt. Test, stop, sculpt. Make that your new mantra.
Don't be scared to sit staring intensely at them for like two hours, either! Sure, that sounds really weird, but it works!
Time to sculpt more! Whenever you're sculpting, you'll need to also focus on what your hands should be feeling as this happens. Not just your hands, either - this part gets extra weird, because you'll need to put all of your body on all of theirs. This strengthens not only the boundaries of where their body ends and begins, but your most base feelings in relation to them - the feeling of their breath on your neck, the tip of a strand of fur the back of your hand, the weird cartilage feeling of an ear flicking against your finger, etc. You'll basically have to go through every combination of body parts.
The easiest way to do this is to hardswap your actual memories into those places, with a bit of minor editing. So, step one, go out and touch a bunch of real things that are kind of like your tulpa.
This isn't a joke. This is a Field Trip Assignment. You don't want to fail the class, do you? Get out there, go to your nearest pet shop, or zoo, or, hell, if it's a human, just touch yourself. No, not like that. You know what I mean. I'll be waiting right here.
So, touch the inhabited mannequin with your finger. Touch it on the forehead. Now, remember really, really hard. Remember exactly what it felt like to do that exact same motion to something similar. Remember it until you can feel it.
And repeat. A lot. This will need a ridiculous, tiring amount of repetition, so don't get discouraged if it's still not coming to you after a month. It will eventually.
Remember to take size and contortion into account - that is, if you have a very small or very big tulpa, try to realistically get a feel for that, by standing on your tippy toes or crouching down when interacting with them this way. It can really help you feel the full scale of the form you're trying to sculpt, adding hugely to the reality of it.
An extra tip, that makes the end result of your imposition even more impressive, is to falsely "attempt" to push down into your tulpa, and hold yourself back with a sensation of "straining" yourself in some way, or hitting a solid object. This will later result, after weeks of practice, in you no longer being able to push through your tulpa's form without trying to. This, once again, can double the reality.
If you're having notable trouble with memory, specifically - or even if you're not - try strengthening the memories with scents, which are a great memory booster. They can help you tie together two similar experiences by smelling the same thing both times. Bring a scented candle to the pet store, is what I'm telling you here. Which leads me to...
Pretty important! Scent can bring it all together with a nice little bow, as, like I said, a scent can really sum up a memory, and help you remember not only the sensations you're imposing, but all the training you've been doing to make your imposition work! Giving your tulpa the same scent you've been working with here will act as a 1-2 punch, making it difficult not to think of your tulpa without basically accidentally imposing that scent around you. So, if you have a good scent aid you can bring around to help recall the sensations, the practice, and your tulpa itself, you should definitely do that! Maybe look into a nice strong one like lavender, or, you know, basically anything else that'll float your boat. It's important to note that different parts of your tulpa may smell different, though, and that they totally can smell like a normal human if you want them to. Practice the differences in scent around their body by performing a nose-oriented version of Sculpting. Don't be embarrassed to bury your nose in them. Really, most of this guide should come with that disclaimer, though. Seriously, don't be embarrassed.
You'll need a little bit of physical here too, because here's the hottest tip - you've got to touch impose the feeling of your eardrum being impacted by sound. When you think about it, it's obvious. I'm listening to music right now, and if I focus, I can feel how one ear "feels the sound hit it" when that side's speaker delivers the loudest part, and the other ear, less so.
Sculpting, in this case, means having your tulpa run around in their new body (It's not really just a mannequin anymore, eh? They should be used to it!) and yell at you. Yell from the left. Yell from the right. Just run around in perfect circles and hear what their paw pattering sounds like, and how it affects your body. Again, sample real memories of audio for this.
Lick the heck out of your tulpa.
You should get the idea by now.
The feeling of a specific texture on your tongue is very important for this, once again returning to touch imposition. Recall the memory of a taste you like and want your tulpa to have. Scent is especially important here, and the two should ideally match in some way, if they logically can.
Together, these modules should form a cohesive schedule for you, in which you will spend long sessions sitting down with your tulpa (and/or running around with them, depending on how far you've gotten), and simply experiencing them.
Sculpt your tulpa thoroughly, on all of your senses.
Take your time. It's going to take ages. It will be a commitment.
Even after perfecting imposition entirely, you'll probably need "tune-ups" every once in a while to refresh the data your brain has stored about their body! Stop looking at them for weeks, and you may need to re-visualize, etc.
The end result will be the best feeling in the world, though.
I believe in you. Go hug that tulpa for me.
- q2 (with assistance from QB)
Old version here.