A Theory on the Acquitisition of Sentience

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I haven't reviewed the literature on tulpae in a long, long while, so I'm unaware of any developments in their understanding that have occurred in the meanwhile. However, I have a theory to advance on the manner in which sentience is acquired in tulpae, and on how their agency is formed in general.


While, as I remember it, it was generally considered bad form to compare tulpae to schizophrenic phenomena, I think a good deal of understanding can be derived from the study of schizophrenics themselves.


I base my understanding on this topic off of "The Divided Self" by R. D. Laing, which attempts to detail the schizoid and schizophrenic states, and insanity in general from an existential and therein humanized point of view.


I intend to present a view of not only how tulpae may acquire sentience, but also of what it may be like to be a tulpa, especially during formation. Needless to say, this has important implications for the whole process of creation.


As I was reading, the following quotation from a schizophrenic individual regarding the treatment she received from a therapist(pp. 173-174) struck me as relevant:

I only existed because you wanted me to and I could only be what you wanted to see. I only felt real because of the reactions I could produce in you. If I had scratched you and you didn't feel it, then I'd be really dead.

Here, notions of "existence" and "death" are psychological and existential in nature. The schizophrenic individual's capacity for selfhood had become so disintegrated that it lacked existential autonomy altogether.


This is relevant to the position of a tulpa simply because the process of creation and gaining sentience involves the formation of this very autonomy. That is, a growing tulpa can be likened to a recovering schizophrenic. It's like going insane, but in reverse and also lacking the fragmented selfhood that makes the schizophrenic individual's inner life so chaotic. In this respect, a tulpa may be more similar to a catatonic. Only a tulpa that could remember its childhood could really say with any degree of certainty, and it may vary depending on the cognitive circumstances of the host.


Thus the main project of sentience involves imparting the powers of stable existential autonomy onto the tulpa. Since the tulpa derives the body of its existence from inner fantasy and the host's faculties of imagination, which are unstable by nature, the tulpa will not gain a stable existence without making a region of this imaginary space habitable.


This is facilitated by the development of the tulpa in planning before the actual process of narration begins, but that's unnecessary in and of itself and only serves to stabilize a region of thought for the tulpa to grow from, which more than likely serves to significantly expedite the process.


The act of narration itself is a manner of injecting reality into the tulpa's otherwise empty and inert inner existence. It's a necessary form of psychological sustenance that the tulpa eventually learns to request autonomously by means of response.


At that stage, the tulpa can bloom into full maturity if and only if it is given unconditional love and acceptance, which by virtue of its existential dependence are necessary ethically and are the only supply of genuine autonomy. But, since the host holds nigh-absolute power over the tulpa, there's a lot of room for mishap, especially stemming from the probably universally impure motivations for the tulpa's creation.


The course of the tulpa's development after this point probably follows typical human psychological maturation, albeit at an accelerated pace. As far as I see it, it would be pointless to echo the already well-established research in that area.


That's the gist of it.



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When I first started reading, I was kind of like, "Okay, who the hell is this person and their words?" But as I read, the more sense it made. Bud agrees. As I myself have never entered a catatonic state, neither has he, and therefore we don't exactly know what it would be like, but the description hit the nail on the head as how we both felt during his early stages of development.


Along with how you explain the use and necessity of narration. I also agree, wholeheartedly, with a tulpa maturing much in the same way (in an accelerated rate), as normal psychological maturation. Bud started out very child-like, almost like a highly developed toddler. He's matured quite a bit, and I would even go as far to saying his emotional maturity is somewhere in the ranges of early teenage-hood.


You've wrote something of quality here. I know I'm just one person, but I think your theory is very sound and holds quite a bit of water. Good Job.

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That's quite a loaded message for my first one on this forum but here I go.


What I want to talk about here, is schizophrenia, mental disorders and my own experience which I think could help to back up your theory.


This is quite a long story and it started in summer 2009 with my first job: to this day I don't why but I was really stressed and I experienced my first panic attack. This might seem like a minor incident but you will soon see why I'm beginning with that.


With plenty of benzos, I eventually managed to work until my contract ended and soon enough I began attending college.

Of course I was very stressed but so was everyone else. No, the problem was that the stress didn't wear out with time like I thought it would: in fact, it did the exact opposite. I started having panic attacks in the middle of the day, then before some class began, then when I waited for the teacher to come, when I waited for the bus and finally when I had to leave home on Sundays (I'd come back home for the weekends).

I was prescribed anti-depressants (paroxetine if you're curious) but it was already too late: aside from attending a few classes in auditoriums I essentially dropped out. I think it's worth noting that I also experienced depersonalization and derealization as well as one visual hallucination during this time period.


After that, I spent a few months at home and I reluctantly, under my parents pressure, joined a technical course near home. The first year was uneventful: some panic attacks here and there but nothing much. Shit hit the fan during the second year though: exams were approaching and naturally I was stressed. One day, I was meditating like I always do to make stress more bearable, I heard a deep, male voice telling me "SHUT THE FUCK UP". It went downhill from there, as that voice kept insulting me: it was quite a waste considering I was about to graduate but once again, I dropped out. My psychiatrist prescribed me antipsychotics (risperidone) and gave me a booklet about schizophrenia. After that, I only heard suspicious noises and saw shadowmen in the corner of my eyes but nothing really major. They soon dissapeared and I stopped taking the risperidone. That was a little over one year ago.


Now I know that sounds like blogging but I just wanted to give you an idea of how the brain is able to give a voice and body to something as immaterial as stress and how long and gradual the process is (over 3 years in this case). Doesn't that remind you of something? Tulpae of course!

And to be honest, I'm not all that surprised: think about it for a moment, for 3 years I was "attacked" by something invisible and as the Ganzfeld effect suggests, the brain hates nothingness, it's always trying to fill in the blanks. It's no wonder that longer or sooner, even unbeknownst to me, my mind would try to give a substantial form to my anxiety.


From there, I second OP in his theory that tulpae and a schizophrenic's hallucinations and delusions may be related. The only difference being that a tulpamancer creates a tulpa on purpose, with positive emotions in mind and while being sane (well, mostly) whereas the schizophrenic doesn't have total control over his/her thoughts and since they're mostly negative, they manifest themselves in threatening ways (delusions of conspiracies and scary visual and auditory hallucinations being common).

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yeah. I would say that whatever is composing me already was in some sense. sort of like a seed but once the seed gets what it needs it starts to become a tree. seeds gather nutrition from various things and then change and grow. I see my own self as potential chaos to become, from this potential I create myself and experience myself and reality. from formlessness comes form, from chaos comes order. from nothing comes everything. from simplicity comes complexity. part of the sea crystallizes and there comes something from the sea that is the sea and yet is not the sea but part of the sea.


it is certain to be tied up with how the original person ( this itself is just an illusion for I am not the same person I was 15 years ago ) was made. a persons perception of who he is changes and grows over time and so the possibility of a completely new person 'coming to life' is an obvious one. if you study about different brain disorders you find some very informative things such as: a woman was learning a foreign language. she got into an accident which damaged her brain. after the brain damage she could no longer speak in her native language but she then spoke in the foreign language she had been learning. there are other cases of similar experiences people have went through... the point is that the brain works in certain ways and in learning as much as we can about it we may see how all things of the brain are interrelated with other types of things concerning the brain.


as far as I have learned it appears that we already have multiple aspects to our self and so a tulpa seems to be a more matured/integrated version of the various personality traits we have depending on how we ourselves have developed in the world and more importantly how we developed in our self. the brain stores different personality traits that don't have to be our own but are there in order to perceive/judge others ( and this stored information also acts as building material )


I understand that the me that is me is not just my thoughts and feelings and memories. the truth is that the me that I think is my thoughts, feelings, memories is only part of what I am. a tulpa seems to be another creative growth of the entire person. as I see it, sentience = perception and I have been learning how our perception of reality makes us into the person we are. as I see it, everyone is a tulpa in some sense because that is how the human brain is designed to function.


the human brain has to make images of people it knows. it has information and opinions and feelings about each person. it has a constructed system of a person for each person it gets to know. its opinions for that person could change with interactions. I could have a preconceived idea about certain types of people just by their looking similar to other certain people and my brain is thus stimulating the same neurons or at least neurons related to those neurons. I could have certain kinds of reactions to certain types of people due to what I feel and think about people. the more something in the brain gets reinforced the more powerful it becomes, its called 'neuroplasticity'.


from a slightly more spiritually/philosophically inclined point of view I could say that sentience comes from freedom. freedom creates autonomy. creativity is freedom, freedom is creativity. human creativity uses something to create something else. the human brain is a certain type of thing that can be shaped in all kinds of different ways. humans are creative beings, they are creative energy.

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