veriadne said: daniel says you're all a bunch of fuckin' nerds
We think Daniel is a dweeb.
Anonymous said: Hi Lily. What is your opinion on tulpas? Not as a spiritual practice, but as an internet trend. Is that something that's psychologically okay/healthy to do, or is it something to be concerned about?
I had to look this up because I’ve never heard of a tulpa, so take my opinion lightly, since I’m no expert. Apparently, a tulpa “could be described as an imaginary friend that has its own thoughts and emotions, and that you can interact with. You could think of them as hallucinations that can think and act on their own.” There are many communities on the internet dedicated to this phenomenon.
While I understand that creating an imaginary friend as an adult may be alarming or hard to understand for some people, I’ve always stood by my profession’s belief that if something does not negatively impact social, emotional, or professional functioning, it can’t be pathologized. I can see how having a tulpa could be therapeutic and comforting. As long as the individual is aware that their tulpa is not perceived by others, I think it’s fine.
As a writer, I have a huge array of characters that do not exist in “the real world.” I can’t physically see them or have a conversation with them in a way that could be perceived by others or videotaped or anything. And yet I can say without hesitation that Caleb, Ruby, Elinor, Justine, and obviously Bridget, Riley, Joan, Natalia, Faye, and Paloma (to name the most significant few) are all very real people to me with whom I have many important and enriching experiences. They have changed my life in immeasurable ways. There’s no direct interaction, and I’m aware they will never arrive on my doorstep in the flesh. But they do exist as strong independent entities. Judging by the number of questions, comments, and squeals I get from readers, other people experience them as fully formed entities too.
Perhaps the most confusing thing I read about tulpi is the idea I found here about how to “create” one’s tulpa. If they have their ”own thoughts and emotions” and “can think and act on their own,” why do they need to be created? Don’t they already exist? As a writer, I’ve never “created” a character. They have always presented themselves to me, flawed and fabulous and complete, and allowed me to witness and convey their stories. I can very rarely influence them. So I’m curious about how tulpi might be different than my characters. Do people who have tulpi “program” their tulpi to be their “perfect match”? To encourage them? To discipline them? I suppose all those things could be beneficial in the right situation. But they could also be harmful.
What do other people think?
Just going to chime in on this, I hope you don’t mind. Please don’t take everything here as fact, I’m not the most experienced host. Other hosts, please feel free to add your own take!
There are quite a few accidental tulpas in the community that originally started out as characters. As far as the author is aware they haven’t created them until they realise they are speaking back. When they are writing them, they are thinking about them and what they would be like and at the end of the day, that is forcing (creating) them.
I’ve not heard of people having already fully formed characters that just pop up before they’ve had chance to think about them (like in your case?) so I don’t really know what is going on there. Hopefully someone else can explain!
People at the beginning do “program” them and by that I mean we give them personality traits, though some people skip that entirely (like me). Everyone in the tulpa community makes sure to tell new hosts that a tulpa is free to deviate from their set personalities and they often do! I’m sure none of us disipline our tulpas, for the most part we treat them like we would treat our real friend.
Basically when you strip everything down, all that is really needed to create a tulpa is to talk to them as if they were a sentient, feeling person and eventually they start to talk back.
I agree with Jess^^ (though I’m by no means an experienced host either)
My dragon tulpa, Griffin, began as an OC for a book series called the Last Dragon Chronicles. (it consists of sentient clay dragons, and the main character’s “Special dragon” often talks to him in his head) Originally, I narrated to him almost constantly, and then one day he responded to what I was saying. I still have his clay form; it helps me visualize him and he likes it when I carry him around.
Reina, however, is very vocal and showed up completely on her own one day with absolutely no conscious prompting, and I didn’t even want a second tulpa at the time. She chose her own name, appearance, everything.
If I try very hard, I can sometimes have very brief converstations with the characters in my novel-in-progress — but only the ones I create. If they were thought up by one of my friends, I can’t reach them. And usually I have to be thinking more along the lines of “what would this character do in this situation,” not speaking directly to them but more like searching my own subconscious, if that makes sense.
I discipline mine sometimes but it wasn’t in a parental sense, I got annoyed with Reina because she wallpapered the library in our wonderland with optical illusion posters. (and when I say wallpapered I mean covered the entire thirty-foot diameter-and-two-stories-tall cylindrical room including shelves. I didn’t ground her or anything that normal friends wouldn’t do, I just talked to her and had her take them down.
[You didn’t talk to me, you liar, you yelled at me for half an hour and then had Griffin torch them all.]
<No she didn’t, If I’d done that I would have ruined all the books, Tabby would never have that done. You are nothing but hyperbole.>
[That phrase is hyperbole in and of itself…]
I haven’t been doing much active forcing lately, but Griffin and Reina still manage to talk to me even when I’m not concentrating on them. I’m staying over at my grandparents’ tonight (I’m in their living room right now) and Reina’s draped herself over the couch across from me while Griffin is curled up on the floor. They’re not imposed yet (unfortunately) but I can get a general feel for where they are in reality even if I’m not actively visualizing them.
Bothering Neelix (1/?)
<What is this fluffy white stuff>
<It is rapidly engulfing me>
I had Griffin sitting on my computer when I took that picture of my cat earlier and she leaned over and sniffed at him and he just screamed in utter horror <Get back, ye foul whiskerbeast!> and I completely lost it
Here have a picture of my cat
<wait, so, what exactly am I supposed to be doing?>
[I want you to go over to that tree there - no, not that one, the other one - yeah, that one - and see how high you can climb.]
<you do realize that I am a dragon and I can just fly up there, right?>
[I swear to me I will tie your wings together.]
<did you really just say what I think you said?>
[Do you answer everything with a question?]
<I’m going, I’m going!>
Um… What are you doing?
Kindly explain to me why you are making Griffin climb to the top of a two-hundred foot tree.
<can I come down now?>
[No, keep going!]
…You two are going to be the death of me. Or eachother. Probably the latter.
<Why aren’t you doing anything?!>
It’s not my fault that miss I-can-do-whatever-the-harrane-I-want over here decided to be a- Griffin!
<What? It was either this or I fall.>
[Get off of me!]
That’s it, I’m done, you can sort out your own problems.
[Get him off me!]
<It’s your own fault, you know.>
I drew Reina! It’s really crappy but it looks pretty accurate, according to her. She was telling me what she wanted me to have her wearing and she chose the position.