Many people can fondly recall the creation of an imaginary friend when they were younger. Imaginary friends are a global phenomenon, used as a source to combat loneliness, and as a means to encourage creative enterprises in children.
But what would you do if your imaginary friend suddenly became real? Would you try to destroy it? Or would you accept its unusual companionship?
The Art of the Tulpa
Such is the idea behind tulpamancy, a metaphysical concept that stems from ancient Tibetan practices. In essence tulpamancy is the ability to manifest an imaginary friend by intense mental concentration. A tulpa is a mental construct that takes physical shape–and once it does, the tulpa is capable of being fully autonomous from its creator.
Individuals who practice the art of tulpamancy cite varying reasons for doing so, such as friendship, or as a means of combating certain types of anxiety. Practitioners all seem to agree on one thing, however–the tulpas they manifest are real people, entirely capable of freewill.
The Science of Tulpamancy
The creation of a tulpa is an arduous mental process that requires both immense time and concentration. First, an individual who wishes to manifest a tulpa must have a very concrete idea as to the parameters of their mental construct–what does this tulpa look like? What are the tulpas primary and secondary characteristics? What is the purpose of the tulpa? The tulpamancer must be able to create, then recall these details with near perfect clarity.
Once said parameters are established, the tulpamancer must be able to envision their mental construct over and over again until they can evoke these details with little to no conscious effort. Many practitioners believe that a meditative state must first be achieved in order to successfully manifest a tulpa.
Tulpas as Thoughtform
Tulpamancy was introduced to the western world as “thoughtform” and gained popularity during the late 20th Century by way of science fiction shows and novels. Thoughtforms are much the same as tulpas in that they are physical manifestations of a mental concept and are capable of operating as free agents upon creation.
While modern day practitioners tend to view tulpamancy as having separate origins from paranormal experiences there are some who believe that thoughtforms, or tulpas, are at the heart of some supernatural occurrences. For example, several individuals who study the paranormal now believe that poltergeist activity stems from negatively charged thoughtforms that are powerful enough to cause reactions and activity in the physical world.
A small community of modern American tulpamancers were asked about the origins of their tulpas. Of those surveyed, 8.5% believe tulpas stem from the metaphysical realm, 76.5% think tulpas are psychologically created, and 14% think tulpas originate from spirituality or from paranormal ideas, beyond the paradigms of science.
While we may, ultimately, never know the origins of tulpas it is important to proceed with caution when engaged in tulpamancy. Practitioners are encouraged to use sound judgement during manifestations since tulpas are autonomous in nature. Nothing could be as potentially dangerous as a tulpa that has been created void of sound ethical practices.
Although many tulpamancers claim to have healthy, happy relationships with the tulpas they create, there have been multiple accounts where creating a tulpa has had a negative, even dangerous, impact on an individual. If you are contemplating creating a tulpa consider the following potential outcomes.
Born From Negativity
Once tulpas mature they develop their own personalities and preferences. However, every tulpa is born and primarily exists within their tulpamancers, or host’s mind. Since a tulpa is an extension of oneself it is common for tulpas to inherit their host’s thought patterns, moods, and mentality at the time of creation. Thus, individuals who are suffering from depression or anxiety can transfer these emotions into their tulpa. There have been numerous accounts of tulpas being extremely sad, even suicidal in nature. Tulpamancers who suffer from these bouts with depression may feel their problems have increased tenfold because now there are two depressed individuals to consider.
Negativity tends to feed off of itself, and hosts who are battling chronic, seasonal, or even temporary depression may “give birth” to a tulpa that increases these feelings.
Born From Violence
Many tulpamancers admit that during the creation process it is easier for them to emulate traits from fictional characters they love, rather than attempt to build a tulpa from scratch. Some tulpamancers do so deliberately. Many have been tempted to create tulpas based off of characters that possess less than savory personality traits including a tendency towards violence.
Again, once a tulpa is fully mature, they become free from their host’s will. Their actions are entirely their own and sometimes they desire to do things that could appall, even harm their host.
During development it is common for tulpas to experience drastic mood swings just like children and teens do. These fluctuating temperaments combined with the fact that they have yet to learn about morals and ethics makes for a dangerous combination. Tulpas have been known to threaten to kill a host’s family members, pets, friends, even the host themselves.
It takes a lot of hyper-focused concentration in order to create a tulpa and just as much energy and power to destroy them. Dissipating a tulpa can take several days, even for an advanced tulpamancer. What’s worse? Since tulpas share a headspace with their host they will know the moment their host first considers attempting to destroy them–and this will, naturally, make the tulpa very angry. There are tulpamancers in the world who live in constant fear of the very beings they created.
Even tulpas that have been created and manifested in a healthy environment can create unexpected consequences and events for their host. Once a tulpa has reached maturity it is not unheard of that they develop romantic feelings for their host. While some tulpamancers encourage these feelings, having relations with a tulpa can run the same risks as becoming romantically involved with a real human being including abuse and intense jealousy. Only, you can’t get away from your tulpa.
There have been instances where a tulpa’s devotion to their host has become unhealthy, even dangerous. Emotionally stunted tulpas may cause no end of problems if they feel their host is paying too much attention to real humans. Even a host/tulpa relationship that began from a place of love and harmony can turn sour like human to human relationships do…Problem is, you cannot simply walk away from your tulpa once a breakup occurs. Your tulpa remains with you, in your headspace.
Even supposedly healthy relations with a tulpa can have detrimental effects on a person and their relationships with other people. As bonds form between a tulpa and their host, the host may find themselves unintentionally, or deliberately, neglecting their other relationships, even familial and platonic ones. Why go all the way to a friend’s house when you have a tulpa friend right in your head? Why ask for support from loved ones when one can ask for support from their tulpa, all while sitting on the couch?
Relying on a tulpa for every emotional need can lead to alienation and neglect.
Tulpas and Mental Illness
It is also strongly advised that individuals who suffer from personality disorders, mood disorders, and/or schizophrenia do not attempt to create a tulpa. During the manifestation process tulpamancers often report first communicating with their developing tulpas as a voice in their head. Often times these mental tulpas will speak to their host using their host’s voice as they have yet to develop the skill of vocality.
Individuals who suffer from intrusive thoughts, split personalities, or auditory hallucinations may mistake their mental illness for an emerging tulpa and neglect to seek treatment. As these false tulpa encounters continue, and grow stronger, individuals run the risk of causing permanent damage to their mental wellbeing.
Many tulpamancers argue that their lives were bleak, and lonely prior to the creation of their tulpa(s). However, tulpamancy is an intense, emotionally, and mentally grueling process with varying, unpredictable results. Tulpas can create lasting, even permanent, changes to a person’s life and state of being. Such a practice is not for the meek, the bored, or underprepared individuals.