If you’re reading this, you’re likely entirely new to the tulpa phenomenon. If you want to learn more about tulpas, and eventually create one of your own, you will have a lot of reading to do; but this is a good place to start. This text is a rundown of what tulpas are and what they can do, and of what they aren’t and can’t do. This is a very subjective phenomenon, and this article is a representation of this community’s views. Take in information with an open mind, and make your own judgments about the things you read.
What is a tulpa?
A tulpa is an entity created in the mind, acting independently of, and parallel to your own consciousness. They are able to think, and have their own free will, emotions, and memories. In short, a tulpa is like a sentient person living in your head, separate from you. It’s currently unproven whether or not tulpas are truly sentient, but in this community, we treat them as such. It takes time for a tulpa to develop a convincing and complex personality; as they grow older, your attention and their life experiences will shape them into a person with their own hopes, dreams and beliefs.
You’ll create a tulpa by imagining a person in your head, and treating them as a person. The exact mechanism is unknown, but as you give a tulpa attention, and believe it can be a sentient person, it will grow into one, and act independently of you. At first, you will be narrating to your tulpa—speaking to it, and visualizing it in your mind—and with time, you’ll be able to communicate through various methods, which will be described in the next section. Keep in mind that when a tulpa starts talking, it doesn’t mean that they are complete, or finished by any means. Like any person, a tulpa is never “done”, and you shouldn’t be going for a finished tulpa, when you make one. You should be focused on nurturing and teaching your tulpa, and allowing them to grow as a person with you, while at the same time you learn about yourself, and grow as a person in turn. It takes time and effort to make a tulpa into a self-sufficient and balanced individual, and their independence and personality will grow and flourish over time, like any regular human being’s. Creating a tulpa means committing to raising and living with another person, and this is a lifelong commitment—not one that ends when your tulpa starts speaking.
Pretty much every tulpa has a form—an imaginary body they identify with. This form can be anything from a regular human being to a cartoon character, an animal, or anything you else can imagine. Of course, regardless of their form, they still have a human mind. You can interact with your tulpa’s form by visualizing it in your mind. Most people do this in an imaginary setting called a wonderland, which is a persistent place you imagine yourself and your tulpa being in. You’ll be able to change your wonderland at will, and make it as normal or fantastical as you want; there are no limits. Many tulpas tend to spend their alone time in such a place, but it’s not required at all to have a wonderland (or to give your tulpa a form for that matter). Note that the form doesn’t have to just be a visual image; the word is often used as umbrella term for a tulpa’s looks, voice, their smell, the feeling of their skin—everything that you can sense of their imaginary form.
If you commit to the process, and put a significant amount of time and effort into your tulpa, you will end up with a friend for life. You’ll have a big hand in shaping your tulpa’s personality, and it’ll be easy to understand them, and for them to understand you—almost guaranteeing a close friendship. Getting to know your tulpa will teach you lessons in empathy and give you insight into your own personality and thoughts. They can give you an alternative opinion on problems you have, support you emotionally, and tell you off when you’re being stupid. The connection between a host (that’s you) and a tulpa is a very powerful and intimate one, and you’ll always have a friend to speak with, in your head.
What is a tulpa good for?
AKA what can they do?
The usual reason for creating a tulpa is having them around for companionship, which means that the most important aspect is being able to properly communicate with them. There are different ways of communicating with a tulpa—of which the most common one is through mindvoice. Hearing a tulpa’s mindvoice means hearing thoughts that aren’t your own, and you respond by directing thoughts of your own back to your tulpa. It can take anywhere from a couple of days to several months to hear your tulpa in this way, and in some cases longer. Before starting to hear their tulpa’s thoughts, some people get head pressures, when they interact with their tulpa—a throbbing sensation that usually fades with time. A clearer way of sensing your tulpa before you can communicate with them directly is through emotional responses, which can be described as feeling emotions that aren’t your own. You may be able to notice easily when your tulpa is very happy or sad, or feels strongly about something in any way.
An advanced technique in the community is imposition, which consists of hallucinating your tulpa with any of your senses. When you master it, your tulpa will seamlessly fit into reality as you see it with your own eyes, and you’ll be able to hear them speak, smell them, and even feel the texture of their skin and clothes, as if they were really there. Of course they won’t become physical human beings, and unless you delude yourself, you won’t believe that they are. These are controlled hallucinations; but even so, you’ll be able to interact with your tulpa in a much more real way, and it’s considered the endgame for many people in this community.
Besides interacting with your tulpa yourself, you can learn to give them control of your body; this is called possession. They will be able to move by themselves—learning to be able to do whatever they want—be it practicing a hobby, using a computer to talk to people or play games, or anything else that you can do yourself. Some people get possession down before hearing their tulpa’s mindvoice—making the tulpa able to communicate through writing or typing things to the host. With time, you can learn to stop paying attention to your body entirely, while your tulpa is in control. You’ll be able to ignore your body’s senses and take on imaginary ones—essentially becoming able to lucidly dream while your tulpa does what they want in your body. This is called switching.
What a tulpa isn’t, and good practices
There’s plenty of people that have weird beliefs about tulpas, and you’ll probably see that for yourself if you stay in the community. You have a right to your own beliefs, but in this community as a whole, tulpas aren’t seen as spirits or supernatural beings, nor do they have magical powers or any influence on things outside your mind and body. Tulpas aren’t demons; they aren’t a manifestation of your subconsciousness, and aren’t the devil trying to entice you to do evil.
Tulpas are not malicious unless you really mess up during the creation process and treat your tulpa in a way that makes them utterly hate you—and even then, a tulpa can’t really do you much harm. Tulpas aren’t self-imposed schizophrenia or whatever other mental illness you might be thinking of. You won’t go crazy, and you won’t have random hallucinations; it’s all perfectly safe and fun. Please look at the phenomenon rationally, and consider that you have plenty of control over your mind and what happens in it.
Some people come into the community purely to roleplay with tulpas. A tulpa isn’t a role playing character, and you probably shouldn’t make one just to entertain you with their online interactions. It’s probably best to let your tulpa grow and mature for a good while before you let them talk to people outside you, and let them do their own things. While it may speed up development to let tulpas interact with others, you should be wary of who they talk to, and don’t dump them onto the forums and chat rooms as some kind of plaything. Screen people yourself before letting your tulpa speak to them, and let them think twice before getting into any relationships (including with yourself) at a young age. Young tulpas are impressionable and heavily influenced by their host, so don’t make the mistake of thinking your tulpa is entirely self-sufficient, responsible and ready to make their own life decisions as soon as they are able to speak.
What to do from here
This community has plenty of resources you can use to learn more about tulpas, and get started on your own journey into the phenomenon. The pages linked below include a short guide (eventually) that will teach you how you can create your own tulpa, and make you familiar with more of the terms used in the community. If you have questions that this text didn’t answer, you can have a look at the FAQ or the glossary, to help better understand some of the terms and concepts.
Besides these beginner resources, there are many more guides written by community members. There are a lot of them, and it would definitely help you to keep reading different guides, as you create your tulpa. Some will be general guides, and will talk about the whole process of creating a tulpa—others are about a specific technique or aspect of the phenomenon. Make sure to not take any one guide or one person’s advice as the objective truth, but draw your own conclusions after getting several different opinions on the matter. This is a personal journey—not one where you should blindly follow what another person says.
If you already decided you want to make a tulpa, you’re probably eager to get started. Be sure to realize all the consequences making a tulpa has, the responsibility that comes with it, and what the implications of sharing your head with another person are. Write down notes, learn as much as you can, and be consistent in spending time with your tulpa regularly. Keep in mind that giving them attention is paramount, and more attention will make for faster growth. Look at this as a personal journey, and try to learn about yourself as you create your tulpa. If you’re not sure whether you want to make a tulpa, or aren’t convinced about the phenomenon at all, I would suggest reading guides, browsing the forums and learning more about tulpas. If you end up not making one, feel free to stick around anyway. And there is one more thing to say: any form of introspection is good for you, and creating a tulpa is just one way of doing so. An alternative path would be practicing meditation, and there are many other things you can do to learn more about yourself.