– How does a tulpa work?
– Prove tulpas!
– Aren’t tulpas dangerous?
– How is this different from DID/MPD/Schizophrenia?
– Is this magic?
– Do I already have a tulpa? I have been talking to an imaginary friend or character.
– What can a tulpa do?
– So can my tulpa help me with (memory recall, school)?
– What limits tulpas?
– If I have a mental illness, can I still make a tulpa?
– Are hour counts good or bad?
– How long does it take to make a tulpa?
– How can I know my tulpa is sentient?
– Can I do different stages of developing a tulpa at once?
– How much attention/interaction does my tulpa need?
– How do I narrate to my tulpa?
– Should I talk to my tulpa out loud or in my head?
– Does putting too much detail into my tulpa stifle deviation?
– I’m getting headaches, head pressures, sore eyes and stuff during creation, is that bad?
– Do I need to meditate?
– Is it okay to base a tulpa off an existing character?
– I’m having trouble visualizing; what do I do?
– Should I create a form for my tulpa?
– What is a wonderland?
– What’s the difference between visualization and imposition?
– Can I ‘impose’ things other than tulpas?
– Do tulpas mature over time?
– How do I make my tulpa leave me alone?
– I haven’t heard/seen/felt my tulpa in ‘x’ days; what did I do wrong?
– Is it normal for a tulpa to only be able to interact with you when you pay attention to them?
– Can you create multiple tulpas?
– I have a question that isn’t answered by this FAQ, what do I do?
Q: How does a tulpa work?
A: There are many differing theories about tulpa creation, multiplicity, and how the phenomenon works neurologically and psychologically. Currently there’s no way to say for sure how a tulpa works. There are different theories and thoughts on the topic posted on the forums, and articles on the site.
Q: Prove tulpas!
A: Tulpas can only be observed subjectively, inside one’s mind. The only possibility of “proving” tulpas is by doing scientific experiments with expensive fMRI or EEG machines, which so far, have been out of reach of the community. If you are skeptical about the phenomenon, you can observe others who have made tulpas, read progress reports, and determine for yourself whether you think it’s possible for a tulpa to exist, and come up with your own ideas as to how tulpas may work. One thing that speaks for tulpas is the fact that thousands of people have tried creating tulpas and are absolutely (yet subjectively) convinced of the phenomenon.
Q: Aren’t tulpas dangerous?
A: No, for several reasons. Firstly, your relationship with a tulpa will be very close. Simply living in the same head will allow you to understand each other’s feelings and accept one another. It’s mutually beneficial for tulpas to get along with their hosts. In a large majority of cases, hosts and tulpas are close friends, and as with any personal relationship, any problems can be solved by talking them out. Even if your problem can’t be solved through discussion (unlikely), your tulpa won’t be able to move your body unless you let it, and if all else fails, you will be able to ignore your tulpa. Tulpas cannot physically harm you, even in the extremely unlikely case that they might want to. Tulpas are just people; you can resolve any conflict like you would with a normal person. You shouldn’t give up on your tulpa after a disagreement or fight; you should instead do your damned best to make things right again.
Q: How is this different from DID/MPD/Schizophrenia?
A: The mental disorders listed above are usually caused by genetics, or by experiencing traumatic events. People with these disorders have symptoms that happen involuntarily, and people with these disorders cannot choose or control their symptoms. Sometimes patients will black out, their place being taken by another personality, without the host having any control over the process. These things don’t happen to people with tulpas. You can choose to listen to your tulpa or ignore them, and you will not black out even if you give them control of your body. You have a great amount of control over how you wish to raise your tulpa, so you will probably end up with someone with a personality you like and enjoy interacting with. The mental disorders listed above are harmful, and will hamper your ability to function; however, tulpas are benign and willful. If you approach the phenomenon correctly, tulpas will improve your life, with their company and friendship.
Q: Is this magic?
A: No. This community tries to approach the tulpa phenomenon in a logical, psychologically-based way. We do not try to explain tulpas with magic, or the occult.
Q: Do I already have a tulpa? I have been talking to an imaginary friend or character, and think they might be a tulpa.
A: This is an extremely common phenomenon in this community. Seeing as tulpas develop through focused attention, they can potentially emerge when someone spends a lot of time thinking about a character, or talking to an imaginary friend. If you think you have something like that, have a close look at them and answer for yourself: Are they independent from you, seemingly doing things of their own volition? Do they surprise you sometimes? Do they feel like another human being, rather than just a character? If you answered yes to one or more questions, your character could be described as a tulpa. Of course, they may not be fully developed or independent yet. If you decide to treat them as a tulpa from now on, and work on developing them and learning to communicate with them more clearly, they may become a fully independent tulpa.
Q: What can a tulpa do?
A: As a general rule, a tulpa can do anything the host can do, and nothing more. Tulpas are humans like you or me, and have the same potentials and limitations. However, due to the differences between the nature of the existence of hosts and tulpas, hosts may naturally have an easier time doing some things (such as controlling the body), while tulpas may innately be able to do some things that the host would not be able to, without some practice (such as completely immersing yourself in the wonderland).
Q: So can my tulpa help me with (memory recall, school)?
A: It’s possible, but most likely what your tulpa can bring to the table will be dwarfed by making a direct effort in whatever area you’re trying to improve. This is especially true of memory recall and similar mental tasks. And even if your tulpa is capable of helping you, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will; you shouldn’t create them purely to be a personal notepad or calculator.
Q: What limits tulpas?
A: Tulpas develop based on their host’s and their own beliefs. A host can consciously choose to enable or restrict their tulpa in various ways. For example, a host can choose whether or not the tulpa can listen in on the host’s thoughts, or access the host’s memories. Whether you realize or not, you have a set of unconscious beliefs about tulpas, acquired throughout your daily life or from what you’ve read about tulpas. That’s why it’s important to take everything with a grain of salt, and consciously think about what feels good and right for you. If you discover limiting beliefs, try to rationalize them as you find them, and know that the limiting belief is really the only cause of the issue in question.
Q: If I have a mental illness, can I still make a tulpa?
A: In most cases, you should be fine. We have yet to discover a mental illness that would prevent the creation of a tulpa. In some cases, mental illnesses have been aided by the creation and presence of a tulpa.
Q: Are hour counts good or bad?
A: Tulpas develop at different rates, and the creation process doesn’t take the same time for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with keeping track of how much time you’ve spent forcing, and it can even be beneficial to keep notes on everything you do when it comes to developing your tulpa. Just try not to compare your rate of progress to others; take it easy and do things at your own pace.
Q: How long does it take to make a tulpa?
A: For them to become vocal, usually between a week and a few months. Some people, especially people who have experience with role-playing or writing characters, can have an easier time reaching vocality than others. But note that you’re not finished at that point; there’s always more room for them to grow in personality. You can always work on refining your ability to perceive them, and learning advanced skills such as imposition and switching. A young tulpa will be dependent on their host at first, but over time, they will become more independent and will grow as a person.
Q: How can I know my tulpa is sentient?
A: It’s impossible to prove whether or not a tulpa is a sentient being, just like it’s impossible to prove that another person is (read up on solipsism). All you can do is observe the person’s behavior, until you can reasonably conclude they are sentient. If you don’t know whether your tulpa is sentient, try to observe their behavior over time. As they grow older, they will show more signs of independent, intelligent behavior. After a while, you’ll likely find enough subjective proof to conclude that your tulpa is sentient. If you are unsure, you should wait, give them more attention, and keep observing. It’s best to go about this with a non-judgmental, objective mindset. There’s no use in worrying.
Q: Can I do different stages of developing a tulpa at once?
A: Sure. It’s possible, and probably even more fun to work on all kinds of different things with your tulpa from the get go. You can practice visualizing, narrate to them, force personality traits; it doesn’t matter. All these things can be done interchangeably, and can be done together. Find out what works best for you.
Q: How much attention/interaction does my tulpa need?
A: During the creation process, you should aim to interact with your tulpa daily – anywhere from a few minutes up to a few hours. In general, it is good to give your tulpa as much attention as you can, but it is not absolutely necessary to meet any specific quota. After your tulpa has become sufficiently independent, it is no longer required to give them as much attention to sustain them, but it is still good to spend time with them when you can, so they aren’t lonely.
Q: How do I narrate to my tulpa?
A: Narration means talking to your tulpa. It can be about anything you want, and in any way you want. It can be useful to think of the tulpa and feel the tulpa’s presence when you talk with them, as it can help you with directing your words or thoughts to them in your mind. Note that you can talk about anything, positive or negative, so you can rant at your tulpa all you want about any topic. You can do this while doing other things, and quantity is more important than quality here.
Q: Should I talk to my tulpa out loud or in my head?
A: You can communicate with your tulpa in any way you want to. Some people find it easier to concentrate, when they talk out loud. Others find it better to talk in their head. Try both, and see what you prefer; that is what is most important.
Q: Does putting too much detail into my tulpa stifle deviation?
A: No. Whether you’re vague or overly detailed in your initial description and plan for your tulpa, they will grow over time to be themselves – an original being. They will probably keep some of the traits you give them initially, but you can compare this to raising a child. You can want your kid choose their own path, or to be a doctor and prep them for it, but if they want to switch paths to something else along the road, it’s not up to you to decide for them. You can choose as much for your tulpa as you want and pre-define them, but in the end, they will have the freedom to choose for themselves, and grow in the direction they want to grow.
Q: I’m getting headaches, head pressures, sore eyes and stuff during creation, is that bad?
A: Some people get these sensations, others never do. If it starts bothering you, take a break from concentrating and relax. These things aren’t harmful.
Q: Do I need to meditate?
A: It’s optional, but it generally helps those who do it. Meditation will teach you to focus for longer periods of time, and generally improve your mindset when it comes to all aspects of life, including tulpas.
Q: Is it okay to base a tulpa off an existing character?
A: It’s perfectly fine. You may give your tulpa the character’s form and try to give them a similar personality, but you and them both must realize that they are their own person. As any tulpa does, they will change and develop over time to be more individual, likely ending up being far from similar to the character at all.
Q: I’m having trouble visualizing; what do I do?
A: Visualizing is a skill like any other, and can be improved with practice. Good visualization isn’t at all necessary for creating a tulpa, so no need to worry about it. All you have to do is put in the effort to improve, if you want better visualization. Try practicing visualization aside from when you’re forcing, by imagining your tulpa, or anything else you want. Any time you put in will contribute to becoming better at it. There are different tips and tricks to improve visualization, on the forums, if you want more advice on improving.
Q: Should I create a form for my tulpa?
A: You can create one, but you can also talk to your tulpa without any form and let them decide if and what form they want, once they are able to choose. It doesn’t matter which way you go; both options are good. If you just can’t choose, any placeholder will do, as forms can be changed at will by either party.
Q: What is a wonderland?
A: A wonderland is a mental environment, where the host and tulpas can interact visually with each other, without the need for the host to impose their tulpa into their physical environment. A wonderland can be revisited time and time again, although it may change under your own will, your tulpa’s will, or unconsciously. It can be as small as a single room, as large as an entire universe, or even a void of “nothingess”. You can build it by simply imagining any place in your head, and going through all aspects of it in as much detail as you want. It’s not required to have a wonderland.
Q: What’s the difference between visualization and imposition?
A: Visualization means seeing something in your mind’s eye, imagining it like you would a memory or an imaginary object/landscape (and sometimes refers to all senses similarly). Imposition means hallucinating something, seeing it as you would a real object in the real world (and sometimes all senses similarly).
Q: Can I ‘impose’ things other than tulpas?
A: Yes. Imposition is just learning to hallucinate (usually your tulpa/s), and once you’ve learned the skill you can apply it to anything you choose.
Q: Do tulpas mature over time?
A: Yes, they do. They are not static and will tend to change as time goes on. Their initial growth is rapid compared to that of a child, but they will eventually reach a level of maturity whereupon they will develop and grow at a rate comparable to that of any other person.
Q: How do I make my tulpa leave me alone?
A: Have you tried asking nicely? If you make it clear that they’re distracting or distressing you, they’ll usually happily be reasonable and leave you alone. Consider giving them more attention when you do have the time.
Q: I haven’t heard/seen/felt my tulpa in ‘x’ days; what did I do wrong?
A: Nothing. It is fairly common for a tulpa to retreat back into the mind for alone time, or some other reason. It does not necessarily mean that you have done anything wrong, and there is most likely no need to worry about it. Just give it some time, and continue to look out for them. They will surely be back, eventually.
Q: Is it normal for a tulpa to only be able to interact with you when you pay attention to them?
A: Yes, it’s very common for this to be the case in early stages post-vocality. As your tulpa develops more, they will be increasingly able to function without your attention.
Q: Can you create multiple tulpas?
A: Yes, many hosts have more than one tulpa. They can be created by a host or a tulpa at any time; it’s usually easier than the first time. You can have multiple tulpas active at one point, and interact with them as you would a single tulpa.
Q: I have a question that isn’t answered by this FAQ, what do I do?
A: Feel free to search the Questions and Answers board on the forums; your question is likely already answered there. If you can’t find a satisfying answer, start a topic and ask away. There’s also the official Tulpa.info chat, where you can probably get someone to answer your questions much faster.