Monday, September 24, 2018

My little headmate

I admit I never heard of “tulpamancers” before I accidentally read about them in a book about the Slender Man. There, they were described as a subset of the already quite strange Bronie subculture. Bronies are adult fans of the children show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, and the tulpamancers are said to visualize characters inspired by this particular cartoon. That in itself is, well, weird, but it seems that tulpamancy is a much broader phenomenon.

It reminds me of Otherkin. The difference is that while Otherkin claim to be imaginary characters, tulpamancers “only” pretend to bring imaginary characters to life by using various meditation and visualization techniques. Essentially, tulpamancy is about creating your very own imaginary friends, which then lives inside your mind. An occultist would call the “tulpas” formed in this way “thought-forms”. Another, and more disturbing, interpretation is also possible: tulpamancy is a way to actively create your own delusions. In other words, to induce a schizotypal personality disorder.

“The Tulpamancer's Toolbox” is a short e-book, essentially pitching a longer work by the same author, “Tulpa Creation Guide” (which I haven't read). It's interesting to note that the author writes that the tulpas, once created, cannot be undone. They are always with you, inside your head. They are also independent and often do unexpected things. Issues not discussed by the writer include whether tulpas can leave their creator's mind, posses the creator, or harm him/her in some fashion. They are “vocal”, so presumably you really do hear voices in your head if you follow the guidelines in the author's other book…

My criticism isn't that this doesn't work. My fear is that it might. So let's just hope that none of this is real, and that tulpamancy simply gives you a headache or two…

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