Q: What is a tulpa?
A: A tulpa is believed to be an autonomous consciousness, existing parallel to the creator’s consciousness inside the same brain, often with a form (mental body) of its own. A tulpa is entirely sentient and in control of their opinions, feelings, form and movement. They are willingly created by people via a number of techniques. (See What is a tulpa? for more information)
Q: Can you describe how this works?
A: There are quite a few theories out there about tulpas and how their creation works, but none of them is perfect. We encourage you to look around the site to find theories that people have created if you want to know how creating a tulpa might work.
Q: So this is magic, right?
A: No. This is an entirely psychological technique which allows you to create a separate consciousness within your mind.
Q: Prove tulpas!
A: Tulpa are a highly subjective phenomena like hypnotic trance or lucid dreaming. We are looking into proving them eventually via formal psychological and neuroscientific study, but that is some time away from being realized. Your best hope of proving it to yourself is to try it.
Q: Isn't this just trying to give yourself schizophrenia/multiple personality disorder/dissociative identity disorder?
A: No. Those are mental illnesses that impair your ability to function in daily life. Having a tulpa is a form of healthy multiplicity that does not impede your mind or body.
Q: Isn't this just an advanced form of hallucination?
A: A tulpa is more than just a hallucination, they're an emergent awareness and consciousness. Only the imposition of a tulpa's form is an 'advanced' hallucination.
Q: If I have a mental illness can I 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.
Q: Can I have more than one tulpa?
A: Yes, you can. It is even possible to make several at once, although the challenges and merits of this are disputed.
Q: Is this really a new phenomena?
A: No, it's a practice that goes back in recorded history as far as the Greek philosophers and their practice known as Daemonism. The present name of the phenomenon is derived from the word used by Tibetan monks in the early 20th century. There's also evidence to suggest dedicated prayer can lead to the development of 'religious tulpa' in the minds of the particularly devout. Having a tulpa is nothing new, although it's gone by many names throughout the course of history and does so even today. There are even people that are born with multiple conscious minds in their body called multiple or plural. However, we believe we are one of the first groups to address this practice as a psychological phenomena rather than a magical, occult or divine experience.
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 quiet and leave you alone, so long as you give them some attention when you do have the time.
Q: How do I permanently get rid of a tulpa?
A: There is a way to get rid of a tulpa, but you should first think about if you really want to do that. Tulpa is a person and if they made you angry at them somehow, then you should talk about it together instead of trying to grab a gun. If you still think that this is the only or best way to resolve the situation, then ask around.
Q: Do I need to meditate?
A: No, it's not necessary. We are sure meditation would help with making your tulpa and perhaps concentration, but if you don't want to do it or can't, then that's fine too. It generally does help those who do it, but is completely optional.
Q: I have a question that isn't answered by this FAQ, what do I do?
A: Feel free to check out the forum's Questions and Answers board. It may be that your question has already been answered there, and if not, don't be afraid to ask. There's also the official Tulpa.info chat, which may be able to answer your question immediately.
Q: What can a tulpa do?
A: A tulpa can think independantly from its creator, can have different opinions, views, tastes, etc. from its creator, provide companionship, talk directly to anyone inside the same body (including its creator and other tulpas), control and manipulate the physical body like you, recall the memories that you have if you give them the permission and more, but basically a tulpa is a conscious mind like you and can do the same things like you can.
Q: What limits tulpas?
A: Tulpas are restricted by their creator, their own and their creator's beliefs, and ultimately by their own morality and codes of conduct like any other person is. A creator can consciously choose to enable or restrict their tulpa in various ways, although this is not absolute control. A creator's beliefs about their tulpa can affect them too, but it's possible for the tulpa to overpower these beliefs and thus making them ineffective. Even unconscious beliefs can affect tulpas, but you can get rid of them if they are hindering you or your tulpa.
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: Can my tulpa harm me/kill me?
A: Tulpas cannot act in the physical world without using the host body and they can use the host body only after they have learned how to do possession or how to switch, so they could physically harm the body, but they won't do so unless you give them a good reason to (e.g. by harming them).
Q: Will my tulpa be a carbon-copy of me in personality and opinions?
A: Your tulpa is like a person. They can have opinions that differ from yours, but they also can have opinions that are similar to yours, but it's unlikely that they will be a carbon copy of you in personality and opinions. They are their own being.
Q: Can I make items for my tulpa?
A: You can create items, that only exist inside the mind, which will last as long as you want to, or you could buy physical items for your tulpa. Tulpas themselves can create objects inside the mind like you can.
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. Talking together when you can and want is recommended although it's not necessary. After they're fully vocal and active, the minimum is just acknowledging their existence and interacting together from time to time or letting them use the body sometimes. Just don't ignore them for a long time, and you'll both be fine.
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.
Q: So can my tulpa help me with (memory recall, school)?
A: It's certainly possible, but even if your tulpa is capable of helping you, that doesn't necessarily mean they will. You shouldn't force them to act as your personal notepad and calculator.
Q: What if my tulpa sees my messed up fantasies or images and doesn't like me?
A: Your tulpa is likely going to accept you pretty much no matter what. They may disapprove of something you've done or thought of in the past, but they aren't going to hate you over it. Tulpas are usually pretty understanding and tolerant.
Q: Is this a replacement for having friends?
A: No, just because you have a tulpa it doesn't mean you're going to not need any of your friends or family anymore. You can still maintain your social life and sometimes it might be within the tulpa's personality to persuade you to become more social.
Q: What if my tulpa knows that they're a tulpa?
A: How they will feel about knowing that is going to vary; most of the time they don't care, but they can feel about it and react to it in any way.
Q: Can I force my tulpa to (be quiet, go away)?
A: While you can't strictly force your tulpa to do anything, if you really want them to do something (leave when you're angry, not bother you in school), then just ask them to like you would ask another person and they will likely comply.
Q: I speak more than one language fluently. Which should I speak to my tulpa in?
A: Any language is fine, because tulpas can be capable of speaking all the languages you can.
Q: Can I (grab, slap, hug, etc.) my tulpa?
A: Yes, within reason. Imagining or enacting a given action with a tulpa, imposed or otherwise, will carry all the meaning and weight you associate with that action directed at them.
Q: What does the tulpa do while you're sleeping?
A: Because the mind never totally shuts down, the tulpa continues to exist and be there. What they do, however, is up to the tulpa. Some are known to interact with dreams, while others may spend time in a mental environment (see Wonderlands), some go to sleep as well, etc.
Q: Do tulpas sleep?
A: Some tulpa will sleep at the same time as their creators, others as and when they please, and others do not seem to sleep at all.
Tulpa Creation Questions
Q: How long will it take to make a tulpa?
A: This varies extremely from individual to individual and on their preferred methods. Don't worry about how long it'll take. Don't expect results immediately, but don't dismiss early successes either.
Q: Should I create a base form for my tulpa?
A: You can create one, but you can also talk to your tulpa without any base form and let them decide if and what form they want. It doesn't matter which way you go, both options are good.
Q: Is it ok to base a tulpa off an existing character?
A: Yes. Your tulpa may have the pre-existing character's form or personality, but that doesn't make them the actual character. They will develop and change over time as a person would though.
Q: Can I take an existing roleplay character/imaginary friend and make them into a tulpa?
A: Yes, although as with all tulpa based on existing characters, you should be aware that they will develop and change over time.
Q: This feels like I'm just talking to myself and making up answers. Why?
A: It can feel that way at the start, but it will stop feeling that way over time and as your tulpa matures. But even if it feels that way, it's not a problem to the tulpas developement, so don't worry about it.
Q: I'm getting headaches, pressure, sore eyes and stuff during creation, is that bad?
A: Some people get them while creating a tulpa, but they haven't been found harmful to the process, they aren't bad so unless they are hurting you physically.
Q: It's hard bringing my tulpa's face into focus, why?
A: It can be hard to visualize faces, because they are often the most detailed part of the body, but it will get easier to visualize them with practise.
Q: Is it bad to fall asleep while working on tulpas?
A: It doesn't hurt working on your tulpa, but it can annoy some tulpas a bit like it could annoy any other person if you fell asleep while interacting with them.
Q: Do I name my tulpa?
A: You can give them a name, but bear in mind the possibility that they may change it. You can leave them nameless, and let them name themselves.
Q: Is it okay to force while (high, drunk)?
A: It should be okay as long as you feel it's productive.
Q: Can I listen to music while I force?
A: Yes and it can be even helpful to the process.
Q: Is it okay to give my tulpa negative traits?
A: You shouldn't really think about traits as positive or negative. You should think about them as what they are, not their moral connotations. If you want to give your tulpa a trait, or a trait emerges naturally, then go for it! Traits are just aspects of personality, and whether they're good or bad will depend on your own morality. So if you want a clingy tulpa, an aggressive tulpa, a sarcastic tulpa, whatever, that's totally up to you.
Q: Can I make my tulpa vocal first and then work on form?
A: Of course!
Q: Can I do X and Y at once when I'm creating my tulpa?
A: You certainly can and it can be helpful too.
Q: Does putting too much detail into my tulpa stifle deviation?
A: No. Whether you're vague or not, your tulpa can and probably will change over time.
Q: So how exactly does deviation work?
A: Your initial plans or ideas for a tulpa may be altered by your subconscious or by your tulpa. Some tulpas end up almost exactly as initially designed, while others end up changing a lot as a result of these collective alterations, but neither is worse or better than the other.
Q: Can I create a tulpa that's in charge of their own personality/form/creation?
A: Sure. Tulpas can always affect their personality, form or any other other aspect of themselves, so if you want them to be completely in charge of that, then just don't control them and let them change themselves however they like.
Q: How do I narrate/talk to my tulpa?
A: Narration is the same as talking with your tulpa. It can be about anything you want to and in any way you want. It can be useful to think of the tulpa, when you talk with them, as it can help with directing your words or thoughts at them in your mind.
Q: I'm having trouble visualizing, what do I do?
A: Good visualization isn't necessary for creating a tulpa, and it'll get better over time as you practice it, so no need to worry about it. However, if you want to improve it faster than by only practising then you should consider looking for a giude on the site or on some different one.
Q: I haven't felt my tulpa in 'x' hours/days, what did I do wrong?
A: Nothing. It's not unusual for a tulpa to retreat back for a little while or go to sleep or something else that makes it harder to feel them. This can happen when they are growing, and is often followed by much growth. It's happened to some people that their tulpa have left for almost a week, and when they return become vocal in a very short amount of time. Even if you can't feel them, continue forcing and interacting with them as you normally would and it will be fine.
Q: Does my tulpa have to be human?
A: No, you can have a tulpa with any form they or you want to.
Q: What is a mindscape/wonderland?
A: A mindscape, also known popularly as a wonderland, is a mental environment where the host and tulpas can interact visually with eachother, 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 subconsciously.
Q: What is the difference between mindscape/wonderland and any other imagined environment?
A: An imagined environment is any given temporary mental scene or scenario, such as those experienced when day-dreaming. A wonderland or mindscape is a more permanent, albeit dynamic, environment that persists even when you aren't consciously thinking of it, that you or your tulpa can return to repeatedly.
Q: Can my tulpa change the mindscape/wonderland as well?
A: Yes, tulpas are also able to edit and alter wonderlands and the entities within them. Your tulpa may even change your wonderland while you are not consciously aware of it.
Q: What does it mean to 'explore' a wonderland?
A: A mindscape/wonderland can be imagined in such a way that large areas of it are undefined or lack clarity. Traveling within the environment outside of areas you've consciously defined can lead to a subconscious, dreamlike generation of environments and landscapes. This has been known to provide interesting and exciting activities for tulpa and their creators alike - it is quite literally letting your mind wander.