Difference between revisions of "Tulpa"

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== History ==
[[File:Alexandra_David-Neels.jpg|thumb|Alexandra David-Néel, Tibet 1933]]
One early Buddhist text, the ''Samaññaphala Sutta'' lists the ability to create a “mind-made body” (manomāyakāya) as one of the "fruits of the contemplative life".<ref name="Fiordalis">{{cite web|last1=Fiordallis|first1=David|title=Miracles and Superhuman Powers in South Asian Buddhist Literature|url=https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/61721/dvf_1.pdf|publisher=University of Michigan|accessdate=22 April 2017|date=20 September 2008|deadurl=no|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20170423064934/https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/61721/dvf_1.pdf|archivedate=23 April 2017|df=}}</ref>{{rp|117}} The Tibetan use of the tulpa concept was to have students practice the formation of a mind-made body which would manifest a genuine deity. While the students were told that the tulpa they created was a deity, they were expected to come to the conclusion that "even the most powerful deities were no more than creations of the humanmind". The pupil who accepted the tulpa instead "was deemed a failure – and set off to spend the rest of his life in an uncomfortable hallucination."<ref name="Ashcroft-Nowicki">{{Cite book|url=https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1954809W/Magical_Use_Of_Thought_Forms|title=Magical Use Of Thought Forms: A Proven System of Mental & Spiritual Empowerment|last=Ashcroft-Nowicki|first=Dolores|date=2001-12-01|publisher=Llewellyn Publications|isbn=9781567180848}}</ref>
From 1911-1925 Belgian-French explorer, spiritualist, and Buddhist Alexandra David-Néel observed these practices.<ref name="Campbell">{{Cite book|url=https://openlibrary.org/works/OL2284657W/Body_mind_spirit|title=Body, mind & spirit: a dictionary of New Age ideas, people, places, and terms|last=Campbell|first=Eileen|date=1994|publisher=C.E. Tuttle Co.|isbn=080483010X|edition=Rev. and expanded ed.|location=Boston}}</ref> She reported tulpas are "magic formations generated by a powerful concentration of thought."<ref name="David-Néel">{{Cite book|url=https://openlibrary.org/books/OL8796282M/Magic_and_Mystery_in_Tibet|title=Magic and Mystery in Tibet|last=David-Néel|first=Alexandra|date=February 2000|publisher=Book Tree|isbn=9781585090976}}</ref> David-Néel wrote that "an accomplished Bodhisattva is capable of effecting ten kinds of magic creations. The power of producing magic formations, tulkus or less lasting and materialized tulpas, does not, however, belong exclusively to such mystic exalted beings. Any human, divine or demoniac being may be possessed of it. The only difference comes from the degree of power, and this depends on the strength of the concentration and the quality of the mind itself."<ref>{{Cite book|url=https://openlibrary.org/books/OL8796282M/Magic_and_Mystery_in_Tibet|title=Magic and Mystery in Tibet|lastname="David-Néel|first=Alexandra|date=February 2000|publisher=Book Tree|isbn=9781585090976}}<"/ref>
The Western occult understanding of the concept of "thoughtform" is believed by some to have originated as an interpretation of the Tibetan concept of "tulpa".<ref>{{Cite book|url=https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1954809W/Magical_Use_Of_Thought_Forms|title=Magicalname Use Of Thought Forms: A Proven System of Mental & Spiritual Empowerment|last="Ashcroft-Nowicki|first=Dolores|date=2001-12-01|publisher=Llewellyn" Publications|isbn=9781567180848}}</ref> The concept is related to the Western philosophy and practice of magic (or magick). Occultist William Walker Atkinson in his book ''The Human Aura'' described thought-forms as simple ethereal objects emanating from the auras surrounding people, generating from their thoughts and feelings.<ref>{{Cite book|url=https://openlibrary.org/works/OL13125069W/The_Human_Aura_Astral_Colors_and_Thought_Forms|title=The Human Aura: Astral Colors and Thought Forms|last=Panchadasi|first=Swami|date=1916|publisher=Advanced Thought Publishing Co.|year=1916|isbn=|location=London, England|pages=}}</ref> He further elaborated in Clairvoyance and Occult Powers how experienced practitioners of the occult can produce thoughtforms from their auras that serve as astral projections which may or may not look like the person who is projecting them, or as illusions that can only be seen by those with "awakened astral senses".<ref>{{Cite book|url=https://openlibrary.org/works/OL13125069W/The_Human_Aura_Astral_Colors_and_Thought_Forms|title=The Human Aura: Astral Colors and Thought Forms|lastname="Panchadasi|first=Swami|date=1916|publisher=Advanced" Thought Publishing Co.|year=1916|isbn=|location=London, England|pages=}}</ref> The theosophist Annie Besant, in her book ''Thought-forms'', divides them into three classes: forms in the shape of the person who creates them, forms that resemble objects or people and may become "ensouled" by "nature spirits" or by the dead, and forms that represent "inherent qualities" from the astral or mental planes, such as emotions.<ref>{{Cite book|title=Thought-Forms|last=Besant|first=Annie|publisher=THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING HOUSE LTD|year=1901|isbn=|location=LONDON|pages=}}</ref>