Clarissa Johal: #Paranormal Wednesday - Ring-Around-the-Rosie with my Tulpas

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#Paranormal Wednesday - Ring-Around-the-Rosie with my Tulpas

Photo courtesy of thejbird via Flickr
A friend and I were discussing the concept of tulpas the other day. A tulpa is defined as an intelligent companion imagined into existence. They can be people, animals, or "other." As an author, I don't find this concept weird at all. I don't know an author alive who doesn't think of their characters as "real" people. Some more than others. We spend countless hours, days, weeks and years writing their deepest thoughts and desires. We create their lives from nothing. We cheer them on, we laugh, and we cry with them. To usand hopefully, to our readersthey are real. We have in a sense, created tulpas.

According to tulpa ideology, it takes time for a tulpa to develop a complex personality. As they grow older, their life experiences and the attention you give, shape them into a person with their own hopes, dreams and beliefs. Communication occurs through your thoughts and emotions, but your tulpa is said to have thoughts and emotions separate from your own. Tulpas aren't malicious. They aren't considered a spirit or demon. They coexist with their creator.

Blow your mind? Make you laugh out loud? Seem perfectly normal? Regardless, tulpas have a significant place in several cultures. In Indian Buddhist texts, they are defined as any unreal, illusory or mind created apparition. In Tibetan Buddhism, tulpas are a spiritual discipline and teaching concept. In the Western occult tradition, they are called thoughtforms (magical emanation, phantom, or something conjured). They are as real as you or methey just happen to exist in our minds.

That said, how many of you had imaginary friends as a child? Personally, I didn't have just one imaginary friend, I had an entire tribe. We could have held hands and danced a Ring-Around-the-Rosie. Tulpas? Probably not. If they were, they ran off to join the circus and didn't stick around. Now, my characters...that's a different story altogether. Excuse me while I go make more. We'll get that Ring-Around-the-Rosie going yet.  

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