In the age of instant gratification, we enjoy only those things that can keep our attention for long enough. If we find a story and it doesn’t hook us up in the first two sentences, we move on to the next best thing.
Is it the same with tulpas?
Many tulpamancers come to the community looking for a magical experience, looking for something beyond common knowledge. They are given promises of absolutely real friends, ones they can hug and touch and explore endless worlds with. And so they start with forcing, which, in many guides, begins with appearance, voice, and habits. Later they move to working on their wonderlands, the designated places where their tulpas would live.
For some, the journey ends there. Disappointed with never getting any feedback from their tulpas, people move on. Others find that actually seeing their tulpas is incredibly complex, only available to chosen few with their brains wired up in slightly different way. They drop into online forums and Reddit communities, asking – how could they make progress, how to spend time with their tulpas, what to even do in their wonderlands.
Is there a simpler way? Can the brain be trained into accepting plurality? Can you enjoy the process, instead of keeping looking for something that works for you?
What if I said there’s a ‘yes’ answer to all of those questions?
Today I present you ten simple reasons on why you need to read fiction, and how it will help you with tulpamancy.
Reading fiction develops imagination
Fiction literature makes your imagination wheels rolling no matter what you do. Unlike math textbooks, you don’t need to spend effort imagining integral signs being stacks of hockey sticks. You don’t need to do anything special apart from reading, and your imagination will develop with every book.
Writers work for years to teach you the basics of tulpamancy
You’d be surprised, but they teach you the basics of tulpamancy in every creative writing class. They tell you how to visualise characters, how to makes their form look whole, from general looks to tiny personal details; how to add the character into the mix, form a personality and a backstory. Writers do that all the time when they work on their books. Learn from the best and follow the journeys of the most memorable characters. Seeing how actual professionals and not those ‘tulpa in ten days’ bloggers create their worlds and their characters will help you on your own journey.
Focus on story, not on the text
You might be distracted with reading as a process, and indeed, sometimes reading feels boring. Sometimes all it takes is to swap a book, try another author or another genre. It’s easy to browse books in the age of digital distribution, so experiment and look for one that grabs your attention. You will know it’s working great if you no longer think of words, instead focusing on the worlds they paint in your mind.
Get a wonderland for free
All art is created to inspire us and make our mind more active, imagining things beyond what we see or hear. But books go one step further than that. No matter if you read the text on a page or listen to an audiobook in your earpods, the book is creating a whole experience for you. Your imagination fills in the sounds, the light, the gentle touch of wind, tasty smells, little details. And as you read the stories, they rest in your mind, available for your imagination at any moment. You can use them as free wonderlands—ones that you never had to “force” because they came naturally to you. Dive into the worlds of furious space battles or rest under gigantic lotus flowers; your mind already has all the details, and if some seem to be fading it only takes a short read to refresh the memories.
Mix and match the best parts of your favourite stories
The more you read, the more building blocks you’ll have for your own wonderland. And, unlike the stories you read, you’re not limited by the setting, you can add pirate ships to the Mars colony and it will work out fine. But fleshing out the details about Mars might be time consuming and not as satisfactory, so why not read some story about it as a kick-start?
Observe how characters interact and learn from them
One of the most interesting changes in writing is the change of the protagonist through the story. You follow them from the first pages to the very end, and you see how their character develops, you see their thoughts; you feel what they feel. This is very close to early stages of tulpamancy, and it helps to develop your empathetic skills that are crucial in making a tulpa.
TV shows don’t get this intimate with the thoughts
You’d think that instead of going through a book you could try something more visually rewarding, like a TV show or a video game. Unfortunately, they miss the most important experience – TV characters don’t show you their thoughts, unlike the book characters. Video games might focus too much on the other things, like testing out your reaction time, so you’ll miss out on the storytelling part either. That said, the chances are that your favourite TV show started from a book or your game has a vast library of supporting fiction, and that’d totally work!
This is the most effortless way to passive force
Whenever you’re reading a book, you do the ‘passive forcing’ exercise. You’re focusing your mind on a fictional world, while you’re actually reading a physical book. That’s exactly how you train yourself to focus on wonderland.
You might end up with a soulbound
Many tulpas came out from literature, in the form of soulbounds. Sometimes you’re getting so attached to a character that you want to see them outside of the story of the book, you think of them; you imagine them in various life situations, they might even give you some advice. Congratulations, you’re plural!
It is fun!
The final and most important reason is that reading is fun and challenging, even without all the benefits it adds to tulpamancy. And if you already have a tulpa or a few, try reading with them. You can read the story assuming the roles of the characters of it, or you can each focus on one specific genre. Dive in and enjoy!