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Originally a Tibetan Buddhism practice to create a physically manifesting thoughtform, tulpa (སྤྲུལ་པ (trül-pa); "to build" or "to construct") are secondary consciousnesses or personalities created and living within a host mind. Tulpa are often metaphysically classified as egregore, as evidenced by their purported ability to interact with others outside of their host's body.


The practice as it exists today seems to originate from the David-Néel incident spawning threads on /x/ some time in the middle of 2011, eyewitnesses report.[1] This prompted "Cable," "FAQ_Man," and "Irish" to create guides to the practice.[1] Old time regulars to the channel report that #tulpa was created on the Rizon IRC network some time before February 14, 2012.[1] At some point, "Pleeb" set up a site for permanently hosting the guides and colloquially studying the phenomenon.[1] Frequent threads on various other boards brought the site and the concept to a wider audience.[1]


Since its popularization, a small community has been built around those who have tulpa. Attracting the attention of many spiritualists, the community has a healthy dose of metaphysical philosophy that forms a taboo of sorts, slightly impeding open discussion of such things by people who get defensive when their beliefs are not immediately accepted.[1]


Due to the increasingly overbearing nature of the tulpa.info staff[1] as a result of the community's growth, the original #tulpa discussion branched into several other channels on Rizon. Various factors within and outside of the community resulted in the creation of Tulpa.info's own IRC network. Despite the chaotic nature of the community's many fractured IRC channels and subcommunities, several norms have existed throughout its history:

  • Nicknames will often denote a tulpa's name in "out-of-character" brackets; eg., [], {}, (), (())
  • Messages wrapped in such brackets indicate which tulpa is speaking.