16.3: Tulpas

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Manage episode 318160143 series 2093517
By Robert C. Thompson and The Alchemical Actors. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
The tulpa has become a staple of Western popular culture and has even taken a role in New Age occultism through the practice of tulpamancers. Tulpas play a prominent role in David Lynch's Twin Peaks series, appear in the X-Files, and bronies—adult male fans of My Little Pony—have even conjured their own little pony tulpas. The Western tulpa is a kind of imaginary friend brought to life. If it gathers enough of its creator's energy, the creature can, like a golem, take on a life of its own. Much of this tulpa mysticism is a recent invention, borrowing from theosophy, chaos magic, and esoteric buddhism. Traditionally, the tulpa has been attributed to Tibetan Buddhists. It's true that Tibetans, drawing on earlier Indian texts, have a concept for a mind-made body or emanation but their practice and theology do not come anywhere near what the bronies and their fellow tulpamancers have been up to. In this episode, we try and make sense of the tangled history of the tulpa.

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