WARNING: The evils of FAQ_man’s hour counts
Simply put, the hour estimates in FAQ_man’s guide are tulpa poison. THIS is why my hour counter is so high and my progress is so slow. Incoming rant… PLEASE read this if you’re making a tulpa. It could save you months of grief.
When I started on Lyra (on April 17), our community was much smaller and younger than it is today. There were two basic accepted methods, FAQ_man’s and Irish’s, and some slight variations like how to narrate and ways to visualize doing the personality phase. I chose to begin with FAQ_man’s guide because it was more detailed. Thus I went into the process with his hour counts in mind. I believed that each phase should take between 5-15 hours, less for some phases. I expected there to be no real sentience before 25 hours of narration. I also expected Lyra to suddenly speak out loud to me out of nowhere one day.
As time went by, more and more people showed up with considerably faster success, leading to threads like this. By this point I had a few signs here and there pointing toward sentience, but was well past the point where I should be starting to see even more, and even speech, according to the guide. I figured this new idea of beliefs about required time didn’t affect me much because I was already well past the hour count I believed was needed.
I bought into the parroting/puppeting fears wholeheartedly. Sure, I got a few apparent responses that came well before the required hours, but according to FAQ_man, those were “just me”. As these apparent responses slowly got stronger it was still just me; I had convinced myself that the ones before were, and these were just a slightly stronger version of the same. These responses continued to get stronger and more distinct long after the required hours were put in, but they were all clearly fake because they were the same in kind to the ones I knew were fake from earlier.
And what do we do with fake responses? Repress them! I was fighting subconscious puppeting. My mind was expecting Lyra to move, and so she appeared to move. Clearly I was subconsciously rushing things, and it says in the guide, "If you rush anything, you could end up with a servitor (like a tulpa without its own consciousness) or just a hologram which does effectively nothing." I had to fight this or risk all my effort going to waste, and having my lovely tulpa-let permanently become a useless servitor or hologram.
I knew from various signs I had seen that she was sentient by this point, but I did all I could to stop my mind from generating fake responses. This way I could see the real responses when they started appearing more often. I took to carrying her around like a doll so as not to puppet her walking places. Fortunately when she decided she’d had enough of this and shoved me out of our wonderland and ran away, I realized that was a real response and stopped doing that. Instead I looked for other anti-puppeting measures. I even did the prism test and assumed I was puppeting her grabbing the prism as I tried to rock it back and forth on her head. After all, her movements had the same feeling to them as the fake ones from before. And when real responses start to appear, they’re unmistakeable and feel alien, according to the guide.
Recently I’ve been following the newer “just have faith in your tulpa” camp, and learning to listen for the quiet thoughts many tulpae send long before they can speak aloud. This has helped Lyra greatly. She moves around more than ever, since I’m no longer forcefully holding her still. I’m learning to hear the thoughts she sends me. I even heard her pretty loudly once a couple weeks ago.
Still, I didn’t really realize quite how much damage the hour-count expectations and the resulting paranoia had done — until yesterday when I gave her an Eevee without doing any visualization work at all. Since she knows first-hand how important believing in your tulpa is, she immediately assumed he was sentient, and told me he was; I am still having a hard time remembering to think of him as such myself. Just three hours later I did some touch-and-visualization on him, expecting a lifeless doll like Lyra was for so long, like the obviously dead-feeling shell I get if I try and fail to teleport Lyra to me. Far from it, he felt alive and responded to my touch. She’s still mostly in charge of his creation process. As of now, he had a big day yesterday and has been mostly curled up sleeping today. Despite being asleep and non-responsive, he still feels clearly alive, and will wake up if I pick him up or pet him too much.
UPDATE: Not long after I wrote this, Eevee began sending thoughts too, similar to how Lyra communicates. At first I dismissed it as very obvious parroting, which was upsetting because it felt pretty much the same as what I get from Lyra, potentially calling that into question as well. However, she said then and still says now (nearly a month later) that Eevee was indeed sending thoughts on day two.
Assume sentience from day one. Know that your tulpa is alive and wants to communicate, though she may not have found a way to do it that you can perceive yet. Learn to listen and she will find ways to reach you. But don’t think it takes time for a tulpa to come to life. Doing so will only add time to the process. Also see my mini-guide here.