Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crypto-Creatures as Tulpas

Over at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman has an excellent new post on the whole controversy surrounding whether some crypto-creatures may be Tulpas/thought-forms. Loren is right when he says that much of my inspiration on this matter did indeed come from his earlier writings on this matter; such as that contained within Creatures of the Outer Edge (co-written with Jerome Clark).

I was (I think) about 13 when I first read Edge, and it was a book that both fascinated and intrigued me in equal measures and made me look at much of cryptozoology in a whole new light.

And although many of Loren's views on the Tulpa angle have changed and been discarded over the years, it says much about the man that the two of us can hang-out at conferences, agree to differ on some things (but agree on quite a lot too!), but at the end of the day still remain friends.


Neil A said...

I never read 'Creatures From The Outer Edge' until about a month ago, but was always of the opinion, even as a child, that a majority of these monsters were thoughtforms, manifestations, tulpas etc. It does cause a problem for cryptozoology, because of course 'cryptozoologists' feel that what they are seeking must be flesh and blood, but a pursuit can still be as intriguing even if the quarry isn't 'real' as such.

I've never felt that in the cases of Mothman, Jersey Devil, goatsucker, Monkey Man, etc, we were dealing with flesh and blood woodland dwellers. These cases are repetitive in their theme. It's as if we unintentionally create these forms, and this has happened the world over in cases such as the Highgate 'vampire' etc.

Black dogs are another example. These hellhounds clearly aren't the deceased pets of people, but clearly something connected to the human psyche.

All fascinating stuff...

Lance M. Foster said...

A tulpa is one type of thoughtform. It is an intentionally-created individual thoughtform, created by one person with the training to do so. One other modern example was when a group created a thoughtform as a fictitious ghost that began to "haunt" the property: http://paranormal.about.com/od/ghosthuntinggeninfo/a/create-a-ghost.htm

Another type of individual thoughtform intentionally created by an individual is a servitor; in this case, it is a thoughtform created by a magician through ritual to accomplish a particular task or guard a location, treasure, etc.

There are also inadvertantly-created thoughtforms. One example is Clive Barker's "Candyman." I would think that many urban legends have become inadvertant thoughtforms. One thing that magicians caution when creating a thoughtform/servitor/etc. is to put a limit on the lifespan of such a thing, say a year, etc. If you don't put a limit on such things, they become unruly and begin to develop a rudimentary independent existence and do things on their own (like "Candyman").

Egregores are group-created thoughtforms, generally made over long periods of time. Egregores can be created intentionally or unintentionally. I wouldn't doubt that the Jersey Devil is a sort of egregore, or evil clowns or madgassers or Men In Black. I wouldn't doubt that the chupacabras (whatever the original source/inspiration) is becoming/has become an egregore. "Curious Encounters" seems to indicate that the Loch Ness monster might be some kind of egregore as well.

It may be possible that certain cryptids are actually thoughtforms- or manifestations of the cryptids. It may also be possible that entities "clothe" themselves in available thoughtforms, the way hermit crabs hide in the shells of other marine creatures.

That is not to say there are no "real" biological Sasquatches or Lake Monsters. My own intuition is that, as with UFOs/mystery lights/etc., that several phenomenon are conflated into one label.

A UFO might be a misidentified plane, star, satellite, earth light (piezoelectricity), ball lightning, meteor, optical illusion...but it may also be some sort of experimental aircraft or technology, or a hoax...or it might be trooping fairies, an extraterrestrial ship, intradimensional entity, thoughtform/shell, or God knows what....ALL lumped together as UFO-- properly, since all UFO means anyways is "Unidentified Flying Object."

It doesn't necessarily HAVE to EITHER be a biological ape-man OR a hoax/delusion etc. There are other options. Maybe 5% of sightings are of some undiscovered biological anthropoid, while 95% can explained in other ways. But it can't be dismissed. Meldrum has made too many good points as far as I can see.

The scientific method can PROVE nothing. It can only eliminate alternative explanations through MULTIPLE working hypotheses. It is not healthy to invest in either Choice A or B; it might be Choice H or Choice R. And while laboratory science with its controlled conditions and repeatable experiments has a higher status and verifiability in the scientific community than field science, field sciences (like geology) are also scientific, IF proper scientific method based on deductive reasoning, etc. is followed.

Science is the best we have to understand material reality. If there are realities that are not material, science may not be the suitable tool. Of course materialists deny anything outside the material is "real." Most phenomena can be explained though conventional means, but not all.

Who knows? The only thing that seems true is the deeper you go into this stuff, the curiouser and curiouser "reality" becomes.