I recently finished a series of novels by C.S. Friedman called The Coldfire Trilogy/Saga. One of the most compelling things about the novels was a concept the author created for her imaginary planet, Erna.
In the books, Erna is rife with a power that can be manipulated and Worked by those who know how to tap into it. Adepts are born with this ability. Others, such as sorcerers, achieve limited use of it through study and apprenticeship. The fae is divided into categories such as earth fae, solar fae and tidal fae (only women are able to work tidal fae, and even then the gift is very rare).
What I found most intriguing about the fae was its energy at night. When darkness fell, it became highly active drawing strength from, and feeding on, human emotions. Feelings of fear, anger, jealousy and lust allowed the fae to take physical form (usually in the shape/form of something very nasty), which preyed on humans. Wards were needed to guard homes and city gates, keeping these “constructs” outside. Townspeople knew better than to be outdoors after sunset. Nightmarish creatures conjured from human fear and hostility stalked those foolish enough to brave the darkness.
I thought this was a great concept for a series of fantasy novels. Then recently, while reading a book on the Mothman, I learned of something called tulpas, or thought projections. Tibetan monks believe in the ability to conjure thought forms. It’s said that someone with a highly advanced, disciplined mind can conjure a sentient being through the power of thought. The tulpa is in control of its opinions, movements and thoughts, and can only be destroyed by killing the thought itself (if the tulpa is not fully formed) or diluting the thought and then dispatching the tulpa.
Did you just experience a goosebump? We’re talking about thought given physical form.
That’s entirely too bizarre for me. I’m not even sure why anyone would want to conjure a tulpa, but I couldn’t help comparing the idea to the fae in C.S. Friedman’s novels. I much prefer my weirdness to be restricted to the fantasy realms between the pages of a good book. I loved the idea of the fae, but am equally repelled by the concept of a tulpa.
Myth is intriguing, but some things are just too creepy for my taste. This was one of them. What about you? Are there certain myths that give you nightmares? Would a tulpa be one of them?