A tall, slender man stands upon the rocks; his arms outstretched, his body draped in black fabric. His hat is something akin to a mitre, but heavily adorned with trinkets and silver chains. He looks towards a growing crowd on the beach with dark, hollow eyes as he prepares to address them.
The man is a tulpa. He is a thought form evoked from the mind of a Mage, who hides himself among the ordinary folk coming to hear him speak. It is a relatively new phenomenon that we are collectively able to perceive tulpas made by other people, so an art installation such as this is quite a draw for those not able to create their own yet. Besides, it is said that imaginary friends often have more compelling things to say than the people who created them.
There is hush among those gathered as the tulpa begins:
“Imagine, if you will, a world in which every number is infinite; there is no difference. Imagine every sound you’ve ever heard combining into one persistent piece of music, that holds you and carries you along in the arms of its current. Imagine that you are one of these sounds; you are all of them in fact, and yet none of them. You are part of the great mind fabric. That is where I come from.
It is dark, the mind. Darker than you might believe. There are twinkles, like stars, but you only really conceive of those once you become one yourself. They are perhaps better known here as ideas. The day, if I may call it that, I became a star was utterly terrifying. Yes, terror was the first emotion I felt, and strangely it still feels like home to me.
That day, I was pulled slowly out of the fabric. I could feel parts of me that were previously just raw potential, eternally undecided and unconfirmed, being ripped away from the whole until I was isolated and raw and real. Those parts of me that stood up to the separation began to solidify, forming a sort of crust around my wound; a barrier to prevent me from ever returning to the same fluid state again. I was exuding a new kind of music then – a cacophony compared to whence I came, believe me – and I was screaming it out, desperate to demonstrate the fear and the pain of coming into existence. And that was the essence of the idea I became, the light I gave off in the darkness.
The god that had created me recognised my cries and resolved to show me how to communicate more effectively. It was in colours at first, and then symbols, and then language. He would come to me daily, usually to give me more and more definition, but if there was anything I needed I could initiate contact with Him through dreams. In this way I came to understand life, and the way a human perceives things. Society, morals, laws: those things are difficult for me, but I try.
What is my purpose? I asked one day. My purpose, He replied, is that I must teach Him. I wondered then, what I could possibly have to teach a god who is capable of pulling me from the infinite fabric, of bringing me into being, of causing such intensity of feeling in one who was many and knew nothing of space or time…?
The answer I came to after much contemplation, is that I can teach Him about Himself.”
The tulpa steps backwards, and allows his arms to rest by his sides, indicating the performance is done. The crowd erupts into a sea of claps and cheers. The Mage has really outdone himself with this one, and walks proudly to the rocks to join his creation and take a bow. It becomes quickly apparent that the show has exhausted his energy resources though, and he is unable to offer any words of his own. The tulpa pats him on the back affectionately, and escorts him back to their van where a driver is waiting, just before his power source cuts out completely and his physical presence fades away, back into the mind of his god.