Paranormalizing the Popular through the Tibetan Tulpa: Or what the next Dalai Lama, the X Files, and Affect Theory (might) have in common

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This most recent essay of mine on Savage Minds also took place as part of a running conversation with popular media and representations. I think that it does a decent job of re-iterating and extending some of the ideas that came up in the Tibetan aliens and singing bowl essays about the sometimes bewildering cross-fertilizations between Indo-Tibetan esotericisms, Western occultism, and popular culture.

There’s a lot more to be said in all this about community dynamics, the flows of affect and vital force between lamas/bodhisattvas/deities and their disciples and publics, the esoteric as popular and mass-mediated, the regulation  of the imagination, as well as various moral imaginaries connected to the idea of the ‘virtual’. The piece was already probably trying too hard to connect a whole lot of stuff together, but I figure it’s a good enough starting point for further engagement.

H’yerwaa:

Paranormalizing the Popular through the Tibetan Tulpa: Or what the next Dalai Lama, the X Files and Affect Theory (might) have in common

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4 thoughts on “Paranormalizing the Popular through the Tibetan Tulpa: Or what the next Dalai Lama, the X Files, and Affect Theory (might) have in common

  1. Pingback: ‘As Rich as a King’: Common Tools and Substances used in Mantra Healing | A Perfumed Skull

  2. Pingback: ‘As Wealthy as a King’: Common Tools and Substances used in Mantra Healing | A Perfumed Skull

  3. Indeed. Though terminology is slippery. In my experience, at least in some Western ritual magic contexts, egregore is used most especially to refer to higher-level or more collective, cross-generational entities which are directly linked with particular magical currents or orders. In this sense, they arguably bear some resemblance (at least in terms of function) to lineage-protectors in Tibetan Buddhism. It seems that egregore is used a lot more for this sort of ‘institutional tulpa’, rather than for an entity made by one individual for a specific and maybe once-off magical task etc. (although, for an example of egregore used in exactly this way, see Konstantinos’ ‘Summoning Spirits’ –
    https://www.amazon.com/Summoning-Spirits-Evocation-Llewellyns-Practical/dp/1567183816)

    The strongly de-centralized nature of contemporary Western esoteric practice has definitely influenced a proliferation of technical terminology and a lack of consistency in its usage.

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