Z Commentary: And More

Thanks for reading Akayama DanJay. I enjoy writing in my free time, and I feel more fulfilled having done it in an area where people can pop in and check it out, and including commentary to try explaining what I’m on about. It’s also nice to say, “Hey, check out AkayamaDanJay.com!” and have people say, “huh?” and then I spell it out and maybe they check my website later, if they remember.

But I’ve learned a lot in the last year and a half or so, and it’s time to leave this story and move onto new projects. I hope you can join me in breaking new ground. Here’s my plan:

I want to make a new website called TedWrites.com. This will be easier to tell people about, because I won’t have to say, “well, it’s two characters’ names, except it’s really sort of two-and-a-half characters’ names, see…” The new site will be a hub for all my stories and whatever other projects I assign myself. I’ll move Akayama DanJay onto the new site, in a new order as I’ve mentioned before, but I’ve already planned out the next novel-length-work I want to write.

Y2 Commentary: Tulpas and Thoughtforms

In Tibetan Buddhism, Tulpas are theoretical beings or objects created with the mind or spirit. In modern internet parlance, a Tulpa is a theoretical autonomous sentient being coexisting with the consciousness of its creator, a Tulpamancer. Various internet communities share guides, tips, and advice for creating and managing Tulpas.

At first glance, it’s easy to look down on this sort of thing. What kind of grown adult has an imaginary friend? It doesn’t help that many Tulpamancers choose to make Tulpas based on anime characters or My Little Ponies. Even if it’s true that a Tulpa is autonomous, and not just an imaginary friend whose actions are consciously directed, isn’t that just self-induced schizophrenia?

But think about it this way: you can predict how your closest friend will react to events. You can even finish their sentences, or make them laugh with a knowing glance. In this sense, even if your predictions aren’t always correct, you mentally simulate your friend as a natural aspect of social interaction.

As a writer, I’m used to setting aside part of my consciousness and claiming it’s someone else. In that regard, writing a book is like playing with sock-puppets. Fictional characters tread the line between narrative tools and autonomous actors; spend long enough on any writing forum and you’ll hear about people whose characters have spontaneously diverged from the plot they’ve planned.

There’s no way around it: the fundamental structure of our consciousness is built to house autonomous sentient beings. The most obvious example is the self. After all, if you’re not an autonomous sentient being, what are you?

Y1 Commentary: Kaiji, the Ultimate Survivor

There are TV shows about superheroes, ninjas, and superhero-ninjas which don’t have the nail-biting intensity of Kaiji playing rock-paper-scissors.

The intensity of Kaiji’s gambling is something I’d like to reflect in Akayama DanJay. While Lucille has a traditionally climactic fight in a giant robot, Dan and Jay engage in staring contests for the fate of mankind. So what makes Kaiji intense?

X Commentary: The Teachings of Don Juan

In Castaneda’s second book with don Juan, A Separate Reality, don Juan discusses the art of seeing. Beyond merely perceiving objects subjectively, a sorcerer can see the world as it really is. I notice parallels between this notion of seeing and trivialism, the tongue-in-cheek philosophy that ‘everything is true’ because truth and falsehood are fundamentally undefined. “It doesn’t matter to me that nothing matters,” says don Juan. “All things are equal and by being equal they are unimportant.”

1 2 3 7