I’ve been doing a bit of research into thought forms (for fun), and it may sound farfetched, but I think that it’s not unreasonable that our mental projections can and do take on a “life” of their own. Fascinating stuff. From Wikipedia:
Tulpa (Wylie: sprul-pa; Sanskrit: निर्मित nirmita and निर्माणnirmāṇa; “to build” or “to construct”) is a concept in mysticism of a being or object which is created through sheer discipline alone. It is a materialized thought that has taken physical form and is usually regarded as synonymous to a thoughtform.
It all first started with a chance stumbling upon this post from Data is Nature featuring an image plate from the 1901 book Thought Forms, written by Annie Besant and Charles Webster Leadbeater, both of the Theosophical Society (an interesting read in itself).
But how does this idea operate on the collective level — something that I’ve been grappling with lately? From Esoteric Philosophy:
Much that is to be seen now of a distressing nature in the world can be directly traced to the wrong manipulation of mental matter by man.
The selfishness, the sordid motives, the prompt response to evil impulses for which the human race has been distinguished, has brought about a condition of affairs unparalleled in the system. A gigantic thought-form hovers over the entire human family, built by men everywhere during the ages, energised by the insane desires and evil inclinations of all that is worst in man’s nature, and kept alive by the promptings of his lower desires. This thought-form has to be broken up and dissipated by man himself. (A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 947/8)
A thought-form can also act as a poisoning agent, and poison all the springs of life. . . .A violent dislike, a gnawing worry, a jealousy, a constant anxiety, and a longing for something or someone, may act so potently as an irritant or poison that the entire life is spoilt, and service is rendered futile. The entire life is embittered and devitalised by the embodied worry, hatred and desire. All relationships with other people are rendered equally futile or even definitely harmful, for the worried or suspicious aspirant spoils the home circle or his group of friends, by his inner poisonous attitude, governed by an idea. His relation to his own soul and the strength of the contact with the world of spiritual ideas is at a standstill, for he cannot progress onward, and is held back by the poison in his mental system. His vision becomes distorted, his nature corroded, and all his relationships impeded by the wearing, nagging thoughts which he himself embodies in form and which have a life so powerful that they can poison him. (A Treatise on White Magic by Alice Bailey, p. 489)
All this seems to say that being conscious of the shapes and forms our thoughts are taking becomes quite paramount. As thoughts become actions, and actions become habit, and habit becomes destiny, it appears that we each individually and collectively must take responsibility for our thought-creation.