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The strange science and true stories of the unseen other

This book follows a psychologist's quest to understand one of the most curious experiences known to humankind: the universal, disturbing feeling that someone or something is there when we are alone. What does this feeling mean and where does it come from? When and why do presences emerge? And how can we begin to understand a phenomenon that can be transformative for those who experience it and yet almost impossible to put into words? The answers to these questions lie in this tour-de-force through contemporary psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and philosophy. Presence follows Ben Alderson-Day's attempts to understand how this experience is possible. The journey takes us to meet explorers, mediums and robots, and step through real, imagined and virtual worlds. Presence is the story of whom we carry with us, at all times, as parts of ourselves.

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Ben Alderson-Day

things with and be open to in a way that he couldn’t otherwise. What Kingston was doing has a name: “tulpamancy.” It consists of a set of practices, similar to meditation, in which the “tulpamancer” focuses their imagination, repeatedly and over many hours and weeks, on the creation of another being: a tulpa. Crucially, this being has to have its own agency. It isn’t a puppet, it isn’t fully under the creator’s control—it is independent, even if it still just resides in one’s head. The name and practice

in Presence