Picture the scene. You are sitting there, fixated on your hypnotist’s words as they appear in the chat window. You are deep in trance, sinking deliciously deeper, and becoming more suggestible and willing to obey the tist’s every command as they type them to you… and then says, “At the count of 3, you will Close Your Eyes.”
Maybe he continues typing something like, “Now you are under my power, helpless to resist my every command, muhahaha!” But none of that matters now, because your eyes are closed.
A Very Strange Two Weeks
This has happened here and there several times over the years, but I’m remembering a very special two week period where this happened four times in separate trances with different hypnotists. Was there something in the water that fortnight?
When it happened the first time, I was startled out of trance, and told the tist that telling me to close my eyes while they are using text chat to trance me might not be the greatest idea.
The second time happened just a few days later, and this time I didn’t fully wake up. While still in trance I told the tist that if I closed my eyes I wouldn’t see his instructions, and he amended his commands and the trance continued.
The third time, I had been stressed outside of SL, and really wanted to sink. So I couldn’t bring myself to correct the tist – I let myself fall, closed my eyes, and drifted in a pleasant hypnotic daze for a while until I woke up naturally. They had vanished, probably confused about why I’d stopped responding.
The final time, the scene had been really hot and intense, and I felt extremely submissive and tranced out of my mind. So when the tist told me to close my eyes, I felt a moment of surprise because she was way too competent to make such a rookie mistake, but I was too far gone to have the presence of mind to say anything. That moment of surprise flittered through my mind and out again, and my eyes slammed shut and I dropped like a stone.
Afterwards though I felt really baffled. Why does this keep happening?
So, why does it happen?
I used to think this was a mistake made by newbie hypnotists. People following a script they read in a book – the script intended for face-to-face trances said to say “Close your eyes” so that’s what the newbie hypnotist said and didn’t think things through.
But it happened sometimes with very experienced and competent hypnotists so that didn’t make sense.
A friend suggested to me that it was a roleplay thing. Many people in SL aren’t really expecting to go into trance, and they are simply roleplaying the experience. And so are the hypnotists.
Now, I have had trances from people who thought they were roleplaying, and didnt realise they were roleplaying it well enough to do real hypnosis. That is a thing that can happen, especially with good subjects.
But that doesnt explain why experienced and competent hypnotists have sometimes done it.
But it’s a suggestion that I think contains part of the answer.
Who gets Tranced? The Avatar or the Person?
Here’s something that used to give me a lot of difficulty when trancing in Second Life.
There was an early session where someone told me to kneel. Then repeated it, to my confusion. Then repeated it again, at which point I said, “I am kneeling.” And they were, “oh…”
And the penny dropped that they meant my avatar, who had not moved. OI was kneeling in front of my keyboard, but they couldn’t see that.
I have since adapted, and now when I am given instructions, I have learned toi treat them as if directed to my avatar.
A Possible Explanation
So this might be the explanation. When a hypnotist says, “Close your eyes,” they might be telling the subject to imagine their avatar closing their eyes, while they continue to read the instructions.
This makes a lot of sense. Hypnosis is weird, and the human mind is weird. It’s perfectly possible for your mind to imagine things happening to you avatar, and still feel them happening to you in your own mind.
Hypnosis is all about imagination.
So I think this was one of the funny situations that could easily have been solved by a little pre-talk to get everyone on the same page, but the tists were so immersed in Second Life it never occurred to them that might be necessary.