In August of 2015, The Wife, The Daughter, The Daughter’s good friend and I went to the Altamont Fair, which is the joint fair of Albany and Schenectady Counties in upstate New York. I don’t go every year – my family went without me in 2016 – but it’s enjoyable enough.
At one of the stages, a hypnotist was looking for subjects to come on stage. The Daughter nagged and pleaded with me to participate, and I ended up being the last of eight or ten people to volunteer.
He put us “under”, saying whatever he said. I’m aware that I’m on the stage, but follow his commands to:
slur my words
make my most romantic face (Head tilted, doe eyes, pursed lips, I’m told)
play an instrument (electric bass I was surprised he knew I was playing the bass rather than a guitar)
drive fast around curves
Later, The Wife said that he dismissed a couple of people that he was unable to hypnotize. She thought I was just acting, faking, but I was not.
How do YOU interpret your experience of glossolalia?
That is the thing: I didn’t interpret it. No one slipped something in my drink. The event was so surreal that I probably DIDN’T talk about it, not out of embarrassment, but because I guess I wanted it to have more of an impact. But no, a week or two later, I was busy leading my debauched life.
Maybe it was God’s sense of humor; if there’s an afterlife, that’ll be one of the things I’ll have to ask Her. “What the heck WAS that?” And “How did one of my glasses lens shatter when I was a kid, while I was wearing them?” Hey, THAT’S what I should ask youse guys: “If there’s an afterlife, what earthly experience would you want to be explained?”
Then Chris asked:
Was it like a trance state?
I then realized that my speaking in tongues was very much like “a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction,” which is the textbook definition of being hypnotized. And I must be susceptible to it.