Induced dissociative states are the best dissociative states, and one cheap and easy way to get there is to stare into someone's eyes for about ten minutes. More researchers are looking into the phenomenon.
Cults have known about this for a long time, and hypnotists are able to use this phenomenon to induce a dreamlike state in susceptible people. Italian researcher Giovanni Caputo just did a controlled test and sought out subjective responses from participants:
The participants in the eye-staring group said they'd had a compelling experience unlike anything they'd felt before. They also scored higher on all three questionnaires than the control group. On the dissociative states test, they gave the strongest ratings to items related to reduced colour intensity, sounds seeming quieter or louder than expected, becoming spaced out, and time seeming to drag on. On the strange-face questionnaire, 90 per cent of the eye-staring group agreed that they'd seen some deformed facial traits, 75 per cent said they'd seen a monster, 50 per cent said they saw aspects of their own face in their partner's face, and 15 per cent said they'd seen a relative's face.
• Weird things start to happen when you stare into someone's eyes for 10 minutes
Image: Nan Palmero