You know the phrase, “out-of-body experience”?
I’ve had quite a few people tell me they’ve had out-of-body experiences over the years, and each time I’d wondered what situation they had found—or put—themselves in that resulted in such a profound impact on them. Or I thought they were just being overly dramatic or exaggerating, like lots of people do, even when they don’t mean to.
I can’t remember when exactly I’d first heard the expression itself, but the first time I’d learned about its origin was six years ago in my Greek and Roman mythology class during my initial go around at college.
It was the story of Pentheus and Bacchus, the god of excess booze and crazy wild sex—or as my professor so dearly called him, ‘the Frat god’.
In a nutshell, even though his mother and sisters welcomed and worshipped Bacchus with open arms, Pentheus adamantly refused to acknowledge him—or his questionable ‘rituals’. Angered by his insolence and insubordination, Bacchus cast a spell on his mother, putting her into a temporary frenzy that made Pentheus appear as a wild animal to her. In that frenzied state of mind, she ripped him to pieces, tearing her own son apart limb from limb with her bare hands. While murdering her son, she was said to be ‘ecstatic’, which in Latin originally meant, “to be out of one’s body.”
Now, I definitely don’t know about ripping anyone’s body apart or anything ridiculous like that, but I think I can confidently say that, standing here right now on paralyzed feet, simultaneously shivering and feeling my skin burn to a crisp as the iciest pair of eyes bores mercilessly into mine, I can still understand the full scope of that phrase.
In this moment, I really feel like I’m out of my own body, watching myself from a distance as my mind tries to comprehend this situation.
My body remains immobile for several seconds and my brain turns to complete mush as large, strong, and sure hands continue to grip and support me—hands that can only belong to one man;
This seriously can’t be happening right now…