“It’s here where Howley’s experience shifts from passive-spectator to bookish-mystic. Huffman was eating shit, his grin growing “with each precisely timed shot to his own mouth,” and then—there’s no way to put this that doesn’t sound loopy—time and space yo-yoed. In Howley’s words, “cloudiness momentarily departed” and she “dissolved into a kind of mist and expanded to envelop the entire space that held these hundred men.” Her body became “a tuning fork,” and thoughts “whistle[d] their way across [her] mind without . . . friction.” The graduate student underwent what Heidegger describes as “the poignant sense of having been thrown into the world without preparation or consent.” Philosophers call this ecstasy. In layman’s terms, Howley woke up.”
Read more at the Oxford American.