What happens when a defenseless animal is cornered? Other than flight, what mechanisms for protection does the animal have? What if flight is not a viable option? How would an animal respond? What would happen over time if this animal was placed in that type of position repeatedly?
Humans have the same defense mechanisms… Fight or flight. Although we have more available options within those options than other animals. Animals have only a set defense that nature has allowed them. An animal can’t drive off in a car or brandish a knife. They can use their teeth or claws or strength… their incredible speed or their high-jumping abilities.
If all of these options were removed, how would an animal respond to such a situation? And what conditioning would naturally occur with repeat occurrences of such trauma and helplessness?
One additional resource humans have is the ability to reason and manipulate. The ability to tell lies is a major defense mechanism. My friend has explained to me that she has a problem with lying because she was put in such situations repeatedly. Now, she lies for no apparent reason at all. She lies before she needs to “just in case”. I feel terribly about this and wish I could protect her, but it’s impossible because she lies so much. Her own defense mecanism keeps me at a distance. I can’t protect or defend her because she showers everything and everyone in lies, which keeps my defense mechanisms up. I tried to drop them and understand why she acts that way, but I found my own suspicious-ness kept me from fully feeling safe to defend and protect her.
I’ve been through repeated cornered animal situations with no viable means for flight or fight. One example is when the other person involved has a gun. You can’t run. You can’t fight. In that situation, I prayed. I prayed out loud even in a moment of extreme fear and desperation, with no defense available. My attacker told me to “shut-up”. It apparently bothered him that I was praying. Isn’t that strange?
After that event, I felt my faith dissipate. I questioned God and the law of karma. I realized that individual free-will overrules everything. All the faith, all the right choices, all the do-good in the world can’t protect you from a person with a gun. As a faithful person, that is a scary realization! As is the long-term damage/trauma of faith dwindling after such an experience. From there, what self defense do you have?