Ferocity is created from perceiving extreme forms of injustice and is our most psychologically, emotionally and physically enhanced state for physical self-defence.
The heart palpitates rapidly, and cardiac output delivery is increased selectively to regions such as the arm muscles, trunk muscles, and heart muscles. Blood flow is reduced to other regions such as the kidneys, skin, and gastrointestinal tract as their functions are suppressed.1 Neuro-biologically, endogenous (natural) painkillers are released to aid actions that potentially incur injuries.
The inner eyebrows pull tightly inwards and down as if to touch each other. As it’s stretched down and inwards, the forehead follows the eyebrows causing it to wrinkle towards the centre. Often rising on the edges as emotion escalates, the eyebrows contort. The heart rate increases rapidly to a fast and steady pace. Breathing is fast and heavy to oxygenate the bloodstream and muscles. The mouth is closed. As the jaw is tensed, the nostrils flare to improve airflow to and from the lungs. The mind is concentrated on the offending person or creature. Blood flow to the hands and face is increased, preparing for the fight, which turns them reddish. The shoulder, chest, spine and hip muscles all contract to lift the torso and create a firm posture from which to strike or evade a blow.
There is a conviction present in the mind of the ferocious person that is without rival. Contracting tightly on all features of the face, facial muscles are often at their most tense. The muscles brace and grip the jaw, holding the teeth, as if in a harness. The inner eyebrows are pulled deeply down and inwards by strongly tensed muscles which protect the upper nose with firm corrugated skin. In contrast, the middle and outer eyebrows are pulled up in the opposite direction that creates a V shape to the eyebrows. This allows for the widest angle of vision and lets as much light onto the pupils as possible whilst keeping the face locked in tense protective muscle. The head does not turn far from its central pivot, rather the body will move instead.
There is an admirable, focused concentration fusing and radiating through eyes that are set in a deadly stare. “One more step,” ferocity says, “and I will kill you.”2
It represents an absolutely resolute furious anger that is coupled with an immovable conviction to fight and do whatever is necessary to stop a perceived threat. Killing instincts are activated. The mind is indomitable. There are no expressions of terror. Actions are motivated by intent to stop whatever is perceived as the threat. This emotional state is witnessed in nature most frequently as a result of parental instinct.
When some animals are faced with a potentially lethal threat to their offspring, from another animal, parental instinct takes over. A resolute mentality to “do whatever it takes” to protect its offspring often occurs. It may be a bear, a cheetah, a human, or any other animal, but the resolute nature of their decision to protect overcomes any fear projected onto them until their offspring are safe. This leads to a state where an animal is willing to kill while all their fighting instincts are activated.
The ability to think clearly is present to a much greater degree than when consumed by rage. Neither is the ferocious mentally hesitant as in fear or terror. Ferocity is not out of control, but going over-the-top to disable a threat is more likely. The ferocious know what they are doing, and they’re willing to do it. They will disable and even kill their enemy without hesitation if it’s deemed necessary.
The notable point regarding ferocity is that it’s reached through a stance of protection of what’s perceived to be most valuable. Values of paramount importance cause ferocity to emerge when they are threatened, so although it’s a scary and an unmistakable experience to witness, it materialises to stop something perceived as unimaginably wrong from happening. This is the ultimate expression of physical protection – the pinnacle of anger’s ability to say “STOP” or “NO”.
People can be seen trying to convince themselves, or others, that a threat they dislike is more of a threat than it really represents. This can be seen as an attempt to elicit a ferocious force against the disliked thing. The perception of an unimaginable threat creates ferocity, yet this holds true if people believe in inaccurate perceptions, such as lies. If people believe a perception, they feel the associated emotion.
Ferocity is not a malicious or malevolent mentality that’s concerned with wishing ill-health or suffering onto its enemy. The only concern is stopping a clear and present threat to something of paramount importance. Ferocity does not say “Please?” or abandon protective instinct; it does whatever is necessary to stop the threat. Supported by ferocity for millions of years, parental instinct is probably the most powerful force on the planet.
Latin. Ferocis from Ferox = wild, bold, courageous, warlike, the ultimate expression of fury or fierceness, in a killing state.
1. Capable of the most extremely savage, brutal or violent behaviour.
2. Extremely intense.