This was prompted by the following blog post:
More specifically, the reference to Running Amok and its history:
The Moros were the ones I first heard this about in reference the M1911 .45 semi-automatic pistol or “45” of American fame. Specifically referenced here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911_pistol#Early_history_and_adaptations and more specifically this:
“American units fighting Moro guerrillas during the Philippine-American War using the then-standard Colt M1892 revolver, in .38 Long Colt, found it to be unsuitable for the rigors of jungle warfare, particularly in terms of stopping power, as the Moros had very high battle morale and frequently used drugs to inhibit the sensation of pain. The U.S. Army briefly reverted to using the M1873 single-action revolver in .45 Colt caliber, which had been standard during the late 19th century; the heavier bullet was found to be more effective against charging tribesmen.“
People in a berserk rage can do tremendous harm by channelling fight/flight and adrenaline. Even in a lesser rage, they can do great harm. In this case, with the help of restricting bands to reduce bleeding, they withstood gunshots and charged and killed or wounded the shooter. THAT is the potential power of Fires Within. I grant you that they are more likely to have you end up without a partner and alone or up on assault charges than as a crazed killer but the point is that we DO play with fire more often than we want to admit.
Going back to my previous post, my overall point is that this sort of anger, trance and rage have always existed in the human condition. Denying history and biology is pointless. We need to confront and admit these things and not try to hide them in our basement until they violently escape and cause us and those we love harm.
I will note the Running Amok has a darker context than a Zulu warrior or Norse berserker in service to a king. At the very least, we need to have strong ties to things we care about to encourage us to avoid such extremes.