the opposition of an unknown state of being to a known standard that equalizes the relation between two individuals and neutralizes the potential of imminent dominance or violence.
(debt to 'the oxford companion to the mind' -- but original interp/application)
when a chemical reaction causes the body to go entirely numb --without stimulation or sensation. while temporarily numb, the individual remains proprioceptively acute (finely measured balance, spatial orientation, precise movement etc.). in this state of physical "nullification" --or "nulling"-- the subject's reflexes, instincts, and cognizance are enhanced, so that she can perform quick analyses and respond fluidly.
in this case, the subject, sensing danger --subconsciously-- enacts the "unknown state" and looks for the "known standard" in order to neutralize the power relation and stabilize a threatening or dangerous individual long enough to ensure safety.
i only know --experientially-- of an involuntary chemical reaction that numbs the body and sets the "unknown state" in motion. i am not aware that it is evoked as a praxis in self defense or criminal psychology.