I believe I have said elsewhere that we can graph trance on a continuum from:
An image in the mind ---------to------- Total possession by a deity
With language, dance, music, routine, altered states of consciousness, and perhaps emotions; all falling somewhere on this line.
(Perhaps we could say trance is the physicality of desire. A terrified or enraged fighter is likely to be possessed by her desires--in a very physical way. While we may have evolved this way through random selection because it improved our ability to survive, it seems illogical for us to fall deeper into trance the more we desire something. That's why Vulcans are so cool, they are an intelligent design.)
If we want to add another axis to our graph we could add will power:
Autonomic Nervious System------to------- Fine motor control.
Gross motor control would be somewhere in the middle, with panic, involuntary, and reflexive movement all falling somewhere near the beginning.
(Of course there is the notion from Mencius that the will of Heaven and the will of Man can be aligned. And a saying from the Daodejing, "If heaven has a reason, nobody knows it.")
And if we want to add a third axis to this graph we could add awareness:
Unconsciousness------to------ Seeing things as they actually are.
I suspect an increase in ones ability to remember could almost run parallel to this last axis. Which is interesting mainly because the inability to remember is often cited as a marker of a true deity possession.
I've been thinking using these three continuum's for years, and I sometimes forget that most people don't think this way. Perhaps even farther afield is the Daoist idea that our humanness can be defined by our appetites. This can also be viewed as a continuum from:
Spontaneous adaptable human-----to---- Blood thirsty demonic vampire-zombie-king.
With predictable vanilla ice cream humans and robots falling somewhere in the middle.
NOW, in keeping with the Dead Poets movie, if you don't think these graphs can help you understand martial arts, or history, or human nature you can now rip up this page...oops, I guess you can't, this is the internet.