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Something I posted online after watching a long documentary about Timothy Treadwell, a man living with bears for years, allegedly trying to protect them and finally getting killed by one of them.

Okay, some deeper analysis now that I completed watching. Timothy seemed to me having a deeply disturbed personality. His showmanship, for the viewer seemingly grotesque and theatrical, was for him the reality. In his former life, he wasn’t successful, so he searched for a way not to become more successful in that life, but to find a new life where he is intrinsically successful. The solitude is an important factor since it guarantees that nobody can doubt his success and hence destroy the personality he created. Of course, he wasn’t conscious about all this, and he didn’t pretend the abstrusely exaggerated emotions he shewed in some scenes.

With his role as the protector of the bears he chose a clear black/white scenario. He fought for the endangered, for the good against the evil. Everybody who doubted him (and hence his whole new life) was evil, so he didn’t have to confront these doubts. By this segregation from humanity he encountered the problem of being biologically human, so he tried to further alter his life. He not only created a new life and personality, he even wanted to become a bear. Since this was – of course – not possible, he assigned human attributes to nature. For him this felt like coming closer to the bears, but in fact he pulled his image of the bears closer to him. Hence one can understand why he broke down completely when discovering the killed little bear: His imaginative bears would never have been so cruel and inhumane. Still, he was enrooted far too deep in his delusive new, successful life to be able to rationally reflect on that obvious illogicality, so he simply broke down.

There’s finally one more interesting point to make: The absoluteness of his new life. By choosing to live with bears (and not with camels, for instance) he immunized his new life radically against any criticism. Because while being alive, Timothy was the living proof of the validity of his claims – the bears didn’t attack him, because they knew that he was one of them. If they someday killed him and thereby falsify his claims, he wouldn’t live anymore to be confronted with it.