The beauty of nature is that it is straightforward. Unlike our society, nature will never listen to excuses, pleadings, threats, or manipulations... and because of that it is both wonderful and utterly horrifying. What am I talking about? This is exactly what I learned from those bears in the woods.
You see, when we deal with people (even the most horrible of them), there is a way to get what we want. There are pleads and compromises, logic and reasoning, a multitude of psychological manipulations, and, when nothing else works, bribery or threats. All this is constantly used by everyone in the human world, from politicians to family and relatives. Even when faced with a total maniac, it is often possible to find a way to get out of harm's way. Even psychopaths can be reasoned with (if you know how their minds work and what they want).
Nature, however, is both generous and unforgiving in ways beyond all these little disgusting tricks we were forced to learn as we were born into our civilized human world.
Can you reason with an erupting volcano or an earthquake, promising them this and that if they just go away? Can you ask a charging elephant to stop and find a compromise? Can you beg an angry wasp not to sting your hand (or you'll kill it and its whole family)? Can you look in the eye of a wild bear and tell him, "Hey, let's be civil and not harm each other"? Nope. No reasoning, no appealing to bear's consciousness, pity, consideration... You cannot promise anything to a pack of wolves if they just leave you be. You can't beg winter's cold not to freeze you to death... You cannot ask the fire not to burn you, "or else"... Animals and natural phenomena just don't give a shit about our ways of dealing with stuff.
And it's wonderful.
It's wonderful because when a person is stripped of all possibilities to threaten, beg, compromise, and manipulate, he or she becomes NAKED, and then something else is awakened and comes into play. Something that has no words, something that has no lies. Just a human being, completely wordless and truly present in here and now, fully and wordlessly facing everything that comes his/her way.
I have watched some episodes of Versailles series. What a great example to use to illustrate exactly what I want. The time period of Louis XIV, however beautiful it was, was absolutely disgusting in terms of how far people can go in their social games of power, control, sex, and personal gains of every kind, and how they play one another in most cruel ways... for what? For status, wealth, pleasure?
Survival in human society almost always has to do with one's ability to use social means of power and control, and very often it comes along with doing things that feel... unclean. You know what I mean? No, not from a religious or a moral point of view of course... It's more obvious and physical than that. There is this feeling of inner grease, uncleanliness - this sticky something that penetrates and saturates our bodies and minds when we engage in the multitude of social survival techniques (especially the ones that somehow involve flirting, gender games, or sex). Survival in human society is always complex and deals with things I dare to call dark. Again, not from a religious perspective, I am not religious whatsoever. Dark as in manipulative, unnatural, far from simplicity and cleanliness of nature.
Survival in nature has to do with being yourself and living in the moment, with being fully here and now, worrying about here and now, about simpler things and physical tasks, about being strong, flexible, alert, and knowledgeable about your surroundings. No lies, no status, no money... No guilt (I raised you, and this is how you treat me now?!) or emotional tricks (I love you so much, I give you everything, how can you do this to me?!) or duty (you are now one of us so you better do what you have to do). Simpler, cleaner, to the point.
Would you prefer living in a small cabin in the woods, or would you, if given a choice, take court life in Louis 14th Versailles? I bet that many people would choose the last one ))
P.S. My view is rather radical, but I also know that social life is just another kind of "forest". A forest where survival techniques have to be more elaborate due to the nature of the "forest" itself.