No bear ever sat me down and told me how to be a bear. How to push my paws into mud because it feels nice. How to avoid dipping my nose into the river while lapping up a refreshing drink. Why dipping my nose in water is bad. How to climb trees and not embarrass myself in front of birds (something I am still not great at). How to get into dumpsters. How to communicate with other dumpster dwellers. How to pick out a good stick. How to be a bear.
I had to figure out how to be a bear by myself for the most part. It involved a lot of guess work and mistakes and one time I almost drowned (the nose in the river thing was a hard lesson to learn). I have been considering creating and sharing a set of instructions on how to be a bear. I think it would be nice if other bears, even other creatures interested in being a bear, could have have some guidelines on how to be a bear.
I have no idea what exactly would go into the instructions. Surely the water and nose thing. But what else? What actions and experiences make being a bear? Do I catalog how I walk and eat and think and that time I saw twenty birds yelling at the empty vessel of a flattened raccoon? I am not sure what is most important about being a bear.
And I do not even know if I am the best creature to determine what is most important about being a bear. Surely there are other bears who have important ideas of bearness that differ from mine, and who am I to tell any creature that those views are any worse or better than mine are?
I suppose I cannot determine what the best practices for being a bear are. I can only determine what the best practices for being a me are. And I am a bear.
Here is how you can tell you are a bear ghost and what you can do about it if you are:
Examine your surroundings
Ensure that your surroundings are as you generally perceive them on a regular basis
If your surroundings seem as you generally perceive them, you are not a ghost bear
If your surroundings seem strange or hazy or difficult to understand or leave you with a feeling like you have done something wrong that you deserve to face and understand, then ascertain that you are in your normal environment
If you are not in your normal environment, the feelings mentioned previously might happen regardless of your state of ghostism (example: you might just feel bad because you woke up in a dumpster again)
If you are in your normal environment and still feel the feelings mentioned previously then you must examine yourself
If seeing your paws/fur/belly make you feel the same kind of dread mentioned previously regarding your environment, then your level of ghostliness is becoming very evident
I made these rules up
I made them up because I really do not know how to understand being a ghost and sometimes I think I might be a ghost
I mean, I do not think being a ghost might be all that bad
But I also do not know for sure that ghosts even exist
Maybe they do not
But maybe they do?
Oh no, I have no idea
I started this with such confidence, and I was certain that I knew what I was describing, but I really do not
I have no idea what to do or say here
I have to try again
If you are a ghost, you can do things to help you not be a ghost
Try not being a ghost?
That makes no sense and works for nothing else
You cannot just stop being a bear, you are always a bear
I am a bear
I am not a ghost
I am really certain of it
Now I am afraid that you do not believe me
I promise you I am not a ghost
Now I am more afraid of not being believed about my ghostism than I am of actually being a ghost
I mean, if I am a ghost, then I do not mind being a ghost because I like being the whatever thing I happen to be right now
But maybe being a ghost is actually terrible and I do not know because I am not a ghost
I do not want to be a ghost
Unless I am one already
I hope these instructions have helped you determine whether or not you are a ghost, and if you are a ghost, I hope you have more guidance for your general existence.