Your comment Caitlin: “ When we’re lugging around a ton of believed thoughts about “me” and “mine” . . . . . which revolve around an ego who needs to be protected and secured against a hostile world . . . “ — reminds me of a quote that depicts the vast differences in “beliefs” that existed even a hundred years ago between the “Western mind” and indigenous peoples we encountered during our pillage of the Americas.
The Indian “must be imbued with the exalting egotism of American civilization so that he will say “I” instead of “We,” and “This is mine” instead of “This is ours.” — U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Oberly (1888–1889)
The quote by Bastiat below suggests how “beliefs” become encoded and fossilized:
“when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” — Frederic Bastiat 1801 -1850
Love your writing and analysis Caitlin.