Us vs. Them—Why Your Brain Hates Other People

I’ve been reading much about tribalism as it pertains to what’s been going on in the United States recently, and found this piece very illuminating—especially since I sometimes see Us vs. Them dynamics emerge in Dhamma circles.

The (in)famous Robert Wright has also written about how mindfulness can help deconstruct the cognitive and affective biases that fuel in-group/out-group contempt.


A few words of warning: the article is a bit lengthy, but well worth a full read through, and try not to read the comments!

:confounded: (I did)


It is called the Mana (self identification) one of the ten fetters in our make up including animal and Deva etc. It is one of the latent factors (Anusaya) as well.

Yet some of my most exquisitely happy moments have come from feeling like an Us>

This is equanimity.
This also very dangerous specially hosehold equanimity.
According to Buddhism you have go beyond equanimity.

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If you read the book entitled “The Rational Animal” which is all about modularity of mind (Rob Wright is big into the modular view of the mind) it goes deep into these intrinsic biases. The “tribalness” of people is discussed in the book, and they share some great insight indeed.