This was a great read.
Korzybski's quote "the map is not the territory" comes to mind - as it keeps coming to mind the more I read here on Medium!
Since noticing this tendency, I've been consciously reluctant to wrap reality up in my thinking. Mostly because I noticed certain things I'd be thinking give me cause to avoid some aspects of reality too, in favour of clinging to that "inner narrative."
This image is the ladder of inference. The "reflexive loop" would be the process I mention here. Helpers and adversaries, as you say - a double-edged sword.
Thanks for sharing.