Death says, ‘I’m coming, so live!’
You are a mortal creature whose reactions to the things that happen are determined by the laws of cause-and-effect. But unlike more primitive creatures, you possess the cognitive faculties to understand and utilize the law-and-effect principles to influence the course of events and promote desired outcomes. Consciousness of the self and the ability to abstract is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand we can process information rationally and thereby choose the most advantageous path. On the other hand, self-consciousness combined with sloppy thinking results in self-sabotaging reactions to the things that happen.
A defining attribute of self-sabotage is that the less of it you do the more successful you become. It takes willful effort to follow your path of greatest advantage, because the things that happen often elicit negative emotional states which, in turn, may motivate self-sabotaging action.
You have a limited opportunity to experience life, and to do what you will before your lease on life runs out. The tragedy of recursive traps is that they consume your most valuable asset: Time alive. An understanding of some ancient and modern schools of thought about the nature of the human psyche, and methods to tame and develop it will help you to fulfill this responsibility.
It is likely that anyone who has made it this far through such demanding text possess the intellectual gifts that make it relatively easy for them to understand the abstract concepts. Remaining cool enough to respond in accord with these understanding — in situations that have previously evoked self-sabotaging emotional reactions — requires training the creature you inhabit to respond non-automatically. This puppy training is the more demanding challenge, and does not end until you do.
As long as you live, things will continue to happen to you, and you will continue to react to them. When the path of least resistance is different than the path of greatest advantage, you will have to exercise you will to act in accord with your interests and principles. So nature will continue to give you opportunities to continue your exploration of the cause-and-effect principles that operate in your subjective universe. The tools described here provide a structure for this personal research.
Now that you have come to the end of the default path text, you are in an excellent position to decide how best to enhance the power of your will. The links in the footer point to paths that enhance different skills and faculties. I recommend you sample different paths and choose the ones that are best matched with your particular circumstance.
Times of crisis tend to occur episodically throughout one's life. This course, along with the skills you develop will always be available to you. When you encounter one of these crises it will be helpful to return to this course, and remind yourself of the competencies you have already developed. Most people find it helpful to revisit sections they have found helpful in the past. Moreover, you may find that your current circumstance requires the development of skills and faculties that you had not previously explored.