By Ray Dalio
Internal orders typically (though not always) change through a relatively standard sequence of stages, like how a disease progresses. By looking at their symptoms we can tell what stages they are in. For example, just as Stage 3 cancer is different from Stage 4 cancer in ways defined by different conditions that exist and have come about as a result of things that happened in prior stages, the same is true for the different stages of the big internal order/disorder cycle. Like diseases, different conditions warrant different actions to address them and they produce a different range of probabilities that those actions will produce. For example, an old, unhealthy set of circumstances produces a range of possibilities and warrants different actions than a young, healthy set. As with cancer, it is best to stop the progress before getting into the later stages.