One should be able to instantly realize that, in general, humans are not interested at all in "self-mastery," preferring the, much easier to "play at" (meaning, very few actually accomplish it,) "mastery-over-others." Humans don't even know what the idea "self-mastery" means, not in the slightest degree. Ask a few of your regular friends, or even your ordinary self what it means, and take note.
The first AIM (if you can call it that) is just not drilled into anyone from birth onwards, either by parents, peers, the educational system, or life-in-general. In fact, just the opposite occurs. Humanity, in one form or another, teaches everyone rudimentary, barely usable ideas about the external world in order to control aspects of it, particularly other people, and virtually nothing of any significance at all about the internal world. The motto seems to be: "Get yours as soon as possible, before someone takes all that you have and more." Similar to "Eat them, before they eat you," - i.e., The Way of the Uncivilized Inhabitants of the Jungle.
Imagine a world where the AIM (being actually called that by all) was Mastery-of-Self - first, foremost, as soon as possible, and taught to everyone starting at about 4-5 years of age - and "mastery over others" was reduced to a non-consideration for everyone but parents of very small children where it is clearly necessary. People would then, very likely, take care of others as they would take care of themselves, and think/feel/sense that their Work here was not done, or even started, unless they are also taking care of others who are less able to do so. But, hahaha, that is just a pipedream. It was not happening long ago, it is not happening now, and it very likely will not be happening in the future. This is the "dog eat dog" world Life made for everyone; and the way we think, feel and sense ourselves and our world is the direct result of what Life ItSelf has done. We, each of us, are just after-effects. Nice going, Life!
Given the probability that that is a reasonably correct viewpoint, it must be in Life's best interest to tolerate a thinking species - humans - that, in only a few short thousand years, has acquired the intelligence and capability to change the planet in real and demonstrable ways, including blowing it up a little bit at a time as we now see almost everywhere, and even all-at-once with multi-megaton-nuclear-bombs, which fortunately has not happened yet, but certainly could, given the general belief in "Eat, or Be Eaten!" as the general way of life. Nice going, Life!
So, where does Mastery-of-Self come into this dire situation that was already here before we were born, and is accelerating every day? Can one even hope to achieve something for oneself, or is one just a cog in a wheel within wheels within wheels, destined to die too young, worse than one was born, under someone's thumb, and definitely NOT FREE? Is that the state of ordinary man today? If so...
Here is a small hint for those who don't need 'em: in order to "consider" such a question (a Koan, really), one must get out of their own way, because ordinary thoughts and feelings quickly go down a rabbit hole. So, stay out of the rabbit hole, and Look Around from the INSIDE OUT, and you might see the one linking thought.