EnneagramFourth Way Gurdjieff Ouspensky School Education Concerning the Work Teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and their students.
fourthwayschool/ Cosmology/ Law of Cause and Effect
1994 Navigation

Law of Cause and Effect

There are different orders of laws a man can be under, according to where a man is in himself. For example, a man operating from his false personality is under a great many laws, such as negative emotions, identification, etc; he is under the Law of Accident.

The chart below shows other psychological aspects of man and the number and type of laws they are under.

Psychological Aspects, Orders and Type of Laws

Psychological AspectOrders of LawsType of Laws
Real I12Law of Will
Essence24Law of Fate
Personality48Law of Cause and Effect
False Personality96Law of Accident

If a man is operating from his personality, he is under 48 laws, the Law of Cause and Effect. This is when the important events in a person's life are the result of their previous actions. In other words, their actions are causes which have effects, in the form of events. For example, a man may work very hard and consequently be promoted. So in this case, the man has liberated himself to some extent from the Law of Accident, which is when two previously unconnected lines cross.

However, not all events under the law of cause and effect have a positive outcome. Frequently, many people make mistakes in life (causes) for which they pay (effects) for the rest of their lives. For example, a man may put off getting the house roof repaired until one day it finally collapses and does a lot of damage, that now has to be paid for.

It is often the mechanics of our psychology that set up bad cause and effect. This is illustrated in the following excerpt from P. D. Ouspensky's novel, The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin.

(Here a young schoolboy, who has visited the Magician, has been given another chance to live his life differently, but he doesn't).

'I won't go to school tomorrow', he says. 'Why not?' said his mother, astonished and frightened. 'Oh, I don't know; I have a headache,' he answers using the school boy's stock phrase. 'I just want to stay at home and think. I can't be among those idiots for so long. If it were not for these stupid punishments I should not be staying at home now. I can't go on like this. They'll shut me up again for two or three weeks.' 'Do as you please,' says his mother, 'but I warn you it will only make things worse for you at school. If you don't go tomorrow they will take it as a challenge on your part --- but you must decide for yourself.'

Here, the boy's mechanics set up a bad cause and effect. It is the same when we repeatedly express the same negative emotions; by doing so we reinforce a pattern that becomes increasingly hard to break and struggle with.

The aim in the work is to come under fewer laws, or at least create new causes which will produce results and therefore exclude accidents or negative cause and effect.

One way to achieve this is by developing a permanent centre of gravity. That means having more or less a permanent aim and seeing the relative importance of events in connection with this aim. For example, if self-remembering becomes so definite, so intense, it leaves no place for accidents.

You can help support this site. (With thanks to Granny's Kitchen.)
Thank you!
1996 Title