The “Future” Horizon

The various levels of man can be represented in a table as shown below:

Ray of Creation Element Hydrogen Level Law
Sun (sol) Fire H12 Essence/Soul Will
Planets (fa) Air H24 Essence Fate
Earth (mi) Water H48 Personality “Karma”
Moon (re) Earth H96 False Personality Accident

The left hand column shows both the level and notes of the Ray of Creation. Adjacent to it are the four ancient elements (in the world view of the Ancient Greeks). The third column shows the corresponding psychic hydrogens in man which correspond to those levels. The fourth column shows the split between essence and personality associated with each level and the final column shows the different laws which apply to each level.

The Law of Accident

False personality, the false idea of oneself that we gradually assemble as we grow, falls under the law of accident. This means that if one’s life is governed by false personality, it is entirely driven by external events which it responds to automatically, without thought. As such it is the inevitable victim of whatever its circumstances are at any point in time. It has no fate. Fate is far above it. His being attracts an entirely accidental life.

The Law of “Karma”

Gurdjieff chose not to use the word “karma,” which we use here, probably because it would prove confusing given that different meanings assigned to it in mystical literature. Instead the term “cause and effect” was used.  At this level a man “reaps what he sows.” While his life is still mechanical, it is no longer entirely driven by random accidents. This is the level through which people in The Work pass as, through self-observation they become aware of personality defects and gradually repair them.

The Law of Fate

At this level man the external events of a man’s life are determined by fate, by the influence of the planets on essence, through the medium of the air. His being attracts his fate which (in theory at least) will provide the external events that will enable the development and ultimately the crystallization (or perfection) of his essence.

The Law of Will

At this level, the essence has been perfected and the individual has the possibility of exerting their own will.