“I repeat, my boy: Try very hard to understand everything that will relate to both of these fundamental cosmic sacred laws, since knowledge of these sacred laws, particularly knowledge relating to the particularities of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, will help you in the future to understand very easily and very well all the second-grade and third-grade laws of World-creation and World-existence…”
Beelzebub’s Tales, p.755
The importance of the study of the two fundamental cosmic laws, namely, the Law of Seven and the Law of Three, is reflected in the third being-obligolnian-striving, “… the conscious striving to know ever more and more concerning the laws of World-creation and World-maintenance.”
This paper is divided into three parts. Pert 1 considers the Law of Seven. Part two cosnsiders the Law of Three. And part 3 considers the motion of the trajectory of one’s search according to the two laws.
The emphasis is on the practical application of the material covered in its effects on work on oneself.
THE LAW OF SEVEN
All throughout his many years of teaching, Mr. Gurdjieff always asked his disciples to put in their own words what he had taught them. For example, in In Search of the Miraculous we know that he once asked Ouspensky, “Try to discuss all I have said just now, from the point of view of your dimensions.” Following Gurdjieff’s indications, I have tried to put the Law of Seven in my own words.
The Law of Seven as it appears in The Tales:
The Law of Seven as I have formulated it:
The reformulation follows very closely certain recent scientific discoveries of the workings of Nature. It is now a well-known fact that all the forces in the Universe arise from an exchange of particles or substances. For example, the force between two interacting electrons arises from the exchange of one photon and in the process, light is emitted. One may say that the force coming from the work of a community or a group will result from the exchange of substances among the members of the community and, in the process, light or understanding can be emanated from the community or group. The exchange of substances is known in the Teaching as Iraniranumange or common-cosmic-exchange-of-substances. Therefore, the reformulation above incorporates in one sentence both the main characteristics of the Law of Seven and the fact that all the forces result from the action of the common-cosmic process of Iraniranumange.
We can now look closely at the three characteristics involved in the formulation above, namely, the discontinuous, the interactive and the nonlinear characteristics.
The discontinuous characteristic is the result of the cyclical and segmental manner of the first cosmic law’s operational mode. Each complete cycle of the law is composed of seven segments (Stopinders), connected one to the other. It is from this composition that the law derives its name. The realization of one complete cycle is known as an octave, in that there is an entire period between the beginning of one cycle and the beginning of another. The point of union of each segment is named as a point of deviation or center-of-gravity. Thus, there are seven segments and seven points of deviation in one complete cycle or octave. The first point of deviation corresponds to the union of the octave with the last segment of a preceding octave and the last point of deviation corresponds to the beginning of the last segment of the octave on its way to a new octave.
The interactive characteristic is the result of the manner in which the segments (Stopinders) interact with each other during actualization of a complete cycle or octave of the law. Each segment has its own subjective properties, which are measurable in terms of their vibratory quality or vivifying factor and its relative position in the cycle. These subjective properties depend, in part, on the subjective properties of preceding segments and, in turn, affect the subjective properties of subsequent segments. This characteristic accounts for the fact that a whole, or any other integral totality, is always formed of seven independent aspects with distinct and well-defined subjective properties that in their interactions result in a whole.
The nonlinear characteristic is due to the subjective action of certain segments of every cycle or octave of the law. To be precise, there are three segments (Stopinders) with very specific subjective properties. These are the third segment, which is the segment located between the third and fourth points of deviation (‘mechano-coinciding-Mdnel-in’), the fifth segment, situated between the fifth and the sixth points of deviation (Harnel-Aoot), and the last or seventh segment (‘intentionally-actualized-Mdnel-In’) located between the last center-of-gravity of a given cycle and the beginning of a new cycle or new octave.
Both the third and the last segments have properties of deflection. They are responsible for the fact that the movement of substances and the action of the forces do not follow a linear trajectory. The fifth segment has subjective properties that are the result of its relative position between the third and last segments. It is the most important in the cycle or octave because of its oppositional effect within the totality of functioning in the cycle or octave.
The totality of functioning in each complete cycle of the law is dependent upon many factors. Some of these are external to the process in which the law is operating, while others arise internally from within the process itself. Specifically, the totality of functioning of each octave is dependent upon the relationship between these external and internal factors, the vibratory quality of each segment, and the particularities of each of the three already mentioned segments.
The particularity of the third segment is that its subjective action – the operational action that it exerts on the totality of functioning of any complete cycle of the law, in relation to a given cosmic process – is dependent upon the automatic affluence of all of the forces external and near to the process itself. That is to say, the subjective action of the third segment is a function of the automatic affluence of forces external to the cosmic concentration in which the law is operating. It is because of this particularity that this segment is called the mechanically-actualized segment.
Since the automatic flow of all of the conditions external to the process is a helping factor in the operation of the law, the third segment is the segment of external-help. For the benefit of the totality of the law’s functioning, the subjective action of the third segment is the more prolonged of the two segments with properties of deflection.
The particularity of the seventh or last segment is that its subjective action ¬– that which it exerts on the totality of functioning of any one complete cycle of the operating law in relation to a given cosmic process – is dependent only upon the affluence of forces obtained from the outside through that segment from the results arising from the actualization of all of the efforts occurring within the process or within the concentration in which the law is operating. Because of this particularity, this segment is known as the intentionally-actualized segment.
In this case, because the helping factor in the operation of the law is a result of the action actualized within the process or within the concentration in which the law is operating, the seventh segment can also be understood as help from within. In order to facilitate the transition from one cycle to another in the operation of the law, the subjective action of the last or seventh segment is the least prolonged of the two segments.
The particularity of the fifth segment (fifth Stopinder) is that its subjective action flows by itself from the action of the other two. Its action does not depend on the affluence of forces from outside but rather on its asymmetry in relation to the completing process of the Law. It is this asymmetry that produces a disharmony in the action or functioning of the fifth segment. Because of this disharmony, the action of this segment achieves results that can be diametrically opposed, that is to say, it can give “opposite results” – an evolutional or involutional trajectory.
More specifically, within a given process in which the Law of Seven is operating, results arising from the subjective action of the fifth segment can vary from a result directed in its totality, to the exterior of the process up to a result directed in its totality to the interior of the process, all of which is dependent upon the internal conditions existing within the process.
If the internal conditions within the process are in a state of total chaos or disorder, the results from the subjective action of the fifth segment are directed, in their totality, to the exterior of the process. If those conditions are of total calm or order, the results are directed, in their totality, to the interior of the process. In conditions intermediate to total chaos and total calm, the results from the subjective action of the fifth segment of the law are apportioned between the exterior and the interior of the process within which the law is operating. The action of the fifth is integral to understanding the Law of Seven, and it is the action of this segment that is the most difficult to understand.
The subjective characteristic of the fifth segment is that which guarantees the common exchange of substances or exchange of energies that are continuously and constantly is taking place among cosmic concentrations. The subjective action of this segment is therefore responsible for the formation and transformation of cosmic substances. Here we have the importance of this segment within the totality of the functioning of the law and can be inferred from the following statements in The Tales:
“Thanks to the new particularity of the fifth Stopinder of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, these emanations issuing from the Sun Absolute began to act at certain definite points of the space of the Universe upon the prime cosmic substance Etherokrilno from which, owing to the totality of the former and the new particularities of the sacred primordial laws, certain definite concentrations began to be concentrated.
“At this very place in the process of the first outer cycle of the fundamental sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, namely after the formation of the Third-order-Suns or planets just here, owing to the changed fifth deflection of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, which as I have already said is now called Harnel-Aoot, the initially given momentum for the fundamental completing process, having lost half the force of its vivifyingness, began in its further functioning to have only half of the manifestation of its action outside itself, and the other half for itself, i.e., for its very own functioning, the consequences of which were that on those last big results, i.e., on these said Third-order-Suns or planets, there began to arise what are called, ‘similarities-to-the-already-arisen.’
“And as after this, surrounding conditions of actualizations were everywhere established corresponding to the manifestation of the second particularity of the fifth Stopinder of the fundamental sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, therefore from then on the actualization of the fundamental outer cycle of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh ceased, and all the action of its functioning entered forever into the results already manifested by it, and in them there began to proceed its inherent permanent processes of transformation, called ‘evolution’ and ‘involution’.
The following are other statements taken from The Tales where the importance of the fifth segment (fifth Stopinder) is pointed out:
“And these subjective properties of theirs [active elements belonging to seven independent classes] and likewise their what are called ‘proportions of vivifyingness’ are actualized firstly, according to what form of functioning of the fifth Stopinder of the Sacred Heptaparaparshinokh was flowing during their arising, and secondly, whether the given active elements arise owing to the conscious intention on the part of some independent individual, or whether they arose automatically, merely owing to the second-grade law called ‘Attraction-and-Fusion-of-Similarities’.
“Just these same substances [“still higher definite being-active-elements called ‘Piandjoëhary’” ] in beings, according to the fifth deflection of the Sacred Heptaparaparshinokh, have the free possibility of giving, in the manifestations of the common presences of three-brained beings, results not similar but ‘opposite to each other.’
“That is why, in respect of these being-substances, the beings themselves must always be very, very much on their guard in order to avoid undesirable consequences for their whole.
The relative importance of the fifth segment within a given cycle or octave of the law, is also a consequence of the fact that the possibility of evolution towards the completion of the cycle of the law, or involution towards the origin of the cycle being developed, is dependent upon whether or not the actualization of the fifth segment is realized. This fact is clearly indicated in the following statement taken from The Tales:
“It is necessary at this point in connection with the actualization of the fifth Stopinder of the sacred Heptaparaparshinokh to trace a parallel between two processes which externally have nothing in common with one another, namely: in the same manner as the first being-food cannot acquire its vivifying power until after its transformation into being-piandjiëhari, in the same manner on this piano the vibrations of a chord do not acquire a corresponding vivifying power until they have been fused with the preceding vibrations produced, starting from the center of gravity of the totality of the vibrations of the note ‘sol.’”
In other words, a cycle cannot complete its trajectory before having passed through the actualization of its own fifth.
The actualization of a complete cycle or one octave of the Law of Seven for any given process is dependent, then, upon three conditions. The first is that the process may receive external help emitting from the automatic flow of the totality of conditions surrounding the process. The second is that the initial impulse of the movement of substances or action of the forces, after having received the help necessary from the exterior through the third segment, may actualize the fifth segment and in this way may evolve towards the last segment of the cycle. The third and last condition is that, once clear of the fifth of the law, the results arising from the totality of efforts actualized exclusively within the process are such that they may assure the transition to a new cycle through the last or seventh segment of the law.
The above-described sequence is for an evolutionary or ascending trajectory: initially, the mechanically actualized segment or segment of external-help, then the actualization of the fifth of the law, and finally, the intentionally actualized segment or segment of help from within.
For an involutionary or descending trajectory, as in the case of the process of Creation, the sequence is as follows: initially, the intentionally actualized segment, then the fifth of the law, and finally the mechanically actualized segment.
The operation of the Law of Seven or first cosmic law, explicates the reason for phenomena observed in Nature, as well as those occurring in the process of life shared in common among men, including man’s inner world, which are discontinuous and fragmentary in their cycle and do not conform to a simple movement or progression of linearity. One such example is the way in which many of man’s actions become deflected from their origin due to the nonlinear characteristics of the law, often to such a degree that they end up being their very opposite. Another example, one that is more easily detectable, is the curvature of space. It is only when many strong constraints are introduced to purposely simplify the analysis of such phenomena, that the possibility of arriving at a simple description based on the suppositions of continuity and linearity, can be attained.
The discontinuity resulting from the operation of the Law of Seven is easily observable in certain processes, while in others it is more difficult. The difficulty is mainly due to the fact that in a great majority of the processes occurring in Nature, as well as in the collective and the individual lives of three-brained, many cycles of the law intervene which interweave among themselves, or develop parallel to the fundamental octave of the process, or results in a combination of interwoven and parallel octaves. The fractioning in these processes can only be observed in bold strokes.
To be continued with the Law of Three…