Law of Accident
This is Gurdjieff's term for those mechanical laws that govern the way man lives. Two kinds of influences govern this law.
1) The first kind of influences is created INSIDE life itself or by life itself. Influences such as race, nation, country, climate, family education, society, profession, manners and customs, wealth, poverty, current ideas, trends, current ideas and so on all govern the mechanical ways in which man moves, lives, and has his being.
2) The second kind of influences are influences created OUTSIDE this life. These are influences of an esoteric nature, or esoteric influences--that is, influences that are created under different laws, although also on earth. These second kind of influences differ from the first kind in that they are CONSCIOUS in their origin. This means that they have been created consciously by conscious people for a definite purpose. Influences of the second kind are usually embodied in the form of religious systems and teachings, philosophical doctrines, works of art, etc.
These second kinds of influences are let into life for a definite purpose, and become MIXED with influences of the first kind. But it must be borne in mind that these influences are conscious only in their origin. Coming into the general vortex of life they fall under the general law of accident and begin to act MECHANICALLY, that is, they may act on a certain definite man or may not act; they may reach him or they may not. In undergoing change and distortion in life through transmission and interpretation, influences of the second kind are transformed into influences of the first kind, that is they become, as it were, merged into the influences of the first kind.