Law of Seven

“God is difficult to understand
for God is first One, then Three, and then Seven.”
– ancient wisdom saying, quoted in Commentaries, “The Law of Three,” Vol. 1, p. 115


Also known as the Law of Order or Law of Manifestation or the Law of Octaves, this principle has to do with how manifestation or action happens in time.  It recognizes that creation unfolds in some order and this is due to the Law of Seven.  At the same time, order imposes certain restrictions to creation; it imposes conditions.

“The Law of Seven governs successions of events. It states that whenever any manifestation evolves, it does so nonlinearly. There is an order discontinuity in every progression of things, in every series. This lawful discontinuity is preserved in our musical scale which, as singing up and down any octave will show, is composed of unequal steps. Do, re, and mi are equally distant from one another, but between mi and fa, there is a half-step instead of a full step. Proceeding up the scale, we have sol, la, and si (ti in some usages) separated by full intervals, but si and do having a half-step between them again.

“The Law of Seven explains why when something begins it does not just continue and continue ad infinitum; why a rainstorm abates or a grudge finally loses its venom. And the law of seven is behind the fact that there are no straight lines in nature. It is also reflected in the Ray of Creation. …

“The Law of Seven may also be called the Law of Shock, for if an additional force or energy enters a process between mi and fa it will proceed on course until the si-do interval, and if another shock or influx of energy is given at that point the process continues to its conclusion at do. In the Ray of Creation, this energy is generated by mankind and other living things. …

“The octave relationships in the Law of Seven exist in all processes, according to Gurdjieff. Seeing them is a matter of arraying whatever is to be studied appropriately or finding the right metric.  In chemistry there is a very clear example in the periodic table of elements, in which the essential characteristics of chemical elements are seen to repeat themselves every eighth element when they are ordered according to atomic weight. It is, however, unnecessary to search very far for examples of octave relationships since they are present in every project we undertake, from cooking a meal to building a house.”
– Kathleen Riordan Speeth, The Gurdjieff Work

The Law of Seven is inextricable from the Law of Three, and is also related to the Work idea of first conscious shock and the cosmic enneagram.