The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 2

An accident is an exteriorization of a thought. Purpose of an accident. Explanation of an accident. Accidents in history.

An “accident” is an event which happens to one or more persons or things unexpectedly, without being foreseen and without intention. Therefore the accident stands out from the general and foreseen order of events as unusual or separate. A so-called accident is, like any other event on the physical plane, a thought in a certain part of its course.

A thought is a being created by the Conscious Light and desire; and which, when issued, has in it an aim, a potential design, and a balancing factor—which balancing factor, like the needle of a compass, points to the final balance of the thought as a whole. The thought endures until the balancing factor has brought about an adjustment through the one who issued the thought. The balancing factor causes exteriorizations as long as the thought endures. Whenever the thought, moving in its courses, approaches the physical plane, it causes the one who issued it to be in place for an exteriorization of that thought. An exteriorization can happen only when there is a juncture of time, condition and place. The laws which control the exteriorization do not always fit in with the intention and expectation of the persons concerned; and the exteriorization is then called an accident. An accident is a perceived physical part of a thought which is proceeding on its otherwise invisible course. The exteriorization makes visible that part of the thought which touches the physical plane and is not yet balanced. The demonstration is made on or through the person who is concerned in the accident.

Accidents such as a personal injury, or a barn being struck by lightning, or an occurrence which prevents one from embarking on a ship that is to be wrecked, come only to those whose thoughts are thereby partially exteriorized to them. An accident presents to the one to whom it happens something of his past, either distant or recent. The accident is a part of one of his own thoughts that he has not balanced, and which will endure and, from time to time, meet him face to face as a physical event, until he has paid or received payment through the direct exteriorization of the design, learns his lesson from that child of his mind and desire, and has satisfied his conscience. Often accidents come to injure him, often to help him, and sometimes as protections.

The reasons why events happen to him in the form of accidents, in an exceptional, unforeseen manner, are that a man would not do certain things to himself, like breaking an arm, or that circumstances do not call for a commission of a crime against him, that is, an intentional injury; or finally that the happening accidentally is the easiest and most direct way to bring about the juncture of time, condition and place for the exteriorization.

Further, there is in the happening of an accident a special call for attention. An accident rather than an ordinary event, produces this, because the accident is unlooked for, startling.

An accident is brought about in the ordinary course of the law of thought as destiny. Every man has a vast number of thoughts cycling in his mental atmosphere toward and away from exteriorization on the physical plane. The thoughts live on with a tendency to exteriorize in the events which the balancing factor in each of them requires and projects.

The thoughts begin and continue their cycles from the time a person issues them. Whenever they approach the physical plane, they seek to exteriorize; but they are often held back by the exteriorizations of his present design. When there is an opportunity, be it ever so slight, the whole nature of the man seizes upon it and uses it to precipitate an event which will bring about one of these exteriorizations. Every thought, once it is issued, endures and appears cyclically, exteriorized as a physical event. For that purpose, the one who issued the thought calls mentally or psychically on other persons concerned with the thought, through their atmospheres. If a cycle of one of those persons’ thoughts coincides with a cycle of one of his own, this will produce, unintentionally to the first one, the event which is called an accident.

Another manner in which accidents are brought about is by elementals, nature units. They follow and are bound by a man’s thought, and rush with it into his body as an impulse, so that he unexpectedly performs an act which results in an accident to him; he may, for instance, cut himself; or may fall in front of a fast moving car. Another way in which elementals may act to precipitate a thought, is by producing an occurrence without human intervention, as where fire burns a man, or a cinder gets into his eye, or melting ice drops on him from a roof, or he finds articles of value. In every instance his own thought, seeking exteriorization, is the means of precipitating upon him the event which he calls an accident.

The purpose of an accident is to call one’s attention to the thought of which it is one of the exteriorizations. One to whom an accident happens can always, by searching, find out something about that. Though the event may not reveal the whole past to him, it may reveal that portion of the past which it is necessary for him to know. If he tries to understand, he will learn, and he will learn more, if he is willing to pay,—he must pay anyway. What he learns will bring him nearer to the adjustment.

Suppose two men are traveling in a mountainous country. By placing his foot on an insecure stone, one of them slips and falls into a ravine. His companion goes to the rescue, finds the mangled body below, among rocks; and close at hand he discovers, cropping out from the side of the ravine, a vein of gold. The death of the one impoverishes his family and causes failure to some with whom he was in business. Because of that fall, the other discovers an ore deposit which becomes a source of wealth. Such an occurrence is said to be an accident, bringing death to one, sorrow and poverty to some, failure to others, and “good luck” to the comrade whose wealth is gained by chance.

There is no accident or chance connected with such occurrences. Each of the events is in accordance with the working out of the law as destiny, and is an exteriorization of some thought, issued by the person affected, though beyond the limits of perception.

The one who was killed was a man whose allotted time had run its course, though his death could have occurred a little sooner or might have been postponed for a short time. The manner of his death had been predetermined to be sudden. Further, it was necessary, on account of his family and his business connections, that his relations to them be severed abruptly. Therefore he suffered sudden death.

Whether the poverty awakens self-reliance in those who have been dependent on the deceased and brings out traits which could not be seen while they were dependent on another, or whether they become disheartened, give up to despair or become paupers, rests largely upon the past of those concerned. Whether the one who discovers the gold improves the opportunity of wealth to be honest, to better the conditions of himself and others, to relieve suffering, or to support educational work; or whether, on the other hand, he does none of these, but uses his wealth and the power which it gives him for the oppression of others; or whether he becomes morally corrupt and urges others to lives of dissipation, is all according to the law of thought, and has been largely determined by previous thoughts of those concerned.

If the deceased had been more careful in the selection of his path, he might not have fallen, though his death, as it was required by the law, would merely have been postponed a short time. If his companion had not descended the perilous path in the hope of rendering assistance, he would not have found the means by which he acquired his wealth. Yet, even if fear should have kept him from going to the aid of his comrade, he would only have deferred his prosperity, because wealth was to be his as the result of his past thoughts and works. By not letting pass an opportunity which duty presented, he hastened his prosperity.

It is injurious to speak of accident and chance as events happening without cause and irrespective of law. Such unthinking use of the words fosters in people the belief that they may act or fail to act, and not be held accountable. They come to believe that things may happen to them without cause. So they may dull their moral conceptions. They limit their views and reasoning to things on the physical plane; they trust to chance, and are liable to become irresponsible.

Events which affect a few or many, or a race or a continent, or the whole world, arrive to those whom they benefit or afflict according to the working of the law of thought as destiny. To each individual are exteriorized some of his past thoughts. The thoughts press for an opening for exteriorization. If there are many people whose thoughts tend towards a similar event, they are gathered even from the ends of the earth to bring about the so-called accidents. To everyone comes the advantage or loss that exteriorizes some of his past thoughts.

Accidents which happen to a community, like a conflagration, cyclone, inundation or pestilence, are likewise the exteriorizations of thoughts of those affected. Under this head fall also the destruction of hamlets and cities, and the devastation of countries, like the ruthless razing of Carthage, the sacking of Rome, the plundering of the Spanish settlements by the buccaneers, or the conquest of Peru. In these cases the “just” suffer with the “unjust.” The “unjust” are the evil ones in the present; the “just” are the unrighteous of the past. Such destinies have been made by the action and inaction, the participation and indifference, of the inhabitants in times such as those of the persecution of the Huguenots, or of the Netherlands by Alva, or of the Quakers by the Puritans in New England. They will be brought together in the course of time, and their thoughts will lead them to the place and time of the exteriorization of those past thoughts. That place may be the same locality; or the people may be brought together in another, and there live in prosperity or in trouble, and share in the accidents of the final disaster.

The reckoning may be held up for a long time; but it is sure to come. The United States of America was set apart by Intelligences to try out self-government by the multitude, and so they have been led to success in their various wars, their political institutions and their economic undertakings, notwithstanding the actions of the people. In peace and in war, their escape from the natural consequences of their selfishness and indifference is striking. But this protection and universal success, which school histories and orators seem to take as a matter of course, may not last. There must be an accounting for all that these people did tolerate and do in violation of their great responsibility. The New England bigots, the Massachusetts slave traders, the Southern slave drivers, the oppressors of the Indians, the political and other corruptionists will at some time meet and suffer at the reckoning which is sure to come.

In every life there are numerous events which are generally regarded as accidents. Such events are, to mention a few: birth at a particular time into a certain country, race, family and religion; birth into favorable or unfavorable conditions; birth into a sound or a diseased body; birth with certain psychic tendencies and mental endowments. Peoples’ lives are largely made up of events which they cannot choose, and which seem to be determined by accident. Among these are opportunities offered to enter a trade, a business or a vocation; chance acquaintances who cause, prevent or end associations in work or commerce; and conditions which lead to or hinder marriage and friendship.

People, if they do not look upon events as happenings by chance, explain them as the will of God and seek consolation in their religion.