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The Russian Doll

Dec 03, 1996 09:20 PM
by RIhle

A few years ago one of my students brought in a "Russian doll" she got on a
family trip to the Soviet Union.  The doll works like this:  you open it up
and there is a smaller doll inside; you open that up and there is a smaller
doll inside of that; you open that up and there is a smaller doll inside of
that, etc. . . .

Yesterday, I received a post from some who mentioned the need for something
to "explicitly promote or present to the public and say 'This is Theosophy.'"
 The person showed no fear whatever about his ability to handle me should I
again go into one of my "big-T-small-t" tirades; thus I am sure many of you
can guess who this substantial person was. . . .

Anyway, it got me thinking again about what really is the "core philosophy"
which should be associated with the Theosophical Society.  The convention
view, naturally, is that it is HPB's Anthropogenesis and Cosmogenesis.

I say no--they are theosophical philosophies, to be sure, but not the core.
 Why can't I say no on this fundamental issue?  The promulgators of the old
presumed core philosophy have been trying their best for a long time now, but
they haven't exactly had the best of success in interesting very many new
people.  I say it may be time to change what we call the core philosophy.  I
say here and now that it might be better to regard the real core philosophy
associated with the Theosophical Society as that which can can be symbolized
by the Russian doll--i.e., the very special way of looking at the "human

HPB's view, I am convinced, is consonant with something like this:  first of
all, for the soul to be regarded as human at all, it must be some variant of
manas consciousness--kama-manas, manas, or Buddhi-manas.  Each one not only
has special characteristics in and of itself, but it can also operate as the
"Once-Removed-Vantage" on the state of consciousness "below" it.

Let's say a person has a "Fourth-Degree" soul.  What I mean by this is that
the person would generally be able to "hold the reins" in most basic kama
situations which were ~really~ proscribed by the composition of his or her
kama-manas "soul-package" (psyche).  For example, if the person's kama-manas
sense of I AM was that of a faithful husband, he could usually resist the
desire for sex (basic kama) with women other than his wife.  He might slip
from time to time, temporarily losing the Fourth-Degree soul and thus
~become~ kama consciousness 100% for a short while; however, unless he got to
the point where he could no longer hang on to the reins at all in these
situations, he would still be a Fourth-Degree soul.

However, he would be a Fourth-Degree soul in the process of change:  either
~up~ because the negative consequences of his actions would strengthen his
current soul-Vantage, enabling him to be more aware in the next situation, or
~down~ because repeated indulgences would gradually degrade the Fourth-Degree
Vantage (Fourth-Degree Self-Awareness).

All well and good.  However, what about a Fourth-Degree soul which confronted
the temptation to indulge kama-manas consciousness rather than mere kama
consciousness?  For example, what if the person was a political conservative
who was arguing an abortion issue that he or she had a strong feeling about?
 The person would undoubtedly ~become~ the argument 100% because there would
be no Fifth-Degree soul to mediate that level of consciousness--no little
doll inside the bigger one holding the reins.

What about a Fifth-Degree soul who was indulging pure manas (mental)
consciousness?  Similarly, 100% delusion that he or she ~really was~ the
logical, dispassionate ideas and mentation he or she was utilizing.  No
even-littler doll holding. . . .

I don't know . . . if we must have something to capitalize and proclaim "This
is Theosophy," why not make it the Russian-doll model of "esoteric
pyschology"?  HPB was Russian, so who knows what inspired her to take an
interest in the ~uphadhis~ ("vehicles") etc. in the first place?

And indeed, if such a "psychogenetic" perspective became identified with the
Theosophical Society, we might have a core philosophy which would attract
some attention for a change, mightn't we?  In so many words, we would be
suggesting the Hierarchy of all Hierachies--that individuals are higher or
lower not because of race, gender, age, etc., but BECAUSE THEY ARE HIGHER OR

"Oh yes," the core philosophy might proclaim, "individuals ARE different just
because of their differences in PSYCHOGENETIC DEGREE.  The soul of each
occupies his or her own special place along the Continuum leading toward
perfect Self/Universal-Soul-Awareness . . . but unfortunately the little,
penultimate Buddhi-manas doll is the last one that anyone has been able to
find and tell about." . . .


Richard Ihle

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