Walter Russell was born in Boston, Massachusetts, May 19th, 1871. He was known for his achievements as a painter, sculptor, author and builder and less well known as a natural philosopher and for his unified theory in physics and cosmogony.
He posited that the universe was founded on a unifying principle of rhythmic balanced interchange. This physical theory, laid out primarily in his books The Secret of Light (1947) and The Message of the Divine Iliad (1948–49), has not been accepted by mainstream scientists. Russell asserted that this was mainly due to a difference in the assumptions made about the existence of mind and matter; Russell assumes the existence of mind as cause while he believes that scientists in general assume the existence of mind as effect. Quantum physicists are only recently recognizing the depth of truth contained in his writings on the subject.
Russell was also proficient in philosophy, music, ice skating, and was a professor at the institution he founded, the University of Science and Philosophy (USP). He believed mediocrity is self-inflicted and genius is self-bestowed.The content of his public lectures and his writing about living philosophy place him firmly in the New Thought Movement
A true polymath (Renaissance Man), he could play any tune he heard with one finger on the piano before he could walk or talk. A blind neighbour taught him to play the piano and was the spiritual interchange partner of his childhood. About that, he wrote:
“For a boy, I had been doing extraordinary things, which caused much wonder. Before I could walk, I could play on the piano, with one finger, any tunes that I heard, then, gradually, with all fingers, even the complex melodies played by blind Mr. Maynard, who, to me, was the greatest man in all the world. Mr. Maynard lived in the dark but walked and talked with God in the Light. And what the soul of Creation told his Soul, he told me and I walked and talked with God in those early days in His wonderlands of Peat Meadow and the huge oaks down in Bachelder’s wilds where nobody went but me, for no one else in all My World heard what I heard there nor saw what I saw there so it was mine alone, all that glory just mine alone.”
At the age of seven, while playing marbles with other boys, he felt the urge to retreat into the solitude of the woods, where, for the first time, he experienced leaving his body and feeling the ecstasy of cosmic consciousness. From then on, he had such an experience every year in May, which made him different from the other boys, with whom he could not share the ecstasy of “my world”, as he called it. Each year in May, year after year, he went south to the forests to be alone with God, experiencing the oneness of the universe. Each seventh year this experience was extremely intensive. It gave him inner peace on one hand, but also inner loneliness on the other. His blind maestro was the only friend of his early days.
At the age of nine, he was put to work, because the money was badly needed. He left his village school to work as a cash boy in a drygoods store. When he was fourteen years of age he had black diphtheria and was already declared dead, when he had his second great illumining (illumination), getting the knowing (knowledge) about self healing. To the amazement of his weeping parents and of the doctors he arose from his bed perfectly healed.
A musician from infancy, he secured a church organist’s position at thirteen, and entered art school. Since then, he was entirely self-supporting and self-educated. As a young man he was an illustrator for books and magazines.
In 1894, at the age of twenty-three, he married Helen Andrews. During this first marriage, he had two daughters, both born before the end of the century, and two grand-daughters. But most of the time, Russell lived alone in his studio in Carnegie Hall in New York, while his family lived in Washington, Connecticut, in a house he had designed and built for them.
From 1897 to 1898 he was Art Editor of Colliers Weekly, then became war artist and correspondent for Collier’s and Century in the Spanish War. In 1900 he completed his allegorical painting entitled The Might of Ages which was first exhibited in the Turin International Art Exposition, winning honourable mention from Italy, then exhibited throughout Europe, winning him many honours from France, Belgium and Spain, including membership to the Spanish Academic of Arts and Letters, Toledo.
From then on, until 1914, he mainly painted portraits of children. His principal instructors in art had been Albert Munsell and Ernest Major of Boston, Howard Pyle of Philadelphia and Jean Paul Laurens from the Academy Julian in Paris.
From 1914 he mainly painted portraits of notables, wrote books and built numerous big buildings, some of which still exist. Together with other sculptors, architects and painters he conceived the principle of co-operative ownership for flats in New York.
In 1921, at the age of 49, Walter Russell experienced his Illumination into the Light of Cosmic Consciousness during a thirty nine day and night period. His family even consulted specialists in order to decide if he had to be admitted into a psychiatric clinic. Fortunately these doctors were very impressed by his recordings and sensed, that something great was happening.
In 1927, Walter Russell published The Universal One, his fist attempt to explain the Cosmic Laws for the established scientists. As he failed completely, he worked another twenty years on it. The result is his The Secret of Light, which he published in 1947.
In 1941, the American Academy of Sciences conferred a doctorate on him, after several laboratories had isolated the elements which he had foreseen: Deuterium, Tritium, Neptunium and Plutonium.
In the meantime he gave numerous speeches and for 12 years he lectured upon the Law of rhythmic interchange and ethical principles in business to the officers and salesmen of IBM. Together with other notable figures of his time he built the Twilight Club, which very successfully gave positive spiritual impulses for the betterment of humankind. Their efforts resulted in notable service organizations like the Rotary Club, The Lions Club, the Boy Scouts of America and many others. They stood up for a right of education, for minimum wages, controlled advertising and much more, getting big support from Adolph Ochs, the owner of the New York Times at that time.
In 1946, his second wife Daisy Stebbing read some of Walter Russell’s works and immediately knew that this author was her soul-mate. She got in contact with him and later reported what he said to her during their first telephone conversation: “I know your voice. I have been hearing it inside of me for decades.” In 1948 the 77-year-old Walter Russell married the 43-year-old woman, who he affectionately called Lao, derived from Laotse. The divorce from his first wife, to whom he had been married to for 55 years, went through the press and was met with disapproval.
Lao and Walter worked together for fifteen years and founded the University of Science and Philosophy on their splendid country estate in Swannanoa with the capital that Lao gained by setting up a cosmetics company. Walter and Lao developed the home study course and published the alerting book Atomic Suicide in 1957.
Lao also wrote several books herself. Her main concern was to attach more value to the feminine, dark, discharged and expanding principle as opposed to the predominant male-concentrated principal of our culture.
Walter Russell, who was mentally awake and active right up until the end, died on his 92nd birthday, the 19th of May 1963. Walter Cronkite in the national television evening news, commenting on Russell’s death, referred to him as “… the Leonardo da Vinci of our time.”
Right up to her death in 1988, Lao Russell continued to run the university and to edit his work. In 1997, due to financial difficulties, the foundation board had to sell the sumptuous, Italian-style palace, where the Russells had lived and worked. At present, Walter Russell’s works are in storage and inaccessible. The foundation is striving to keep alive the heritage of the University of Science and Philosophy and the Twilight Club.
Furthermore, there are many people who, independently from the official organisations, do not only invest a lot of time and effort in Russell’s work but also refer to it and try to enhance it (e.g. Yasuhiko Kimura and the Journal und Ben Groseclose).
Russell’s work, however, had almost been forgotten for a long time as Nikola Tesla had advised him to lock it away in a safe for 1000 years, because mankind was not yet mature enough for it. It was Timothy Binder, president of the University of Science and Philosophy, who brought the knowledge of Walter Russell to the attention of a wider circle of interested parties in Europe during a talk in Lindau in 1992. This is where the German biologist, therapist and publicist Dagmar Neubronner met his work. She started translating his work, organized lectures, seminars and conferences about Russell and made his name known in Europe.
Since 1997 Dagmar Neubronner has been publishing Russell’s work in German. She is keeping the publishing rights for all European languages and supporting publications in these languages.
The term New Age in its contemporary sense can be traced back at least to 1888. Walter Russell spoke of “… this New Age philosophy of the spiritual re-awakening of man … Man’s purpose in this New Age is to acquire more and more knowledge …” in his essay “Power Through Knowledge,” which was published in 1944.
Russell accepted Richard Maurice Bucke’s premise that not only the human body, but also human consciousness, had evolved in stages, that human consciousness periodically made iterative leaps, such as that from animal awareness to rational self-awareness, many millennia ago. Russell believed that humankind was on the brink of making another key, evolutionary leap in consciousness. The next cycle of human evolution, said Bucke, would be from rational self-consciousness to spiritual super-consciousness on the order of that experienced by sages, religious figures, and mystics of the past 2,500 years.
In 1947–48, Russell wrote: “This New Age is marking the dawn of a new world-thought. That new thought is a new cosmic concept of the value of man to man. The whole world is discovering that all mankind is one and that the unity of man is real – not just an abstract idea. Mankind is beginning to discover that the hurt of any man hurts every man, and, conversely, the uplift of any man uplifts every man” (Message of the Divine Iliad, vol. 2, p. 69). Russell’s predictions about what the New Age would bring included “a marriage between religion and science” (MDI p 257). Russell appeared to believe that this “New Age” would begin in 1946, based on a vision he had in 1921. The most extensive treatment of Russell’s ideas are found in his book, A Course in Cosmic Consciousness.
Excerpts from his writings:
“People consider the Golden Rule just an ideal for practice in close family and social relations, but not for business dealings. Jesus said, Love ye one another, and Do ye unto one another as ye would have them do unto you, but few since that day have known what He meant, or have practiced it in their daily lives.
The way to gradually attain cosmic consciousness is to intensify one’s conscious awareness by much aloneness and companionship with God while manifesting Him in every moment and in every task of life.
Moment-by-moment companionship with God brings with it so great a realization of Oneness with Him that the transformation into that full realization of unity is apt to take place at any time.
The deterrent to cosmic consciousness is the feeling that God is far away instead of being within, and that we can reach that far away God only through sources outside of ourselves.”
“The first and most conspicuous effect of Illumination into full Cosmic Consciousness is one’s awareness of the utter absence of evil, sin, or shame. There is no thought of such an unbalanced condition while in the one ecstatic condition of perfect balance, which the Light of love is.
That which Man calls evil, sin, or shame or any of its attributes, such as anger, jealousy, worry, fear, cruelty, lust, or the greeds which lead to murders and wars are unbalanced conditions created by Man who has not yet learned the law love, which demands equal interchange between all opposite conditions in all human relations.
Man, himself, has manufactured evil, sin, and shame because of the impossibility of keeping himself in balance due to his greeds, which impel him to take what he wants without giving in order to be regiven. There is no such thing in Nature as evil, sin, or shame. Nature is never unbalanced. The heavens give light and rains to earth and earth regives equally of her forests, crops, and vapors that replenish the heavens.
That is Nature’s manifestation of the law of love, which keeps Nature ever in balance.”
“My ability to prove God as a scientific fact and bring Him within the range of man’s comprehension through incontrovertible evidence of His controlling Presence in all creating things is the result of having fully experienced that rarest of all spiritual phenomena known as the Illumination into the Light of Cosmic Consciousness, during a thirty-nine day and night period in May and June of 1921.
I will not describe that phenomenon here, except to say that the seat of sensation becomes completely severed from its centering conscious Mind for intervals, followed by intervals of complete severance, one becomes wholly Mind, the One Mind of God, in which exists all-knowledge, all-power, and all-presence. Relatively few such experiences of illumination have been recorded throughout world history.
Naturally, the entirety of the secrets of Creation were mine to know as a complete and consistent cosmogony, which knowing enabled me to envision the universe as a whole. Underlying the creative process of the universe was a fundamental principle of such simplicity that I felt that I could gather the great scientists of the world together and give them that entire principle of such simplicity that I felt that I could gather the great scientists of the world together and give them that entire principle in a few minutes, for I had been aware that for decades science has been searching for such an underlying principle, which would apply to all phenomena.”
From the Prelude of the Home Study Course in Cosmic Consciousness:
“The purpose of these lessons is twofold. First, and paramount, is to prepare the layperson who desires personal power and progress through achievement in personal creative expression to attain that end by full understanding of the Cause of all the Effects he produces in order that he may command those effects to his obedience.
With cosmic knowledge as a foundation upon which he can firmly stand to face every problem of his daily life, whether social, domestic, business, health, family, friendships, professional or otherwise, he can meet all problems with a clarity of vision to conquer them with intelligent action and decision instead of complexing his problems because of his inability to fully comprehend their cause.
The secondary purpose is to so thoroughly define and explain this universal illusion, which seems so real to the human senses, and proves to the satisfaction of the most exacting scientists that the entire electric wave universe is but a cosmic cinema picturing a cosmic idea of cause and effect with cosmic projection cameras called wave fields of light. These imaginary cosmic projection cameras of light wave fields are as describable and definable mechanically as the projection machines of their earthly counterparts are describable and definable.
The cosmic cinema is a glorious manifestation of the imaginary thought processes of God’s Mind, but the projected light images of God’s imagining, which seem to move and have life of being in themselves, are but electrically-sensed thought forms of thought imaginings that but constitute a mirage of the reality which they but simulate. This fact will gradually be clarified as these chapters unfold, as will God’s reason for limiting the senses of men in order that he should believe the simulation to be reality.
The solution of the seemingly unfathomable mystery of Creator and Creation fulfills a prophecy made by Sir Oliver Lodge who said, in effect, that if in the coming centuries the great cosmic secret was ever revealed to man, its discovery would not come from the trained scientific Mind but would be the supreme vision of some poet, painter, philosopher, or saint who could see the universe as a whole.
It is my hope that every reader will so clearly comprehend each part of this whole picture of God’s cosmic plan that he or she will envision and comprehend the many parts as One Whole. Those readers who can so strongly see the Oneness of all the seeming many parts of God’s plan may make of their own lives a divine extension of that One and thus become master Creators of their own creating universe.”
“Beyond the genius is the mystic.
The mystic is one who has attained cosmic consciousness by a complete severance of the seats of consciousness and sensation. He is then almost totally unaware of his body and is totally aware of the Light of God centering him. Omniscience comes to him in that timeless blinding flash of light which is characteristic of a complete severance. This experience was described in the illumination of St. Paul. Every timeless flash of intense inspiration which comes to any man is a partial illumination, for inspiration is the manner in which new knowledge comes to man from the cosmos.
Of all mystics, Jesus was the outstanding example of all time. He was the only One in all history to have known complete cosmic-conscious unity with God. The Bible refers to cosmic-conscious experience as the illumination or being in the Light or in the Spirit. In all history less than forty cases of partial cosmic consciousness are known, and probably not more that three of these anywhere nearly approached the complete state of illumination experienced by the Nazarene.
Cosmic Consciousness is the ultimate goal of all mankind. All will know it before the long journey of man is finished, but there are many in this new age just dawning who are ready for it in part, if not fully. Many desire it fully, but it is best that it come bit by bit for the complete severance is very dangerous. The ecstasy of this supreme experience is so great that one does not wish to come back. The power of severance of soul from body is within easy accomplishment, but to step back into the body is very difficult.”
“God is Love — unexpressed. God’s creation is Love expressed. God’s Love is changeless unity. God’s Creation is His imagined division of His unity into pairs of changing opposite units, multiplied to infinity, for the purpose of manifesting the power of love through interchange between opposite pairs.”
“God is the Light of all knowing. Creation is a thought universe which records God’s knowing as expressed by God’s electric thinking.”
“God is the light of Mind. God’s thinking Mind is all there is. Mind is universal. Mind of God and Mind of man are one. This eternally-creating universe, which is God’s eternally renewing body, is the product of Mind knowing expressed by Mind thinking.”
“Magnetism is the still Light of God which centers everything as its equilibrium. Wherever you can locate the source of magnetic light, you locate a position where God is in evidence — as in the magnetic poles or the center of gravity of the earth — or the sun — or the center of a shaft in an engine. All power and force is in the stillness of the center, but the power and force are manifested by motion around the center. The center never moves, but is all power.”
“Man must begin to see the unitary principle of man—knowing that there are not separate men or separate individuals, but that the whole man idea is one. He must know that all mankind is connected with every other part of mankind, all geared together by the one omnipresent Light of God which centers all as ONE and motivates all as ONE. Until man knows that separation from God is impossible even for one second, he does not begin to have knowledge.”
“Knowledge lies in CAUSE, and until we know cause in the why of things, we have no knowledge. Where are we today? Information and skills have put us where we are now, not knowledge. Knowledge is the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Light. That Light is within everyone and everything to its fullest extent. It is in every cell of one’s body, centering it. It is in the magnetic poles of everyone, controlling them. You may have that Light of all knowledge for the asking. Knowledge is cosmic, it is universal.”
“The Message Of The Divine Iliad is to build a scientific comprehension of the nature of God and man’s unity with God — in order that mankind may unfold in the direction of its ultimate goal of cosmic awareness of the Light rather than refold by descending into the terrors of another deep and long dark age.”
“Messengers of God, such as Jesus, have appeared at times to tell us the true nature of God. We invariably crucified them, then worshipped them after realizing their divinity. Religion of today is largely idolatrous for the reason that our primacy demands a god who appeals to the senses. For that reason millions of men worship god through Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and other messengers, whose form they can sense as visualized images of God. Those who do so have not yet unfolded sufficiently to know God Himself as the I AM of all the universe. Those many millions would consider one to be a blasphemer who claimed that he walks and talks directly with God in close communion. Yet mankind has unfolded to that state of Consciousness where there are many who have found the kingdom of heaven within themselves to such an extent that they no longer ask intercession from men of earth for the privilege of contacting God through them.”
“It has been given me to know that regeneration of the body form that which man calls “death” is within the range of power of inner knowing if the Soul has not yet left the body. “That disease which man calls “black diphtheria,” or “black plague,” had so disintegrated my body that my Soul made ready for its departure and I was pronounced dead by man. “God took me up unto the mountain top where inspired man is God-man and there gave unto me higher knowledge of the power of regeneration of my body through His all-knowing Light.” (…) “It was then given me to know that the power of revitalization of my body was mine, and I, who had been pronounced dead by man, lived strongly in the body. This story, added to the principles which have been before enumerated, will accentuate the fact that the complete Balance which alone can come to man through full awareness of the unity of God and man, will make anyone who is thus illumined, absolute master of the electric waves which comprise his body. Through such illumination one can insulate himself from toxic poisoning of any nature by decentrating from body awareness to find the stillness of Mind-knowing which centers him and from that fulcrum of rest extend God’s Balance to every cell of his body for transformation. Likewise, anyone so illumined, can extend his knowing —and his Balance— to anyone else and illumine that one to the extent of his own illumination. He to whom the Light of Love has been thus extended, can heal himself through his own illumination.”
“I think Jesus was able to perform what seemed like miracles by his full Knowing of the Light of Love. The message of Jesus is still not fully understood today, as man is still not able to fully understand what he meant when he said: ‘I and My Father are One.’ ‘What I am, ye also are.’ ‘Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?’ ‘Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.'”
“The Law of Balance is the Law of Love upon which the universe is founded. This law is given to man for his coming renaissance of greater comprehension. It is, of all laws, the most inclusive and the most simple. It consists of but three words: RHYTHMIC BALANCED INTERCHANGE. These three words are the very foundation of all our material existence, all phenomena of matter or interchange between humans, economically, socially and spiritually. Your whole purpose in life is to comprehend that law. You cannot fulfill God’s law unless you do comprehend it. You cannot comprehend it unless you desire to comprehend it. You cannot fulfill your desire to command the law to work WITH you until you manifest your desire through action. There is no other way for you to command God’s law to fulfill your desire than through the action of GIVING. The only lesson of your life is to learn how to GIVE.”
“I have found out that the real essentials of greatness in men are not written in books, nor can they be found in the schools, They are written into the inner consciousness of everyone who intensely searches for perfection in creative achievement and are understandable to such men only.”
“Joy and happiness are the indicators of balance in a human machine, just as a change in the familiar hum in a mechanism immediately indicates an abnormalcy to the practiced ear of the mechanic. An inner joyousness, amounting to ecstasy, is the normal condition of the genius mind. Any lack of that joyousness develops body-destroying toxins. That inner ecstasy of the mind is the secret fountain of perpetual youth and strength in any man. He who finds it finds omnipotence and omniscience.
“I therefore say to you that tiredness and fatigue are effects caused by ignorance of Nature and disobedience to her inexorable law. You may command Nature to the extent only in which you are willing to obey her. You cannot intelligently obey that which you do not comprehend. Therefore I also say, ask of Nature that you may be one with her and she will whisper her secrets to you to the extent in which you are prepared to listen. Seek to be alone much to commune with Nature and be thus inspired by her mighty whisperings within your consciousness. Nature is a most jealous god, for she will not whisper her inspiring revelations to you unless you are absolutely alone with her.”
“I will see beauty and goodness in all things. From all that is unlovely shall my vision be immune. Beauty is perfection of rhythm, balanced perfection of rhythm. Everything in Nature is expressed by rhythmic waves of light. Every thought and action is a light-wave of thought and action. If one interprets the God within one, one’s thoughts and actions must be balanced rhythmic waves. Ugliness, fears, failures and diseases arise from unbalanced thoughts and actions. Therefore think beauty always if one desire vitality of body and happiness.”
“Do not attempt to accomplish greater results by a greater effort of your little understanding, but by a greater understanding of your little effort. The greater your understanding of the power within yourself, the less effort you need to make in order to achieve.”
“That inner ecstasy of the mind is the secret fountain of perpetual youth and strength in any man. He who finds it finds onmipotence and onmiscience.”
“The world needed to suffer in order to understand the simplest of universal principles, the unity of man with man and with God. The world of men had to reap the harvest of its seeds of hate, selfishness and greed it had been sowing for centuries. It had to reap this harvest in order to learn that universal law is inevitable and inescapable.”
“Defeat I shall not know. It shall not touch me. I will meet it with true thinking. Resisting it will be my strengthening. But if, perchance, the day shall give to me the bitter cup, it shall sweeten in the drinking.”
“Mediocrity is self-inflicted; genius is self-bestowed.”
“The layman thinks objectively of an apple as a solid object, but the scientist should think of the apple as one fleeting part of a whole cycle.”
Further Quotes from Walter Russell: