the man who tapped the secrets of the universe
by Glenn Clark
foreword to 1953 edition
This story of the life of Walter Russell was first published in 1946 when he lived in Carnegie Hall, in New York City. Many readers who are not now able to find him there are wondering where he is and if his activities have ceased because of his 85 years. The fact is he is more active than ever and still looks to the years ahead as the most important years of his life.
In 1948, Walter Russell and his wife Lao Russell acquired a famous Italian Renaissance marble palace and sculpture gardens on a Virginia mountain top to devote the rest of their lives to the arts, to philosophy and science for the betterment of human relations and for the unfoldment of the inherent genius which lies within every man. Here are published all his books and music and here is to be found the great collection of his masterpieces in all of the arts, which she has gathered together as a memorial to her husband and as an inspiration to others.
Here also are the noted works of her own in philosophy and science, together with the books and sculpture which they have created together during the past ten years. Thousands journey every year to this mountain-top shrine where guides conduct them through the rooms filled with the works of both Walter and Lao Russell. Behind this palace are the gardens, adorned with their sculpture — his four Freedoms and the towering statue of the Christ of the Blue Ridge which Lao Russell conceived and they collaborated to produce. Perhaps the crowning sculptural achievement of their lives will be The Sermon on the Mount, which they are working on together when their busy lives give them time for inspirational creation.
Walter and Lao Russell have written a one-year Home Study Course in Universal Law, Natural Science and Philosophy which has girdled the world and inspired many with new knowledge of man’s relation to man, to God, and to the universe. This Home Study Course was written as a means for spreading throughout the world their teachings of the Light within man.
1 - we go seeking
All my life I have been looking for a man who has discovered the universal law which lies back of the Sermon on the Mount, and who consciously uses that law with full awareness of its meaning, and full obedience to its principles.
Tens of thousands preach it or write about it, yet have little understanding of its meaning. I doubt if there are many men in the whole world who actually Know that cosmic basis sufficiently to live it knowingly.
If I could find such a man, I thought to myself, he would be so cosmically aware of the Light of God that he would know the spiritual Cause of all Effect. Such a one would be a super-genius, for the hidden secrets of the universe would be his. He would see the universe as a whole and know his relationship to it, and to God. All knowledge of Cause would be his, and also the power to use it.
One day Dr. Alexis Carrel sent word he wanted to see me. “The world is facing an awful crisis,” he said. “The very future of humanity is at stake. Mankind can be saved only by a group of men who are so centered in God at the Source that their wisdom is a part of the all-Wisdom, and therefore so conscious of the cosmos and so integrated at the center that they will be able to think clearly in many fields and not be limited to one field alone. Such a group of men, if they could find each other out, and share their wisdom, might be able to chart a course that could save the world. Can you help me find such men?”
In the field of religion I had found several such men. Rufus Jones I would place at the head of the list, followed by such men as Frank Laubach and E. Stanley Jones and perhaps a score of others. The fact that all these men are so humble that they would shrink from making such claims for themselves is added proof that they deserve this honor that I would here bestow upon them.
However, Dr. Carrel was urging me to find a man outside the field of applied religion but who had achieved success in several fields as business or engineering or the arts.
“If that is what you want,” I replied, “I would name Dr. George Washington Carver first of all.”
He accepted this suggestion with enthusiasm. I named others but he brought me back to Dr. Carver.
“Help me to contact that man,” he said. “Something inside tells me that he rings true.”
It was with great joy that I was able to bring Dr. Carrel and Dr. Carver together. Weeks ran into weeks and years into years, and Dr. Carrel continued his search for cosmic conscious men. Finally the Second World War started. Then Dr. Carver died, and at last one day word came from France that Dr. Carrel was dead. But his dream had not died. I am still looking for men who are so conscious of the spiritual source of all creation that their wisdom is a part of the All Wisdom.
“Find that man,” an Inner Voice kept saying to me, “and you will find an inspiration for all others who wish to prepare themselves for more creative living in an age like this.”
And then by the goodness of God I was led to that man.
I had started a College, or Training School, the purpose of which was, first, to get people centered in God; second, to open avenues by which their wisdom could be seen to be a part of the All-Wisdom; and third, to trace the relationships underlying all sciences and arts and philosophies so that the students could think clearly in many fields and not be limited to one alone.
As I traveled about the country, one day a person said to me, “There is a man who illustrates in his own life all that you have been teaching. Walter Russell. Haven’t you heard of him?” No, I had not even heard of him. Months later another person said, “Everything you say about the need of integrating one’s knowledge and knowing the Source from which it comes, is beautifully illustrated by a man I know. Walter Russell. Have you ever met him?”
“I have heard of him,” I replied, “but I have never met him.”
“I shall bring him to you. I shall see that he attends your talk tonight.”
2 - we meet the man
I knew by the cut of the Van Dyke beard that I was talking to an artist. I could tell by the broad brow and profound depth in his eyes that I was talking to a philosopher. His efficient, vital way of speaking revealed in him a man of action. There was, besides, a light in his eye that showed that he was capable of great inspirations – that he lived close to the Great Unseen Powers of the Universe.
It was not long afterwards that I found my way to his studio in Carnegie Hall. Here is where he lived and worked. The studio itself was large, and positively alive with statuary and paintings that had come from his hand. There was a life-like bust of Thomas Edison, which was the first piece of sculpture Mr. Russell had ever done. Further on were two busts of Franklin Roosevelt, one made before and one after Pearl Harbor. The latter had just been recently unveiled in Hyde Park, and replicas of it sent to every member of President Roosevelt’s last Cabinet. Scores of famous men such as Victor Herbert, Thomas Edison, Hudson Maxim, John Philip Sousa, Sir Thomas Lipton, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Mark Twain, Dan Beard, General Douglas MacArthur, and Colin Kelly looked down upon us with clear, understanding eyes. I have never known of a sculptor who could make eyes as expressive as does Walter Russell.
“Most sculptors make the mistake,” he said, “of thinking of eyes as form and they therefore make them as spherical surfaces. Eyes are not forms, they are transparent, and what one really sees is the light of the soul in them — and that is what I try to give them. Until a sculptor is able to see the soul through the eyes his portrait is merely a portrait of flesh and blood.
My attention was quickly absorbed by his two masterpieces: the Mark Twain Memorial, with Mark Twain seated in the center, and the characters from his books standing around him; and the Four Freedoms, which he had created at President Roosevelt’s request, with the hope that it would eventually be placed in Potomac Park in Washington, where the Navy Hospital now stands. On the table lay a scrapbook containing scores of newspaper and magazine clippings describing the scientific discoveries he had made. Another scrapbook contained his clippings of the twenty million dollars worth of buildings he had planned and built. Near by was a beautiful, hand bound book of autographs of famous visitors to his studio, such as Caruso, Ysaye, Elbert Hubbard, Paderewski, Gabrilowitsch, Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Harding Davis, King Albert of Belgium, and hundreds of others.
In three bound volumes were cellophane-protected letters from the great of the world, such as Rudyard Kipling, John Masefield, George Bernard Shaw, the Duke of Bedford, Cordell Hull, Jesse Jones, Thomas Edison, Michael Pupin, Robert Millikan, Charles Kettering, Lee de Forest, and hundreds of statesmen, authors, scientists, and geniuses in all the arts. He has been told that one letter from Rudyard Kipling, congratulating him on his Mark Twain Memorial, was the last letter ever written by him.
In a locked case were contained the manuscripts of a massive masterpiece of philosophy which he is completing for New Age thinking and practice in all human relations, and a still greater work on the science of the future, to be called This Light-Wave Universe. Both of these volumes will be ready late in 1946. He has been working upon them for twenty-five years, releasing bits of them occasionally, to the consternation of the entire scientific world.
“Why have you set 1946 as the date of their publication?” I asked. “And why has it taken so long to write them?”
“The world has not been prepared to accept or even comprehend the new cosmology until now,” he answered, “nor has it been willing or ready to accept the New Age philosophy. The world needed to suffer in order to understand the simplest of universal principals, the unity of man with man and with God. The world of men had to reap the harvest of its seeds of hate, selfishness as greed it had been sowing for centuries. It had to reap this harvest in order to learn that universal law is inevitable and inescapable.
“The time element was not set by me, but by the Source from Whom I gain my knowledge and receive my most detailed and explicit instructions. That date was written down by me in May of 1921, at which time I was fully informed of the world carnage which was to take place during the interim as the harvest of the seeds of greed and selfishness which the world had been sowing.”
There was tremendous modesty in the man as he spoke, a quietness and dignity. There was simplicity and honesty and unselfconsciousness, and a tremendous peace. I could see at once that if I could find the secret of his power, I would have something to give to the world that would be priceless.
When we had seated ourselves in the midst of his pictures and statues I turned to him.
“Can you give me the secret of your life?” I asked.
He hesitated, then replied.
“Yes, I believe sincerely that every man has consummate genius within him. Some appear to have it more than others only because they are aware of it more than others are, and the awareness or unawareness of it is what makes each one of them into masters or holds them down to mediocrity. I believe that mediocrity is self inflicted and that genius is self bestowed.
Every successful man I ever have known, and I have known a great many, carries with him the key which unlocks that awareness and lets in the universal power that has made him into a master.”
“What is that key?” I asked.
“That key is desire when it is released into the great eternal Energy of the universe.”
“Can you explain more fully what you mean by that?”
“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.”
“Successful men of all the ages have learned to multiply themselves by gathering thought energy into a high potential and using it in the direction of the purpose intended. Every successful man or great genius has three particular qualities in common. The most conspicuous of these is that their minds grow more brilliant as they grow older, instead of less brilliant. Great men’s lives begin at forty, where the mediocre man’s life ends. The genius remains an ever-flowing fountain of creative achievement until the very last breath he draws. The geniuses have learned how to gather thought energy together to use for transforming their conceptions into material forms. The thinking of creative and successful men is never exerted in any direction other than that intended. That is why great men produce a prodigious amount of work, seemingly without effort and without fatigue. The amount of work such men leave to posterity is amazing. When one considers such men of our times as Edison, Henry Ford or Theodore Roosevelt, one will find the three characteristics I have mentioned common to every one of them.”
Walter Russell has proven this in his own life. His record of production would reveal a versatility, quality and volume which would be creditable as the life’s work of at least five men, and this equally applies to the sports of fun of life as to its work. He claims he has never known fatigue while obeying the law, but when he does break it he feels a sense of guilt in discovering the slightest evidence of fatigue which tells him that he has broken it.
“Do you mean to say you never get tired?” I queried.
“What is it that gets tired?” he asked. “Can energy tire or become fatigued? Certainly not, for all energy is the thought-energy of the universal Creative Force and that never lessens. The Universal Intelligence is constant and forever balanced.
“Can Intelligence fatigue? Most certainly not, for that is as constant as the universal energy which manifests it. Therefore, there is no such thing as the mind becoming tired.
“What is it then, that makes us say we are tired? Only one thing, an unbalanced body, nothing more. If we think we are tired or ill, it is only because we have done something to unbalance the bodily conductivity of the universal electric current which motivates it. So long as any machine, organic or inorganic, holds to the balanced tempo of its own normalcy of measured rhythm, just so long as it obeys the periodic law which gives it a normalcy or work and rest in the inorganic machine, or wakefulness and sleep in the organic one, and just so long as it replaces its worn-out organic or inorganic parts, that machine is as certain to go through its normal balanced life period without fatigue or illness as the sun is sure to reappear on the morrow.
“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.
“The electric energy which motivates us is not within our bodies at all. It is a part of the universal supply which flows through us from the Universal Source with an intensity set by our desires and our will.
“The greatest part of the energy which we have stored for the use of our precious day is often gone before ten o’clock in the morning. Not so with geniuses and successful men. They know how to work without waste of energy. In order to get the best that is within themselves they learn to eliminate from their thoughts and actions everything which subtracts from their purposes. These lessons come to all of us, but with a big majority they go in one ear and out of the other. The great man, however, learns that every event and experience of his life affects every other event and experience he encounters. He learns not to attribute a failure or success of this moment upon this moment alone, but to all moments of his life.
“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.”
3 - we meet the artist
Any reader who has listened in on this conversation this long must be getting impatient to learn more about the life of this remarkable man. Therefore we will give both you and Mr. Russell a rest while I take time to sketch the main outlines of his life and career.
He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, May 19, 1871. He attended village school until nearly ten, then, because of family reverses, was put to work.
He got a job as a cash boy in a dry-goods store, drawing a munificent salary of $2.50 weekly and walking six miles a day to and from work. But down deep in his heart he knew that we all have the same promise of the unlimited help of the Universal Intelligence that guides all things. If we want it, we only have to plug into it with the master key of desire and trust. From that day his life has been one continuous proof and fulfillment of that faith.
A musician from infancy, he secured a church organist’s position at thirteen, and entered art school. He has been entirely self-supporting and self-educated since then.
When he was taken out of school and put to work it did not make him bitter. In fact, he considered it one of the most fortunate things that ever happened to him. For thus he escaped encylopedical educational systems of information-cramming and memory-testing which filled other children’s lives until they were twenty-five. He used his precious youth to find out the secret mysteries of his inner Self. His whole life has been used in the search for the real Self and the relation of this real Self to the selective universe of which he knows himself to be a vital part. These secrets which Nature whispered to him for the asking have not only given him a deep insight into what he terms “Man-the-Unseen as genius or as Deity itself,” but have helped him to know her creative principles so surely that he began to follow them even in his youth with as rigid an adherence to the law which governs all creation as is humanly possible.
When he was fifteen years old and working his way through art school by means of a job that brought him $12.00 a week, the girl he was going with announced that the opera company was coming to the city to present a series of grand operas. “I want you to take me to the opera,” she said. “That is exactly what I am planning to do,” he replied. He meant that he was planning to take her to one performance, but she thought that he was going to take her to all the performances. The cost for the entire series was $79.60, a sum that he had not anticipated seeing for several years!
“The entire series!” he exclaimed. “That is impossible!”
“Did you say impossible?” she replied. “You are the last person in the world I would ever expect to hear say that word.”
He took her remark to heart. When the time came for the opera series to begin he found himself standing at the end of a long line of people waiting to purchase tickets with $6.00 in his pocket but with absolute faith in his heart that before he reached the window he would have the $79.60 necessary to purchase the entire series.
He stood in line all night in order to get a good place. In the morning a man said to him, “Sonny, would you like to make $5.00?”
“Yes, sir, how?” he asked.
“By selling me your place in the line so I can get to my office by nine,” the man replied.
Quick as a flash he replied, “I’ll do better for you than that. Give me the money and I will deliver the tickets to you.”
Without even asking his name, the man gave him the money and his address, and he put it down in a notebook. Holding the money between his fingers and with the notebook and pencil in hand, looking like a bookmaker at the races, he became a magnet drawing scores of people to him. By the time he reached the box office he had the amount necessary for the entire series for his sweetheart and himself, and $110.00 in excess, enough to carry him through months of school. The strange thing was that no one even asked his name or address! When one trusts this inner universal power it automatically draws forth the trust of the people one deals with.
One summer he took a job as a bellboy in one of the hotels. The salary was only $8.00 a month, but he was told that the tips that bellboys receive amounted to $100.00 in a season. When the first tip was offered him, however, something deep down within him would not let him take it. Stammeringly he said, “No thank you, sir,” and fled. He went down to his retreat in the cellar and tried to probe why that inner voice had spoken to him thus. Then suddenly he had a great vision.
“I’ll be the only bellboy in existence who never took a tip!” he exclaimed. “And I’ll be the best bellboy the world ever knew. I’ll pledge myself to give the most joyful and cheerful service that a bellboy ever gave!”
From that moment he responded to every request with the alacrity of a steel trap. He ran his legs off for everybody. He got up at five o’clock every morning to procure cow’s milk for a baby that needed special care, and then went back to bed again. When asked why he did not take tips he replied, “I receive a salary, and I love my work.”
The guests were simply overwhelmed by it. They invited him to dinner parties and yachting trips and when the management explained that it was against the rules for servants to have social relations with guests, those people of influence said they would never go back again to that hotel if they didn’t break a rule for him. So he had a wonderful summer.
During his spare time he did sketching and painting. The guests became deeply interested in his work and at the end of the season instead of $100.00 from tips he had received checks amounting to $850.00 for his pictures, and five offers of legal adoption in wealthy families, in one of which there were already three badly spoiled boys. The people to whom he brought ice-water became his life-long friends, and from them and friends of theirs he received many commissions for painting after he became famous in that field. And he went to the wedding of the baby he brought milk for!
“I have absolute faith,” he asserts over and over again, “that anything can come to the one who trusts to the unlimited help of the Universal Intelligence that is within so long as one works within the law and always gives more to others that they expect, and does it cheerfully and courteously.”
He early discovered that wealth may be more of a handicap than a help because the comforts and luxuries it can give sidetrack one’s desire for a successful life and develop instead a desire for ease. At any rate, none of the boys in the art academies in which he studies who had wealth amounted to much of anything. It is those who started with the realization that they must get to the top themselves because of their own initiative, who have succeeded.
Because of his versatility and love of doing many things at a time he developed the feeling that he had five lives within his one. Each one of them, he said, seemed to be crying for recognition and the right to manifest itself. His life seemed to be divided into epochs of from five to twenty years each. Each new life became a transition from the one preceding it.
Music, for example, financed his necessities for the five years of his art school days. He got $7.50 a week for playing a church organ at thirteen years of age, $2.00 a week for playing the piano at Friday evening prayer meetings, he taught music at 50 cents a lesson, although he himself had but three months of musical instruction, and during one summer he conducted a three-piece orchestra at a summer hotel.
During this period Paderewski accidentally heard him play some of his compositions. Thirty years later, at a distinguished gathering of musicians in the studio of Sig. Buzzi-Peccia, in honor of the Maestro Gatti-Gazazza, Paderewski insisted that he play a certain one of his compositions, a waltz. Reluctantly he played it, and Buzzi-Peccia wrote it into manuscript. Thus this one waltz is the only one of his many compositions which has ever been recorded, except for a series of five which he sold for $100.00 to another musician to use under his own name.
In his second transition he was an illustrator for books and magazines. From 1897 to 1898 he was an Art Editor of Collier’s 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 honorable mention from Italy, then exhibited throughout Europe, winning him many honors from France, Belgium and Spain, including membership to the Spanish Academy of Arts and Letters, Toledo. Portrait painting majored during the third transition. His principal instructors in art had been Albert Munsell and Ernest Major of Boston; Howard Pyle of Philadelphia; and Jean Paul Lauren, Academy Julian, Paris. At first he specialized in children.
He painted the children of notables all over the country, including the children of President Theodore Roosevelt, Governor Ames of Massachusetts, Thomas Lawson and many others. At the zenith of his fame as a child specialist, he was commissioned by the Ladies’ Home Journal to select (and tour America to paint) the twelve most beautiful children in the country.In 1914 he ceased painting children and then executed many portraits of notables, including Archbishop Corrigan, Bishop Alexander C. Garrett, Sir Thomas Lipton, Hudson Maxim, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Alexander Revell, Clayton Sedgewick Cooper and many others.
During this period he wrote The Bending of the Twig, Age of Innocence, The Universal One, The Russell Genero-Radiative Concept, Salutation to the Day, The Sea Children and delivered hundreds of lectures.
The biggest things he ever has done in his life have been done without preparation. He never, for example, studied architecture. He has a strong desire to build better studio buildings for artists and so he designed a building for them. He designed and built twenty million dollars’ worth of buildings in the City of New York, such as the Hotel des Artistes on West 67th Street which is known the world over, the first Hotel Pierre occupying a whole Park Avenue block between 48th and 49th Streets, Alwyn Court at 58th and Seventh Avenue, and the beautiful Gothic studio building opposite the Museum of Natural History on 79th Street, which he built upon quicksand which cost him three hundred thousand dollars to conquer. He designed and brought into usage the duplex studio apartment idea which has been widely emulated every since.
He also financed the buildings and sold all of the stock and even devised the legal possiblity of making a sound economic principle out of an idea which was deemed unsound before. It was the principle of cooperative ownership, which for many succeeding years was acknowledged as a sound economic principle throughout the world.
He conceived that principal. Lawyers said it couldn’t be done and the real estate men and bankers said it was ridiculous. He showed them the soundness of the principle even though he knew nothing of man-made law or finance. He knew Universal Law, however, and applied that law of balance in nature to man’s law and thus created an epoch in New York real estate dealings. He had a very hard time in procuring the first loan, but after four or five buildings had been erected, every financial institution in the city offered him all the money he wanted and he built many notable buildings on that principle.
Real estate ‘operators’ then came along and destroyed the principle. They violated the universal law of balance between give and take. They looked at the product and the profit as the reality instead of upon the thought which created the product. They ‘milked’ every operation for themselves and left only a liability for their cooperative clients. The result is that every cooperative building that he erected is profitable even today, and some of them are forty-five years old, while practically all of those in which business men varied the principle to make more profit are failures. Short-sightedly they killed a wonderful market and wrecked a cosmic idea by increasing their immediate profits at the expense of their future ones. Incidentally in doing this they caused losses of many millions to investors who relied upon them.
Then came the transition to sculpture at fifty-six years of age. His change from painting to sculpture cameabout purely because of an accident. He had been a painter all his life, and never had handled clay. He had become elected President of the Society of Arts and Sciences, and they were to give a medal to Edison. The artist who was to have done the portrait-sculpturing for the medal failed them. So Walter Russell got some clay and wired to Mrs. Edison that he would go and do it himself.
To do such a thing as that, which required a sudden change of medium from a familiar one to which the automatic reflexes of the body had been trained, to an unfamiliar one which required new skills, was like a violinist suddenly changing his instrument to a piano.
“It was very unwise for me to do, perhaps, because with such a great man as Edison as my subject, I might not have survived a failure,” her remarked. “But I never let the thought of failure enter my mind. My knowledge of my unity with the Universal One and the fact that I must do this thing, and the inspired belief that I should do it as a demonstration of my belief in man’s unlimited power, made me ignore the difficulties that lay in the way.
“So I went to Florida with a mass of clay, but on my way down I spent the entire time absorbed in inspirational meditation with the Universal Source of all inspiration, in order to fully realize the omnipotence of the Self within me as a preparation for doing in a masterly way what I would otherwise be unable to do. “The result was one of the greatest mile posts in my career.”
“If I had followed the usual procedure of the superficially-minded man and played bridge all the way down to Florida, or otherwise enslaved my mind by sidetracking it from its creative purpose in order to entertain that great aggregation of sensed corpuscles which I call my body, instead of approaching this mountainous hurdle with reverence and insulation of mind from body demands, I know I would have failed. In fact, I knew in advance, from long experience in trying to achieve the unachievable, that meditation and communion between my Self and the Universal Self was the only way to achieve that impossibility.
“The communion which I have just described is the creative thinking process of all super-thinkers. It has nothing whatsoever of the sense reflexes of the complexly organized body which we so often mistake for thinking.”
Other portrait busts immediately followed, including Cass Gilbert, Leopold Godowsky, Joan of Arc, Colette D’Arville, Thomas J. Watson, George Gershwin, Here-ward Carrington and the colossal bust of Charles Goodyear, a fragment from his monument erected in Akron, Ohio, to that great discoverer.
Mr. Russell had only made the change from painting to sculpture a few years when he was commissioned to do a monument of Mark Twain with twenty-eight figures. To paint one figure two-dimensionally is difficult; but to do two isn’t just twice as hard, it is four times as hard. It increases as of the square. In sculpture, which is three-dimensional, the difficulty increases as of the cube, and it is eight times as difficult. He had never done a monument and to undertake this was a bit of insolence so far as the sculptural world was concerned. Other great sculptors said, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. No one has ever done a successful group of twenty-eight figures.” It was another proof of Mr. Russell’s conviction that one could create any product he desired to create if he started doing it with knowledge of the underlying principles of balance which is fundamental in all things, and with the feeling of certainty that he can do it, for he is not alone in that task; the whole universe is working with him to help him continue the orderly growth of the WHOLE, of which his little part of the structure is as necessary as any big part.
He never asked God to give him the power to do anything, for he already knew that he had that power. What he asked for in his wordless, inspirational communion was to keep forever aware of that universal Omnipotence within him.
If ever he felt the slightest indication of fears arising at crucial moments he knew that his awareness was lessening. The he would say in words, “O God, stand by, I need Thee,” for he well knew that fears arise from lack of awareness of universal omnipotence in men and failures arise from these fears.
The Mark Twain bust so pleased Rudyard Kipling, John Masefield, George Bernard Shaw and other English authors, that they caused the British Government to invite a copy to be placed in Victoria Embankment Gardens.
When the war broke out Mr. Russell was commissioned to make the bust of Colin Kelly, the first war hero, for the Colin Kelly Memorial at Madison, Florida, dedicated by the Governor of the State.
Next he created a group of four figures representing Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear, which he designed and interpreted from a concept expressed by the late Franklin D. Roosevelt in the following words: “Four angles with upraised protecting wings, facing the four points of the compass, would be my conception of a world symbol.” This was dedicated at the Women’s International Exposition of Arts and Industries, in Madison Square Garden, New York, on November 22, 1943, by Mrs. Harold V. Milligan, Commander of the Field of Army of the National Cancer Hospital, in the presence of the Women’s Auxiliary of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Mr. Russell is a great believer in versatility in all creative work. In any physical work he believes one can work many hours at a time, but in mental, creative work he believes one can do his best only for two hours at a time on any one subject, but he can work another two hours on another subject with equal freshness. He therefore sometimes works two hours a day on each of five different creations, “and in that way I can live five lives at a time,” he says.
He also believes that every man should be master of anything he does, do it in a masterly manner and love it, no matter what it is, whether hard physical work, menial or boring work, or inspirational work.
This is fundamental with him. He believes it to be the reason for his perfect health and great physical strength throughout his entire life. With an overwhelming desire for intensive expression and a love of all tasks of every nature, and a deep love of life, and of all people and things in life, he believes that every person can remain vital and effervescent throughout one’s entire life.
He most certainly demonstrates that principle in his own life, for he is one of the most effervescent men I have ever met. His voice has the vibrant ring of a man of forty.
He has made his living creditably in all of the five arts, music, architecture, painting and sculpture, and conspicuously in two of them. He has also made great discoveries in science and has gained an international reputation as a philosopher and lecturer upon ethical human relations.
4 - we meet the man of action
For many years he lectured upon the philosophy of life, self-multiplication of the individual, and ethical principles in business, to the officers and salesmen of International Business Machines Corporation, in the effort to build a finer race of manhood through greater comprehension of the Light of omniscience which is in all men awaiting their awareness of it. During these years he shook the very foundations of the “caveat emptor” principle which was in common usage when he began to infiltrate the Sermon on the Mount principles into big business. In his first lecture to this great organization he told its directors that he was utterly shocked at the two slogans which were then the very fundamentals of business. These were: “Let the purchaser beware” and “The sale is the only thing that counts.”
In those early days there was a general opinion that a business man could not be honest and make money or be successful. “Business is business,” was the slogan, with the connotation that no matter how sharp your practice it was all right if you did it legally.
“That is the jungle philosophy of every man for himself,” commented Mr. Russell. “It can no longer be practiced in the business world for it works against natural law. The future of great business lies in man’s comprehension of the principle of Balance in Natural Law and his determination to work WITH it instead of against it.
“The underlying principle of Balance in Nature’s One Law is equality of interchange between the pairs of opposites in any transaction in Nature. That principle must eventually be observed by big business, and the go-getter salesman who selfishly thinks that the sale he makes is the only thing that counts is not giving equally for what he takes.
Therefore, I say, that equal interchange of goods and service between buyer and seller is the keynote of tomorrow’s business world when the vision of the modern business man awakens him to the wisdom of writing that policy into his code of ethics.”
Thus it was that he was enables to sow the first seeds of his philosophy of achievement in a large way in a field of business.
Even in his pleasures and in the distasteful tasks alike he carried out that principle of demanding masterliness of himself in all things. In skating, for example, he brought the best instructors of the world here under his own personal subsidy to improve his already skilled art of figure-skating and to encourage the art in this country. For this purpose he organized the New York Skating Club, became its first president, gave the first four carnivals which are now one of the great annual Madison Square Garden features, that brought the fine art of figure skating to a high point.
During this period he passed the high tests which automatically would give him the National Amateur championship, but did not even claim it. He has skated with the greatest of professionals from the days of the spectacular “Charlotte” up to the present day. At the request of the Hippodrome management he skated a single and double program one night with Charlotte, “just for fun” as he said.
At forty-nine years of age he skated a programme for Pathe News at Lake Placid, with the then national woman champion, Beatrice Loughlin. For several years he was one of the judges in the Lake Placid figure skating contests. He represented the United States as judge at the international contest for the Duke of Connaught trophy in Ottawa, and at the night carnival led the grand march with the Duchess of Devonshire.
At sixty-nine he won three first prizes in figure skating against competitors all under thirty. He still skates at Radio City and at the various private skating clubs.
For many years he was an ardent and skilled horseman. Desiring to be “tops” he obtained the world’s best instructors and became so skilled in the art that he trained black stallions for “high school” such as one sees at the circus. Seven to nine every morning found him in the ring at Durland’s riding Academy, working with tremendous enthusiasm upon one or more of the famous Arabian stallions which were a part of the twenty-seven Arabian horses which he kept at Oyster Bay for years to cross-breed with Henry Clay stock with the intent of producing an American type equal to, or better than, the famous Orloff Russian type. Four o’clock to six every day found him riding black Arabian stallions in Central Park, always black stallions. After setting such a standard he would never ride an inferior horse.
He became possessor of these horses through the habit of exchanging horses while riding with President Theodore Roosevelt. The owner of the Huntington Stud in Oyster Bay was only too glad to let the President and his artist friend exercise his wonderful stallions!
The artist became enamored of one name Black Diamond, and another pure bay of the Anazeh tribe of Arabia named Khaled. He offered Mr. Huntington five thousand dollars for either one, but the breeder said he would sell all or none. He bought them all at fifty thousand dollars.
An hour later the President was so concerned at what he called Mr. Russell’s impetuosity that he wanted to go to Mr. Huntington personally and ask for a return of the ten thousand dollar deposit check and cancel the deal.
“What in heaven’s name,” said the President, “will you do with them? Where will you keep them? You will have to buy oats by the carload, and they will eventually break you as they did Mr. Huntington.”
“I bought the place also, house and forty acres. I have also arranged to keep all his help, and I will place a fine man whom I know in charge. It won’t take much of my time, and will interest me immensely,” was Mr. Russell’s reply.
Years later he disposed of the horses for as high as fifteen thousand dollars for one horse, and the property value increased so greatly that his losses were practically voided by his gains. In telling me of it he said, “That was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I wouldn’t have missed it for a million.”
He carried out this principle even in his distasteful tasks. There should be no distasteful tasks in one’s life, he said. If you “just hate to do a thing” that hatred for it develops body-destructive toxins and you become fatigued very soon.
“You must love anything you must do. Do it not only cheerfully but lovingly and the very best way you know how. That love of the work which you must do anyhow, will vitalize your body and keep you from fatigue.”
At his splendid country home he often had to mow the lawns himself, a task which he disliked. In order to make it interesting he developed patterns and designs in the grass as he cut it, then gradually eliminated the patterns with regret that the game had to come to an end. That was his method of transforming work into play.
In his written philosophy are these words: “A menial task which must be mine, that shall I glorify and make an art of it.”
“What about defeat? Have you ever failed in anything?” I asked.
“Oh gracious, yes!” he replied. “I have had my share of what one calls defeat and in plenty. I have made and lost fortunes and seen great plans of mine topple through my own errors of judgment or through other causes. In the panic of 1907 I lost three hundred thousand dollars.
In the Miami fiasco I lost ten thousand dollars a month retainer on architectural contracts for designing over eighty million dollars worth of mass structures for Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Cocoanut Grove and other Florida resorts. Two of these were complete civic centers and one of these included seven miles of beach near Jacksonville.
But I do not recognize these as defeats. They are but interesting experiences of life. They are valuable stepping stones to success. Defeat is a condition which one must accept in order to give it reality. I refuse to give it reality by accepting it. In my philosophy I have written these words: ‘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 will give to me the bitter cup, it will sweeten in the drinking.’
“One of the most heart-rending so-called defeats I have ever experienced was in my youth. At twenty-eight years of age I had painted an extremely ambitious allegory entitled ‘The Might of the Ages’ to symbolize the power of thought in the making of civilization. I had visioned great things arising from its exhibition at the National Academy. Much to my consternation of the Academy rejected it, whereupon the plenipotentiaries of the King of Italy accidentally saw it at my dealers and invited it exempt from jury as a representative American picture at the Turin International Exposition of Art to be held in 1900 in commemoration of the Twentieth Century. This aroused nation-wide criticism of the National Academy for not encouraging its own. The picture was exhibited in other European cities and gave me several honorable mentions, a membership to the Spanish Academie of Arts and Letters, a decoration (one of those scarlet ribbon things which I have lost long ago) and the pleasure of a personal visit from King Albert of Belguim to my studio in New York to again see that picture.
“How can one call that a defeat? There is not such a thing.”
“What is the great passion of your life?” I asked.
“Beauty,” he replied without hesitation. “Beauty and worthiness to live life as a masterful interpreter of theLight.”
“What do you mean by Beauty?” I asked.
“Perfection of rhythm, balanced perfection of rhythm. Everything in Nature is expressed by rhythmic waves oflight. 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.”
In his life philosophy this principle is stated as follows: “I will see beauty and goodness in all things. From all that is unlovely shall my vision be immune.”
Mr. Russell is now on the eve of his last transitional epoch in which he will major in science and philosophy, but will never quite give up either painting, music or sculpture.
He pioneered in foreseeing two of the greatest discoveries of modern times – the isotopes of hydrogen, which led to the discovery of heavy water, and the two new elements used in the atomic bomb. He announced the complexity of hydrogen to a body of distinguished scientists years before the truth of his statement was verified. But it is the atomic bomb that will prove to be the earth-shaking, epoch-making discovery of the future. The two newly discovered elements which formed the basis of the atomic bomb, called Neptunium and Plutonium, were published in his charts of the elements in 1926. He named them Uridium and Urium. He also predicted that if ever discovered the pressures of this planet would not be sufficient to hold them together.
“It is almost humorous to speak of ‘guarding the secret, locking it up in American and British archives,’” was his comment. “Knowledge cannot be locked up. It is cosmic and wide open to every thinker, and limited only to his knowledge. And there is enough new knowledge right in this country today to make this present value of atomic secrecy worthless in a very few years.”
When asked to give some clues as to this new knowledge which could harness the new discovery for common usage, he stated that we must reverse all electro-chemical practice by ceasing to rely upon substance primarily and electricity secondarily. “In fact,” he said, “it is better practically to forget substance, for the varying pressures of electricity in different sections of the wave alone determines the variations of substance and perform all the miracles of the laboratory of Nature, as well as that of the chemist. The number of electrons and protons has nothing whatsoever to do with the determination of difference in the elements, as commonly believed.
“That which man calls matter, or substance, has no existence whatsoever. So-called matter is but waves of the motion of light, electrically divided into opposed pairs, them electrically conditioned and patterned into what we call various substances of matter. Briefly put, matter is but the motion of light, and motion is not substance. It only appears to be. Take motion away and there would not be even the appearance of substance.
“Electricity manufactures all of the qualities and attributes of light in wave motion which we think of as substance. Density, alkalinity, acidity, conductivity, pressures of heat and cold, and even appearance is given to waves of light by the two electrical workers which build up the universe and tear it apart in polarized fields measured out by the two magnetic surveyors which keep all electric actions in balance with their reactions.
“And you pick up one of these products of wave motion and say, ‘This is a piece of steel,’ or ‘This is an apple’ without the slightest realization that sudden withdrawal of the electric power which brought that state of motion into being would blow you and it, and a mile or more around you, into nothingness of the equilibrium from which you were electrically assembled.
“And that is what radio-activity is, a quick return to the state of rest which underlies the spiritual or invisible universe. And that is what a lightning flash is, as contrasted to a flame which is slower to return, or to decay which is a still slower return.
“And so,” said Mr. Russell, “our creative thinkers in the laboratories of the world must look primarily to light, which is the foundation of the universe, and to the wave, within which the secrets of creation lie, and to what electricity does with light, and to the why of it, and to the why of energy electrically expressed instead of to substance, to perform tomorrow’s miracles.”
“Tell me how you acquired your scientific knowledge,” I asked. “You say you never studied physics and have ready but few books in your life.”
“It is because I always looked for the CAUSE behind things and didn’t fritter away my time analyzing EFFECTS,” he replied. “ALL KNOWLEDGE EXISTS as CAUSE. And it is simple. It is limited to LIGHT of MIND and the electric wave of motion which records God’s thinking in matter.
“EFFECT is complex-infinitely complex – but one can have no KNOWLEDGE of effect. One can but be INFORMED of effect. Information is not knowledge. Our educational processes INFORM us but until we have recognized the eternal truth which underlies that information we have no knowledge of it. Like food in the grocery store, it is not nourishment until it is converted to the blood stream. ALL-KNOWLEDGE is possible for anyone – and the Cosmos gives it to him who asks but all information is impossible.”
“Can you tell me the process by which this ALL-KNOWLEDGE came to you? Was it always a gradual process, the result of earnest, patient seeking, or was there a high point, a period of revelation or illumination?
Mr. Russell replied, “I will put it very simply. In May of 1921 God took me up into a high mountain of inspiration and intense ecstasy. A brilliant flash like lightning severed my bodily sensation from my consciousness and I found myself freed from my body and wholly in the Mind universe of Light, which is God.
“And then God said to me, ‘Behold thou the unity of all things in Light of Me, and the seeming separateness of all things in the two lights of my divided thinking. See thou that I, the Undivided, Unchanging One, am within all divided things, centering them, and I am without all changing things, controlling them.’
“And the secrets of the universe were unfolded to me in their great simplicity as the doors to the Light opened fully to my consciousness. In less time than it takes to put it into words, I knew all there was to know of the CAUSE of all effect, for there was very little to know. In that hour it was as though the infinity of complexity within the moving kaleidoscope were suddenly taken apart and it was shown to me that the entirety of its illusion was but three mirrors and a few bits of broken glass. Likewise the universal kaleidoscope was but moving mirror waves of dual light extending from their equilibrium in God from Whom all creating things spring in octave electric waves just as ocean’s waves spring from the calm sea.
“Thus knowing the static Light of God, and the two dynamic lights of His thinking, and the electric processes by means of which His thinking is recorded in ‘matter’ I at once had the key to all the sciences, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and mechanics, likewise all the underlying principles of creation; of life and the healing principle; of continuity in a universe in which there is no death; of energy which is not what man thinks it to be; and of matter which is not substance as man supposes it to be; and of the forces which act upon it which man has learned how to use somewhat but knows not the why of that which he uses.
“And likewise the mystery of the soul was mine to know; and of growth; and the patterns of things in the seeds of things; and the manner of their unfolding, and their repetition and their evolution.
“And the LAW was mine to know, the ONE LAW which governs all things extending from the Source through the universal pulse beat which motivates all things. And it was made known to me that I must extend knowledge of this law into all human relations to help remake the world in its new day which God has planned.
“For very many days and nights I was made to write down all these things which I knew in The Divine Iliad which is my record of my teachings while in the Light. And in that one volume of many thousands of words there was never an erasure nor correction; and the language of that divine message was not mine. I could never have written such rhythmic essence of knowledge, nor have created its exalted style.
“Thus I was made to see the universe as a whole and its simple principle of creation as one unit, repeated over and over, endlessly and without variation, as evidenced in the universal heart-beat to which every pulsing thing in the light-wave universe is geared to act as ONE UNIT OF ONE WHOLE.
“So simple is this underlying Principle of Creation that I have been enabled, throughout these years, to state it in one paragraph and one octave-wave diagram so simply that every law or theory ever propounded in the past or future by man can be tested by that paragraph and diagram. If they will not fit into this unitary principle they are outside of Natural Law and must be discarded. It will be found that most of even the most fundamental laws and theories of the past and present do not come anywhere near fitting into this underlying principle. They will, therefore, have to be discarded in favor of immortal Truth.
“And so it happened that I who had never had any school or university training above the primary grade, thus knew instantly, while in the Light, what all the universities in the world could never teach.
“By this rarest of all experiences ever to happen to any man, it was made known to me just what Jesus meant when He spoke of ‘the Light of the world.’ He meant just that, yet it has been misinterpreted as metaphor, or symbol.
“No greater proof than my experience is needed to prove to the doubting world that all knowledge exists in the Mind universe of Light – which is God-that all Mind is One Mind, that men do not have separate minds, and that all knowledge can be obtained from the Universal Source of All-Knowledge by becoming One with that Source.”
5 - the five laws of success
“When I am in this Studio I feel like Alice in Wonderland,” I remarked, when we were together again. “Are all these paintings and sculptured figures around me real, or will I awake and find they are the mere figments of my imagination? When I tell of your life to others, how can I convince them of the reality of all that you have produced in so many fields?”
“That brings up the question, ‘What is Reality?’” he replied. “Is that product of mine the reality, or is the thought which caused the product the reality? We all look in the direction of our product, thinking mistakenly that that thing which we have created is the real thing. But just stop for a minute and think. If you send a cablegram you write you thoughts in words. The thought of that cablegram is in your head. The words you write upon paper are symbols which are meaningless to anyone who cannot interpret those symbols into the thoughts which you had. You send that cablegram across a wire. Instead of words you now have other symbols, electric wave forms in a wire or in space, which are again transformed into dots and dashes on paper. Are any of those series of symbols the thought, or the reality? Have they any meaning in themselves, or have they meaning only in the mind of the person who finally interprets them?
“I say that the real substance of any product whatsoever is not in the product at all, but is only in the thought behind the product. The thought itself is never created; it is but given symbolic form. The thought belongs to the thinker, and to other thinkers who are capable of interpreting the symbolic form in which he expresses his thought. Thought and inspiration have no dimension whatsoever, they belong to the unseen and unseeable world.
Those things you and I produce, things which can be seen, felt, sold and bartered, have no meaning whatsoever excepting the meaning that people can give them by the ability of the original creative thinker to transfer his thoughts to other people, and by their ability to reflect the light of another thinker upon their own consciousness.
“As a general principle, you can see how that applies to everything in life, whether you are a salesman, a doctor, an artist or a business man. Therefore, to get back to the real substance of all things, you must get back to the thought world. Until one knows that the thought-energy is the cause which is back of all things, and the product only the effect, then he is tied to the effect and is limited by it. He belongs to the world of imitation and that world only. As an imitator his life processes of education have been parroting ones; he leans on others; he copies, but he does not create. But the person who truly knows this principle and lives it is one who creates by setting his knowledge in motion by means of thought-waves for the purpose of expressing his imaginings dynamically in thought form. Such a man realizes the only thing that he ever creates is the form of the thing, and if that form is true to the balance and rhythm of his inspired thought, then it is a true form with true balance and true rhythm, which will inspire others with that truth. Any man who thus thinks knows that his product is going to be a masterly creation before he starts it. And that is just as true of a sale as it is of an invention, a painting or of a monument!”
Mr. Russell explained that when he uses the words “thought-energy” he means the power we use to record the thought in form, but the energy is not the thought. Likewise “thought-waves” refer to the principle by means of which thought is recorded in light. But, again, the waves are not the thought. “Thought-forms” has reference to the product in forms which constitute this objective universe. But also the forms are not the thought.
“But how does one chip off the marble that doesn’t belong? How step down the Eternal Thought to its external Form?”
“That comes about through five things: humility, reverence, inspiration, deep purpose and joy.
“No great man has ever wise-cracked his way into greatness. Until one learns to lose one’s self he cannot find himself.
“No one can multiply himself by himself. He must first divide himself and give himself to the service of all, thus placing himself within all others through acts of thoughtfulness and service.
“The personal ego must be suppressed and replaced with the ‘universal ego.’ One must not be the part, one must be the whole. The ‘I’ must be forgotten. I had it. All men have it, and all pass through that stage.
“I once thought that greatness was the only thing worthwhile, but when I achieved it to some extent I found that I was not satisfied with it, because there was something beyond, so much higher, that all publicity and praise made me feel ashamed instead of proud, for I felt there was so much farther to go than I had gone. Early in life I found that to achieve greatness one had to go only one inch beyond mediocrity, but that one inch is so hard to go that only those who become aware of God in them can make the grade, for no one can achieve that one inch alone.
“When I arrived at the point where I received public acclaim I felt the most lowly, because I knew within myself that I had but begun to tap my inner resources. I knew that I had not yet achieved that one inch which would make of me a worthy messenger.
“To state it generally,” explained Mr. Russell, “no expression of anything is that which it expresses. The play is not the playwright–the paint is not the picture, the words are not the poem, nor is the poem the poet. Likewise, in the bigger sense, Creation is not the Creator–Creation is but the thinking of the Creator, and even the thinking of the Creator is not the Creator–it is but His extension, His imaging, His expression of All-Knowledge, All-Power and All-Presence.
“In this same sense we think our bodies are our real selves. Instead of that, our bodies are but the product of our imagings. They are merely machines which operate and are motivated by the thought-waves which spring from our consciousness as water waves spring from the calm sea. That thought energy is focused in our brains just as the spot of light is focused by a lens to become a more brilliant spot of light, gathered together from a large area into a point until it is strong enough to burn. Well, you feel that consciousness or that universal intelligence of space itself because of that sensation focused in your body which deceives you into believing that your body is you. Well, it isn’t. Your body is merely a machine made to express the thoughts that flow through you and nothing more. It is but an instrument for you to express your imagings just as a piano is an instrument for a musician to express his imagings. Just as the piano is not the musician so, likewise, your body is not you.”
“You say that the thought which flows through you,” I interrupted, “is itself never created; the thought belongs to the universe; it is only the form of the thought that is created?”
“Yes”. he replied. “I can go back to the answer which Rodin gave to Lillian Russell when she asked him if it would be very difficult to learn to be a great sculptor. ‘No, Madam,’ he replied, ‘it is not difficult. It is very simple. All you have to do is to buy a block of marble and knock off what you do not want.’”
“No one can make a sale, write a book or invent anything without first having that deep reverence which makes him know and feel that he is merely an interpreter of the thought-world, one who is creating a product of some kind to fit a purpose. If you always look toward the visible product, you merely look toward the effects of cause. If you look reverently in the inward direction toward your inner self you will be amazed at what you will find. If you are alone long enough to get thoroughly acquainted with yourself, you will hear whisperings from the universal source of all consciousness which will inspire you. These are actual messages, actual revelations, telling you, guiding you, showing you the way to the Source of the thought-world into the world of what we call creation to produce through your interpretations the images which crowd your mind which you do not see. You will soon find yourself using the cosmic forces which you also cannot see, instead of working blindly in the dark.
“I learned to cross the threshold of my studio with reverence, as though I were entering a shrine set apart for me to become co-creator with the Universal Thinker of all things.
“I do not say as I enter my studio, ‘I am a sculptor, I ought to be able to do that thing.’ Instead of that I say, ‘I am an interpreter who can think that thing within me which is worthy of being done.’ When I get that feeling, that rhythm, that meter, that measure which comes to me as an inspiration, then I know that I can produce it, and nobody under Heaven can tell me that I cannot produce it.
“Inspiration comes only to those who seek it with humility toward their own achievements and reverence toward the achievements of God. With love of your work, love of life and reverence for the universal force which gives you unlimited power for the asking, you may sit on the top of the world if you desire to sit there. Flashes of inspiration come only to those who plug in to the universe and become harmonious with its rhythms by communion with it. Inspiration and intuition is the language of Light through which men and God ‘intercommunicate.’ The universe does not bestow favors upon the few whom it seeks out as its interpreters. It is just the reverse. The universe gives to those who ask without favor. The electric plug which connects you is desire. Edison desired to be informed how to materialize his idea which gave us the electric light. Closely shut up within the temple of himself he got it a little at a time in flashes which gradually answered his appeal.
“Ask and you shall receive. You must, yourself, do the asking. In my philosophy is a passage which reads, “Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed.’
“Many have asked if I could more specifically direct them how to kindle that spark of inner fire which illumines the way to one’s self. That I cannot do. I can merely point the way and tell you of its existence. You must then find it for yourself. The only way you can find it is through being alone with your thoughts at sufficiently long intervals to give that inner voice within you a chance to cry out in distinguishable language to you, ‘Here I am within you.’ That is the silent voice, the voice of nature, which speaks to everyone who will listen.
“Lock yourself up in your room or go out in the woods where you can be alone. When you are alone the universe talks to you in flashes of inspiration. You will find that you will suddenly know things which you never knew before. All knowledge exists in the God-Mind and is extended into this electrical universe of creative expression through desire. Knowledge is yours for the asking. You have but to plug into it. You do not have to learn anything, in fact, all you have to do is recollect it, or recognize it, for you already have it as your inheritance.”
In his inspired book, The Divine Iliad he states this principle in the following words:
As the dawn telleth the coming of the new day:
I turn my eyes to the morning and purge myself in the purity of the dawn.
My soul quickeneth with the beauty of the dawn.
Today is, and will be.
Yesterday was, and has been.
My yesterday is what I made it. I will to make it perfect.
I have the power to build the day or to rend the day.
The day will be of my making either perfect or imperfect, good or bad as I choose to live it in spirit or in flesh, on the mountain top or earthbound.
If I rend the day I build ten other days, mayhap ten times ten, to undo the rending.
If I build the day I will have lived the day to the glory of the One in the fulfillment of that part of His purposewhich is mine to fulfill.
So that I may meet the day with knowledge to build the day I will look into my soul while it is yet dawn, before the morning breaketh.
These are the words with which I greet the day.
These are the words of the morning.
This is the spirit of the dawn.
To me the universe is an open book.
I need not to learn. I know.
I see the unseen from the mountain top.
I hear the music of the spheres.
I know the transcendent joy of creation.
Immortality is mine.
I will earn immortality.
I will bestow immortality.
Mine is the power to give immortality. I shall not deny that which shall give immortality to those who dwell in darkness and who reach out for the light.
I will reach out my hand into the darkness and lead him that asketh into the light.
I will keep my body charged with energy for the fulfillment of my purpose, in accord with that which is commanded of me.
The power of the dynamic universe is behind my thinking.
Power is mine to give by the wayside.
I will not deny to any man who asketh the power which is mine to give.
I have no limitations. Unlimited power is mine within that which is universal.
I will do today that which is of today and pay no heed to the tomorrow, nor waste regrets on that which was yesterday.
My day shall be filled to overflowing, yet shall I not haste the day; nor shall I waste the day.
Those things which I must do I shall desire to do.
Courtesy will be in my heart to give to all.
My joy will be in serving.
My power will be in thinking true.
My power will be in knowing.
My power will be in humility.
The taint of arrogance will I not know.
That which is I, will keep within the shadow of the beautiful temple of modesty, but my doings will I send forth into the light that all may see; therefore, must my doings be true.
Force will I meet with gentleness; impatience with patience.
Truth will guide my footsteps through tortuous paths and lead me to the glory of the day’s golden evening.
I will sing the day through with a glad song, that the problems of the day shall be as chaff before the wind and that others may harken to my song and be quickened.
My countenance shall reflect the spirit within me, that all may see.
Blessed be the new day which descendeth upon me. I greet thee, O day. I cross thy threshold with joy and thanksgiving.
“Do you think,” continued Mr. Russell, “that civilization advances because of things written in books? Not a bit of what is written in books ever got there until after the though of it happened in man’s mind. He first had to collect it from space, or recollect it from its electrical pattern to which he had attuned himself. The book is but a record of what has already happened. It is history only, to bring others up to date by informing them. It is a means of thought transference only, and not a creative process until you have made it so by transformation within you.
“By meditation and communion with God and talking to Him, I mean not just sitting silently, in a prayerful attitude as though separate and apart from God, adopting a faith and belief state of mind, but actually becoming ONE WITH Him, desiring with Him as co-creator of all things, desiring without words, desiring dynamically with knowledge, not with blind faith and belief, but knowledge, that fruition will as surely follow that desire as that fruit will appear on the tree in its orderliness of law’s workings as a result of desire in its seed.
“I believe that every man, no matter how humble, is manifesting God, as His messenger, therefore every man should be worthy of his messengership by manifesting his Source to the very best of his ability, whether he runs the elevator for an industry or as its president.
“I believe that every man can multiply his own ability by almost constant wordless REALIZATION of his unity with his Source. I have, myself, made that feeling so much a part of me that I actually feel myself to be an extension of the Source; that my works are not my own but interpretations of this Source. I believe that such constant realization keeps one so exalted with inspiration that one is thus insulated from the thousands of distractions which lead one away from his own design of life, and thus protects him from petty temptation, from disease, and from those man-harms which constantly come to those who are not thus One with God.
“I believe that such a constant realization enobles one automatically. One’s stature is greater, one’s step more elastic, one’s aura more powerful; and it makes other people see that Light in one’s eyes which attracts people to him who has it.
“I believe that when the Self of man thus walks and talks with God one as gradually ascends to the great heights and desires of his ambitions as the tree ascends from its seed, for each is working WITH the law and conversely the law is working with each.
“I believe that there is but ONE THINKER in the universe; that my thinking is His thinking, and that every man’s thinking is an extension, through God, of every other man’s thinking. I therefore think that the greater the exaltation and ecstasy of my thinking, the greater the standards of all man’s thinking will be. Each man is thus empowered to uplift all men as each drop of water uplifts the entire ocean.
“An exemplification of my meaning may be found in the thinking of great composers, authors and artists who uplift the entirety of civilization to higher standards of culture by the extension of their thinking into the consciousness of other men.
“Civilization as a whole thus emerged from its jungle, and the heights to which it will arise is the responsibility of every man, even the most lowly of men.
“And how make that transformation within you? A deep and genuine purpose. As I have said before, successful men of all ages have learned to multiply themselves by gathering thought-energy into a high potential and using it in the direction of the purpose intended. Let me use as an illustration the gathering together of the powder behind the bullet. The charge behind the bullet can either be used for the purposeintended or dissipated uselessly. The wise hunter sees to it that each element which contributes to the success of his hunt is right. He has given concentrative thought and preparation for days to ever detail upon which his success depends. You have to gather your energy together in the same manner, conserving it and insulating it from dissipation in every direction other than that of your purpose.
“There is no use for energy of any kind whatsoever unless there is a plan back of it. You cannot get creative value out of concentrated energy by letting it go back into the static condition from which you borrowed it, unless you have a plan for its use. Thinking is a dynamic state of motion which conceives patterns, forms and images in the formless universe of space. We create by thinking patterns or ideas which we call “conceptions.” We then concentrate our dynamic thought-energy into materializing those forms.
“You can become a great creator or a little one as the intensity of your desire is little or great. If the engineer desires to take more energy from the unlimited universal supply he uses a thicker wire which will carry a heavier current. He can so multiply his power by taking more turns in his coil that he can lift tons with it or melt steel at the focusing point of high potential which he borrowed from the large area represented by multiplying the surface of each turn in the coil. When the electrical engineer thus multiplies power by constructing a solenoid coil to concentrate power at the center he does exactly what the genius thinker does who similarly concentrates his thought power to the static center of his consciousness to multiply his thought power.
“There are no limitations set by this electric universe upon any man’s multiplication of power. Each man sets his own limitations in accordance with his own desire. He many be a thin wire which gathers little energy and carries a weak current, or he may be a heavy one. That is true of all energy borrowed from the universe by all of us. It is there in unlimited quantities, but the gauge of the kind of wire each of us is set by ourselves.
“You will be amazed when I tell you that the compensating principle of balance which reloads you with new thought-energy after you have expended all in some creation lies in those very simple qualities of your consciousness which we know by the names of joy, happiness, enthusiasm, inspiration, intuition, effervescence, and by that climaxing word of all words, ecstasy. Think of it, how simple it is to know that the joy of an achievement recharges you with a balancing energy for the next achievement. If you have no joy or happiness in your work, finding it to be drudgery instead, you will fatigue from the devitalizing discharge of the energy which caused the achievement because of a reason which I will try to make clear to you later. As the years go by your mind becomes dull from its constant devitalizing draining of energy, and the body disintegrates prematurely. At the period which should begin an ascent of greater vitality you have become a walking dead man. This is utterly ridiculous for it is but the result of ignorance of man’s knowledge of himself and his relation to this electric universe of unlimited energy which is his to command.
“The greater the joy within one’s inner consciousness, the greater the force of the recharge of thought energy within one; and that is why I have climaxed my defining words with the word ecstatic. The ecstatic man is the most dynamic, the most silent and the most undemonstrative of all men.
“By ecstatic I mean that rare mental condition which makes an inspired man so supremely happy in his mental concentration that he is practically unaware of everything which goes on around him extraneous to hispurpose, but is keenly and vitally aware of everything pertaining to his purpose.
“The great composers, sculptors, painters, inventors and planners of all time were in such an ecstatic condition during their intensive creating hours that the million petty trivialities which short-circuit the energy and waste the time of most men never found an opportunity for even entering their consciousness. From this high mental state of ecstasy down to the simple state of what we might call just happiness or enthusiasm, you can construct a thought-power pressure gauge in which you can see that pressure rise or fall.
“By ecstasy I mean inner joyousness, and by inner joyousness I mean those inspirational fires which burn within the consciousness of great genuises, fires which give to them an inconquerable vitality of spirit which breaks down all barriers as wheat bends before the wind.
“He who cultivates that quiet, unobtrusive ecstasy of inner joyousness can scale any heights and be a leader in his field, no matter what that field is. He who never finds it must be content to follow in the footsteps of those who do, and thus be self-condemned for life to obscurity. By inner joyousness I do not mean the visible surface joyousness of the hail-fellow-well-met with his cheerful smile and manners. I mean the almost hidden joyousness of deeply banked fires which need no dramatic expression to evidence their existence in work. This joyousness is that quiet, invisible boiling up of the inspired spirit of the great thinker. He may be sitting quietly in his room, alone with himself and the universe, or he may be in the company of other humans. There is no violent surface indication of the ecstasy which great thinkers alone enjoy. There is nothing dramaticabout it, but there is some subtle light in the eye of the inspired one, or some even more subtle quiet emanation which surrounds the inspired thinker, which tells you that you are in the presence of one who has bridged the gap which separates the mundane world from the world of spirit.
“Those who are fortunate enough to kindle such fires of illumination within them are the ones who, like Edison, Farrady or Goodyear, give us a new kind of civilazation; who, like Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin or Tschaikowsky, interpret invisibe rhythms into visible ones; who, like Angelo, Rodin or Rembrandt, transpose their inner ecstasies to recotnizable forms and symbols; who, like Cass Gilbert, John Russell Pope or Andre Fouilhoux transform crude forms into frozen music; or who, like Paul Litchfield, Thomas Watson or Henry Ford, express their creative thinking in our world-transforming industries.
“That is the kind of joy I mean. A joy which very few know, and very few experience, because that joy only comes to the great thinkers.
“To those who do find that inner joyousness which comes from that miracle of discovery of the Self which is within every man, comes something also which is greater than success. To them comes the Life Triumphant. Let me define what I mean by that.
“The successful man is one who is considered to have made a success of his life according to modern standards which include the accumulation of money, properties and an honorable place in the world for notable achievement and financial worth. In other words, the successful man is generally conceived as being one who accumulates values which can be rated by Bradstreet’s. But there is something still greater than all of that; there is the Life Triumphant which transcends all material success. The Life Triumphant is that which places what a man gives to the world in creative expression far ahead of that which he takes from it of the creations of others.
“And it should be every man’s greatest ambition to be that kind of man. With that desire in the heart of every man there could be no greed or selfish unbalance, nor could there be exploitation of other men, or hatreds, or wars or fear of wars.
“The impregnation of that desire into New Age thinking will be the making of a new race of men which will mark the next stage of his journey from the jungle of his beginnings to a full awareness of the Light of God which awaits all mankind on the mountain top of its journey’s end.”
6 - the vision from the studio
Before I left I took one last look at the sculptured figures in the Studio. The Saga of America! That is what the Studio of Walter Russell represented to me. Not only is his life an expression and illustration of the Eternal Laws that all great men live by, but the art and science that he has produced opens a window to the very heart and core of American life itself. The sculptured faces in his Studio represented the key figures who have shaped the destinies of America in the last hundred years.
Mark Twain in his Trilogy of the Mississippi gave the most characteristic picture of the very heart of American life ever given of that period. The twenty-seven characters from his book gathered around him in the Monument include nearly every typical character that has made America what it is today. They represent what might be called the “grass roots” of the Nation.
And then, who ushered in this modem mechanical age better that Thomas Edison, whose sculptured bust was the first of this long line of splendid masterpieces! For two generations all the feet of America marched in tune with the music of John Philip Sousa, while people of all walks of life crowded the music halls to hear thelight operas of Victor Herbert. Sir Thomas Lipton, while furnishing tea to the world, kept the front pages of the American newspapers busy with the drama of his international sports. His perenial attempts to win the yacht racing trophies, always ending in defeat, won for him the title, “the best sport” and “the most gracious loser” in the history of international competition. Dan Beard, at ninety-two, is there, telling me of his Boy Scout Movement.
Cardinal Gibbons, represented by an etching, was the spokesman of all the Catholic of this nation for a whole generation. Hudson Maxim, inventor of arms and advocate of peace, was one who wittingly or unwittingly, helped usher in this last half-century of war. Charles Goodyear, whose vulcanizing of rubber made the automobile possible, started a whole generation moving on cushioned wheels. Thomas J. Watson holds an equally significant place as one of the influences ushering in our new conception of putting spiritual laws into business. And Colin Kelly, the first hero who died to usher in a new age of freedom.
Finally the two Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin, represented the beginning and the close of the greatest period in United States history, the Alpha and Omega of the period that ushered us into a world leadership such as few nations have ever known.
Twice Walter Russell was a guest in the White House, first as official painter, and second as official sculptor. The first Roosevelt invited him to paint the portraits of his children. The second Roosevelt sat as a model for him to sculpture the bust of himself. Both families showed great courtesy and cooperation, and in these sojourns he had an opportunity rarely given even to politicians and diplomats of the inner circle, to see into the inner soul of these two men who directed the Ship of State through the most momentous crises in itshistory.
And finally the Four Freedoms Monument! While the other figures direct our attention to the hundred years that are coming to an end, this group points to the hundred years that are facing us in the future. Somethingabout these figures takes my breath away. Just the way they are placed for one thing. At the Camps Farthest Out there is always a climactic meeting near the close of each conference, where, on some high hill or beside some beautiful lake, the two or three hundred people assemble, and send a broadcast of Love to all the world.
An allegorical symbol that has very frequently been used in the Camps is the choosing of four of the most selfless, consecrated persons to take their stand in the center of the four corners of the compass and serve as radio broadcasting antennae through which the Love of God can bless the world. In such a climactic hour no single art is adequate to give expression to the power that we wish God to manifest through us. No masterpiece of painting, poetry, sculpture, architecture, music, drama or the dance is adequate at such a time. In these four living figures we have a blending of all the arts, something greater than painting, something greater than sculpture, something greater than poetry, something greater than drama – the complete dedicating of hundreds of surrendered people in bodies, minds and souls, to be used as channels of God. Through the four in the center and through the larger circle about them we invoke the freedom and love and peace of God to flow forth and bless the world.
As I sat before the monument of the Four Freedoms I was overwhelmed with amazement and joy as I beheld the four figures, two men and two women, facing the four points of the compass with upraised protecting arms, broadcasting freedom to all the world. In thought I could see the entire nation gathered about them in a vast circle, all joining together in the words that were used at the official dedication: “I hereby declare this sculptural group of the Four Freedoms to be our symbol of Freedom to the World and dedicate it to honor those legions who have given their lives for Freedom, and to our fighting forces. May it be an inspiration to them now and a lasting tribute to their VICTORY. May the protecting wings of these angels hover over them, guard and keep them and re-unite the world in lasting unity and peace. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.”
7 - deferred preface
Now that you have finished reading this book, you must begin at the beginning and read it again. No one can step into a completely new dimension of thinking and get it all at once. No book will reward you with larger dividends for the rereading that will this one.
To remind you of this is the reason I put the preface at the end.
“But you must put the preface at the beginning of the book,” I was told by those who read it in manuscript. “To thrust such an unknown idea into the unthinking and unknowing minds of masses who have never heard of such things happening to humans, might leave them too high in the air. But a little explanation as to that miracle having happened to quite a few in history, that it was known in Bible times and referred to often as ‘being in the Light’ or ‘in the spirit’, or in later times as ‘the illumination’ or ‘the illumined ones’ would ease it for them.”
To this I reply, the only adequate preparation for the reading of this books is the reading of this book. That is a very Gertrude Steinish remark, but it is true. Let it startle the reader, puzzle him, inspire him; let it raise a thousand questions. He won’t rest until he reads it over again, and, as his own inner spirit responds, his questions will be answered. Let it arouse in him a thousand new aspirations and after the third rereading of the book, if his spirit responds, it will furnish him the dynamic to convert these aspirations into realizations.
The Light spoken of in this book is gradually coming to every man, but will come suddenly only to those who have earned it through countless days and weeks and years of worthiness and increasing awareness.
This book will prepare you for understanding Mr. Russell’s book The Secret of Light.