The Man Walter Russell – His Life and His Work
Childhood and Youth (1871 – 1890)
Walter Russell was born in Boston, Massachusetts, May 19th, 1871.
Before he could walk or speak, 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.
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. 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.
Each year in May, year after year, I south the forests to be alone with God, experiencing the oneness of the universe. Each seventh year this experience was extremely intensive.
A musician from infancy, he secured a church organists position at thirteen, and entered art school. Since then, he was entirely self-supporting and self-educated.
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 Bachelders 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.
(Home Study Course, unit 2, lesson 7)