Lao Russell - Co-Founder of the University of Science and PhilosophyWalter Russell, founder of the University of Science and PhilosophyThe University of Science and Philosophy, (USP) was founded in 1949 by Walter and Lao Russell to address the least-known of all the sciences, the science of humankind.

Universities around the world teach a wide variety of curricula however, until the USP there has been no University that has a course which focuses on who we are, what we are, and the purpose of existence.  For this reason, Walter and Lao wrote The Home Study Course.

USP History

Who and When?

In 1949, Lao and Walter Russell founded this unique home-study university, open to any student from any walk of life anywhere in the world. For almost fifty years, the home of USP was at Swannanoa, where Walter Russell's painting, sculpting and historic documents were on display, and from which the Russell Home Study Course and books went out to the world. Today, while still centered near its historic Virginia home, the University expands its global presence through the Internet and through developing centers around the world.


Why did the Russells establish The University of Science and Philosophy? Named "The University of the Science of Man" by its founders, USP was the answer to a life-long dream of not only Walter Russell and his wife, Lao, but of the many serious-minded thinkers and leading members of the original Twilight Club. Among these were Herbert Spencer, Edwin Markham and Alexis Carrel, in agreement with dozens of others as to the need to know more about ourselves, about the human mind-about our creative, spiritual and intellectual potential.

These visionary thinkers said that we have universities and colleges to study everything in the world except to study the least-known and understood of all, that is ourselves. We need to know and understand who we are, what we are, and what is the purpose of our existence. We need to learn the science of ourselves, our creativity, spirituality, our processes of thinking and knowing, our purpose on earth and the nature of our destiny.


USP is unique in that it offers a study course and books which are meant to be studied in the solitude and privacy of one's own home. The integral learning that follows this very personal study of universal law, natural science and living philosophy is not the traditional remembering and repeating of information. There are no assignments, papers or examinations. Learning comes through meditative study and internalization of ideas so that these become part of one's own thinking and consequent action. In this way, new knowledge leads to self-transcendence into advanced, creative modes of thinking and living.


When viewed from a cosmic perspective, life is a great adventure. Ours is a dynamic, creating universe. Life is not static, but ever-moving, ever-changing, ever-transforming, cyclic in seasons and cyclic in life patterns.

When we know who we are, when we are in touch with the spiritual center of our being, we no longer view ourselves as "victims" of an outer world over which we have no control. Unfolding our understanding from within, we KNOW ourselves as dynamic thinking "co-creators" of our world and our own destiny. We become aware of our inherent genius, be it practical or artistic. We understand ourselves as part of the dynamic, indestructible Life Force of Creation. We become creative participators in life, find the meaning of life, and discover our role in the adventure and drama of living. We see ourselves with fresh vision, in a different light. With strong desire to develop and grow, we become partners in the holistic experience of an integrated world in which we may consciously evolve to experience greater understanding, joy in creative action, and happiness in our participatory experiencing and ordering of our world. Education, from the Latin educere, means to "draw forth from within," "to lead out."

The integral learning offered through the University of Science and Philosophy is education in this sense of the word, resulting in the self-transcendence that comes through choice-the choice of conscious learning and growth towards understanding and enlightenment in action.


Walter Russell termed his theoretical science "Natural Science," as the few simple working principles of Creation are observable processes of nature. In fact, the principles of the Russell Natural Science correspond exactly to one of the world's oldest recorded expositions of cosmogony, the Hermetic Principles. What is truly NEW to Russell's 20th Century concept of the nature of the universe is that he describes the process in terms of electricity, something not possible in the known history of our planet until this date. Russell states in page after page of explanation that "this is an electric thought-wave universe."

Most new and revolutionary is the fact that the Russell Science and Philosophy are an interwoven, seamless whole, truly the marriage of science and metaphysics. Therefore, today we of the USP use the term "metascience" - the tapestry of science and metaphysics - in seeking to explore the possibilities contained within the Russell theoretical science and how that unique cosmogony relates to present-day "traditional" scientific discoveries.



Study in your own home, at any corner of the globe. The University of Science and Philosophy is open to everyone anywhere in the English-speaking world. As well, most of the books are available in German. Some books have been translated to Spanish and are available in manuscript form.  Please see the Home Study Course.

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