C. F. Russell Cubed
Welcome to an evolving web site on the magickal workings of the late mathematician/logician, Cecil Frederick Russell (1897-1987). Russell wrote in 1922: "Magick is aptly defined as the science and art of doing one's Will - achieving one's purpose, fulfilling the Law of THELEMA. Thus theoretical magick is the art of perfecting mental processes, and practical magick the art of perfecting volitional processes. These definitions are hardly conclusive, but they are scholarly enough for practical purposes, I think. I think that every member should be drilled in ceremonial magick until he subconsciously acquires the attitude of doing the right thing at the right moment with omnipotence at his command and eternity at his disposal. The ideas that dissolve the sin complex, viz that nothing really matters, that it is impossible to make a mistake, etc, cannot be rooted in the organism by any other method."
This web site is intended as a valid perspective on his life's Great Work and genuine contributions to magickal culture. With this in mind, the primary intention is to focus upon and explore the mathemagickal structure of Russell's system and its relations to traceable threads from various traditions.
A majority of the material addressed here is primarily taken from C.F. Russell's books, which are somewhat scarce, but extremely dense with practical information. As Russell himself puts it, "each page is a Yoga drill to effect Illumination!" In particular, the contents of Barbara Cubed- the Manual of Pure Logic (1944) , Tropermic Calculus (1944) and , Book Chameleon (1950) are being studied. Excerpts from Russell's collected memoirs, entitled "Znuz is Znees" vols.1-3 (1970-72) provide further background on his life & works. Russell was a member of the A.'.A.'. & O.T.O. (Fr. Genesthai) and was secretary to Aleister Crowley during the (in)famous 1920's Cefalu period. Some speculation suggests that Russell's experiences on "the Rock" during this period at Thelema Abbey subsequently led to his establishment of the Gnostic Body of God (G.'.B.'.G.'.) and his personal magickal explorations into the fields of mathematics & logic. For a complete listing of what is currently in this section, see the Contents page.
The word, Logic, comes from the Greek, Logos, which means reasoning and/or its immediate expression in rational language. Logic is an essential aid in the pursuit of Truth. Russell has attempted in his books to produce a Science and Art of Reasoning using the simplest of the Platonic solids, the Cube. Russell's model also parallels, in some ways, the Cube of Space constructed from the Sepher Yetzirah's attributions for the Hebrew letters and their direction. Russell elucidated his theories at great length by reducing them to a system of formal logic and applying them to this basic cubic geometry. These he called Logical Objects. But these Logical Objects begin to operate properly only after all pertinent data is assembled. These Logical Objects take three forms according to Russell. 1. Names, words which have been properly qualified and quantified. 2. Equations, sentences or assertions in which two Names are combined or conjoined to form a declaration that these two Names stand for identically the same thing. 3. Syllogism, a group of three equations with a distinct Major Term, Minor Term and Middle Term. The syllogism is also known in formal logic as the Major Premise, Minor Premise and Conclusion.
This arrangement of terms and sequence are known as the First Figure of Aristotle. This First Figure is arranged thusly: The major term is the predicate of the major premise and conclusion; the minor term is the subject of the minor premise and conclusion; the middle term is the subject of the major premise, the predicate of the minor premise and does not appear in the conclusion. All logical arguments presented by Russell are put into this format.
Russell goes on to state in "Barbara Cubed" that since both "subject" and "predicate" are both terms of the equation that have been properly qualified and quantified, they become proper logical objects and are equated, or equal. So that they may be substituted for each other, exchanged or transposed without altering the meaning of the equation. Or for a simple example, "All of the greatness of B is some of the greatness of A, All of the greatness of C is some of the greatness of B. Hence, All the greatness of C is some of the greatness of A."
Got it? Then let's move on and see how Russell illustrates these beginning principles in the use of his logic cube.