Apperception, a Faculty

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defined apperception as "perception that reflects upon itself; consciousness"; it is closely linked to appercetive, a transitive verb (now considered obsolete) meaning "to comprehend."

Apperception is "introspective self-consciousness, mental perception, especially the process of understanding something perceived in terms of previous experience." In psychology, to apperceive means to be aware of perceiving; to understand a perception by linking it mentally with a mass of existing ideas of the same object.

Metaphysically, apperception is "the mind's perception of itself as a conscious agent; self-consciousness," or self-awareness.


“Apperception is the cosmic consciousness of the Oversoul I AM.”


Apperception is the cosmic consciousness of the Oversoul I AM, Christ consciousness. Apperception means to perceive a thing before it happens; in Immanuel Kant's philosophy, apperception is a priori knowledge, dependent on prior experience. We call this "soul knowing."

Our definition of apperception is quite different than that used in psychology; on the Via Christa, apperception is not of the self but is a soul faculty, a virtue, which is rooted in the principle of nonresistance. Apperception is synthesized of all indrawn or sublimated physical senses, mental faculties and soul faculties. Apperception is classed as also a law of being, and a law of doing.











Edna Lister on Apperception

Soul uses the faculty of apperception. Mind uses the pictures of imagination colored by emotion. The body uses the five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling. Seeing is seeing pictures in the mind's eye, which may be perfect or imperfect. Hearing and smelling also may be perfect or imperfect. As one wag said, "Things smell when your nose is in the other fellow's business." The things of Spirit have a fragrance, but things of earth have an odor.

Of the sense of taste people say, "It's sweet as honey in your mouth. It was a taste of luxury. It has a taste of the farm." When you taste of the kingdom of heaven, you eat the words of God, which are sweet to the mouth. Everyone speaks of "feeling," but generally only to describe the thrills or pain of earth. Few people mention feeling the ecstasy of heaven.

You must eventually synthesize all the lower senses into the one great faculty of apperception. Yet before you can do this, you reach a drab place in consciousness, which we call the desert, and we call the time you spend there "the burning sands of the desert". Most people look grim while they traverse the desert, but you can and must choose to smile. – Edna Lister, Paradise, January 11, 1935.


Spiritual seeing is superconscious apperception, a faculty above and beyond physical sight. Soul vision progresses from perception to intuition and apperception. – Edna Lister, The Single Vision, January 30, 1935.


In the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), five had their lamps trimmed and filled with the oil of spirit; the other five hadn't learned, so they inducted from the outer world. Apperception is using the optic thalamus as an invisible eye; you turn the whole process of induction inward and upward though mental and spiritual faculties instead of the physical senses. You no longer ooze energy after you stop inducting from the physical senses. Thus, you can have absolute physical strength without weakness. – Edna Lister, July 19, 1951.


Your five senses are your radar beams, rays of sensitivity that become a belt-like radar screen around the waist. The whole process of entering the silence to pray is to enter your "closet" and close the door — "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." – Matthew 6:6 — which means that you draw in the five ordinary senses, but not your five-pointed radar screen. Personality is what the world sees of the soul. The closer you get to God, the more radiant our personality, until it is a vivid glow.

For the Light to move through, you must first draw in your personal reaction or "sensitivity." You draw your attention in to impersonalize the "little self" in all its expressions, whether of admiration, praise, blame or condemnation. The Light intensifies all perception. You draw in these five senses and synthesize them into apperception, to become a balance of intuition and illumination.

As you raise your hands in prayer, you automatically open the crown lotus center, the brain's nerve ends that whirl like little lights above the head. The open thousand-petaled lotus is shown as the halo in religious paintings. Apperception comes through the top of the head. The world vibration or subconscious composite world mind whirls up from the feet. When you lift the function of your senses, they become the faculty of apperception. – Edna Lister, Your Eternal Body, June 18, 1954.


You act as a transformer for your lines of Light. If you turn your imagination up to the Source, free will moves as Light. Imagination turned downward creates bondage to self. You ride the outer rim of the Wheel of Fate, constantly being crushed, when you turn desire, will and imagination downward. When you turn them upward to the white Light of the Christ, you go through the Gates of Light easily. When you lift the five senses, they become the soul faculty of apperception. – Edna Lister, July 19, 1954.


Apperception is that perception in which the conscious mind is active during the process of perceiving. Apperception adds recognition and interpretation; we use all powers of the intellect in acquisition and elaboration of that which you perceive. – Edna Lister, Intuition or Hunch? September 18, 1955.


You achieve purity by accepting purity as a need to cleanse heart, mind and body, thinking, imagination and emotions. Then perception becomes apperception. To perceive is a mental act, but apperception is an act of the soul. Perception is mental "seeing," the mind's thinking ability. Apperception is soul "knowing," the mind's mystic eye of the soul. – Edna Lister, The Beatitudes Are Be-attitudes, February 12, 1956.


Eventually, you reach a grey place and cannot seem to enjoy life as you did. Pay no attention to this drab place. Suddenly you awaken from it, having reached a point of apperception. – Edna Lister, November 13, 1958.


Everyone must experience this initiation, this drabness, to reach the heights of glory. From the instant you decide to move up in consciousness, you begin to lift the five outer senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) up with you. Gradually, they begin to fuse and synthesize themselves into the one great sense of apperception, which is the tool, the high sense of the Oversoul I AM. – Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

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The Spiritual Faculties

This Edna Lister lecture outline is dated January 11, 1935, for use in Buffalo, New York.

You may experience many emotions and situations in life that you or others may call "love," yet which may have nothing to do with love at all. Love is the rock solid foundation upon which you must build everything in your life; otherwise, your creations will be washed away in a time of storm.

Seeing is seeing pictures in the mind's eye, which may be perfect or imperfect. Hearing may also be perfect or imperfect. Smelling may also be perfect or imperfect. As one wag put it, "Things smell when your nose is in the other fellow's business." The things of Spirit have a fragrance, but things of earth have an odor.

Of the sense of taste we say, "It's sweet as honey in your mouth. It was a taste of luxury. It has a taste of the farm." When you taste of the kingdom of heaven, you eat the words of God, which are sweet to the mouth.

Everyone speaks of "feeling," but generally only to describe the thrills or pain of earth. Few people mention feeling the ecstasy of heaven.

Spirit uses the faculty of apperception. Soul uses emotion and the pictures of imagination. The body uses the five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling.

You must eventually synthesize all the lower senses into the one great faculty of apperception. Yet before you can do this, you reach a drab place in consciousness, which we call the "desert," and the time you spend there we call "the burning sands of the desert." Most people look "grim" while they traverse the desert, but you can and must choose to smile.

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The Single Vision

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated January 30, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Hebrews 11:23-29.

"By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned." – Hebrews 11:23-29.

To endure, "as seeing Him who is invisible," is the mystic way, which Moses followed. Thousands seek the invisible but never find it, for it reveals itself only to the earnest enduring one.

To endure means "to bear without resistance, or with patience." As a candidate for ascension, you endure, or suffer gladly all sorts of punishment to become strong.

History abounds with stories of warriors, monks and saints, who punished the body to be brave. You may flinch and quail at the first sign of pain. You think you cannot bear to suffer, experience pain, or nerves. You want to hear only a report you can believe or change.

What is your desire? God has given you authority, power, dominion, a scepter, supreme and glorious. Yet you must accept it, and pick it up to use it. You must endure as if you can see the invisible.

Spiritual seeing is an apperception beyond physical sight. Apperception is defined as "conscious perception with full awareness." Spiritual seeing progresses from perception to intuition and apperception.

The world issues a challenge. Do you accept, or not? Nothing can pass you by when you are seeing the invisible.

Daniel, seeing the invisible, stepped out of time with the lions' desire into God's timing. They were unable to see him. Everything of darkness becomes powerless, helpless in Light, which blinds their eyes, until they cannot see. Are you helpless in the glare?

David sang praises to the Lord constantly: "The Lord is my strength, my high tower, my shield and my buckler."

A phonograph record is old fashioned. You need cosmic rays to transmit, to voice your prayer. Lift your eyes in high vision, and praise, praise, praise during an endurance test.

The essence of Light, cast forth, relieves pain, and rebuilds you into steadfast, joyous endurance.

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Acceptance, Perception and Apperception

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated September 27, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Revelation 1:9-20.

"I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." – Revelation 1:9-20.

Spirit, soul and body provide three ways of perceiving or seeing. Apperception is seeing with the mind, a mental seeing. The mind's eye is the mystic eye of the seer, sage and oracle, the vision of prophecy.

"I [John] was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day" refers to individual mind. The body perceives by induction through the five physical senses of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting.

You hear with your ears, but listen to God with your brain cells. As you hear and listen, you synthesize what you hear to turn it into an idea that you can know.

What you induct through your mental and soul faculties, you may then synthesize into a higher apperception. Apperception thus describes a state of knowing as the soul knows.

This climb from creature to creator consciousness is a long path with many drab spaces between the highlights. "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." – Revelation 1:20.

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This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated September 18, 1955, Tacoma, Washington. Scriptures: James 1:17, Isaiah 30:21.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning." – James 1:17.

"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." – Isaiah 30:21.

Intuition is "a quick perception of truth, without conscious attention or reasoning, truth attained through apprehension, also instinctive knowledge or feeling," which we induct from the five senses. Perception is "the act or power of perceiving intuitively, to become aware through the faculties, or instinctively through the five senses."

The term "hunch" came into expression from the old superstition that good luck attends the touching of the hump of a hunchback. A hunch is "a premonition, meaning to admonish in advance of actual warning, instinctive foreboding or a prediction."

From these definitions, it's easy enough to see where misunderstandings can occur, because the definitions seat intuition and hunches in two different places. Intuition is part of super-conscious I AM.

The I AM center in the head, ruled by the Christ mind, holds the centers of intuition and illumination in the pituitary gland and pineal body.

Hunches belong to the subconscious mind. The solar plexus is the seat of the instinctive "brain," ruled by that part of mind called the subconscious. Thus, confusion results.

Apperception is the kind of perception in which the conscious mind is active during the process of perceiving. Apperception includes the addition of recognition and interpretation, all powers of the intellect used in acquisition and elaboration of that which is perceived.

"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." – Isaiah 30:21. Intuition is the result of desire and will become one as the I AM consciousness in the tower room of the higher creative center.

Hunches operate from the solar plexus, which is the seat of all past superstition. Predictions, for instance those based on studying the cycles of astrology, can come true, but prayer, which releases God's Power, moves the white Light of the Christ through those stars and planets to set predictions and hunches aside.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning." – James 1:17. Intuition is the Voice of God speaking when it comes from above with no variableness or turning as miracles.

You can become a genius or expert through intuition. An expert is a job holder. You cannot be an expert job hunter and a job holder at the same time. Stop living in the future or the past. Let go of the job you do not yet have, and declare "I am in my right place." Then apply until a new position opens.

You cannot be an expert at avoiding work and making excuses for not finding it, and a job receiver simultaneously. Some people are experts in weakness, disease, pain and lack, but they cannot also be experts in gain, open doors and the strength of shining Light.

A man, who was down on his luck, failed to pay his rent. The landlady turned off his heat, and finally threatened to evict him during a time of sub-zero weather. He went into the freezing night hunting for a doorway or corner in which to freeze, while his fearful little self kept whispering, "Death is the only way out for me."

He finally heard the voice of intuition saying, "I AM," and he wonderingly repeated, "I AM. I AM. I AM" until Light as Power surged in him, possessing him with unearthly strength that warmed him.

He returned to his room, which seemed warm enough to him, and slept the remainder of the night. The next day he returned to a business where they had refused him employment the day before, to find that an employee had failed to show up, and they put him to work.

Intuition solved his problem when he became still enough to hear the Voice of God. He nearly died, but the Power of God's Light did the work when intuition overpowered his sojourn in the "hunch" realm.

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Gottfried Leibniz on Apperception

Thomas Reid, D.D. wrote of Leibniz, "By apperception he understands that degree of perception, which reflects, as it were, on itself; by which we are conscious of our own existence, and conscious of our own perceptions." We agree with Leibnitz's definition of apperception, which we include here:

One of the better-known terms of Leibniz's philosophy, and of his philosophy of mind, is apperception. A famous definition is presented in section 4 of the Principles of Nature and of Grace (1714), where Leibniz says "it is good to distinguish between perception, which is the internal state of the monad representing external things, and apperception, which is consciousness, or the reflective knowledge of this internal state, something not given to all souls, nor at all times to a given soul." ... Some creatures are capable of knowing the necessary and eternal truths of logic and mathematics and a priori truths (from cause to effect), and they "are properly called rational animals, and their souls are called minds." (G VI 601/AG 209) As Leibniz says, "These souls are capable of performing reflective acts, and capable of considering what is called 'I,' substance, soul, mind — in brief, immaterial things and immaterial truths. And that is what makes us capable of the sciences of demonstrative knowledge." (ibid.)

Thus, what makes human beings (and higher minds) special is the capacity, via apperception, to formulate a conception of the self. Indeed, as we see in this passage, Leibniz suggests that rationality itself follows from the capacity for reflection: we begin with a conception of the self; we move from this point to thinking of being, of substance, of God; and we become aware as well of eternal and necessary truths. Rationality, however, is really only the ability to form "indubitable connection[s] of ideas" and to follow them to their "infallible consequences." (ibid.) In other words, animals and most human beings most of the time are purely empiricists; a rational person, however, is one who can engage in genuine a priori reasoning, moving from knowledge of a true cause via deduction to necessary effects. – Kulstad and Carlin, Leibniz's Philosophy of Mind.

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New Testament on Apperception

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. – Romans 8:28-29.


God has not cast away His people which He foreknew. – Romans 11:2.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister


Etymology of apperception: French aperception, from apercevoir, from Latin ad- toward + perceivre to perceive.


Apperception is a law of being.

Apperception is a law of doing.

Apperception is a soul faculty.

Apperception is a soul virtue.


References

Kulstad, Mark and Laurence Carlin, "Leibniz's Philosophy of Mind," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2013, Edward N. Zalta, editor [accessed February 21, 2017].

Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr von. "Principles of Nature and of Grace," The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz. George M. Duncan, editor. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1890, p. 209.

Reid, Thomas. An Inquiry into the Human Mind, on the Principles of Common Sense. Edinburgh: Bell & Bradfute, 1801.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).


Related Topics

See The Burning Sands of the Desert

See Knowing

See Spiritual Seeing and Hearing


Additional reading on Apperception


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