Apperceive, Apperception

  Apperception is perception that reflects upon itself; consciousness; it is closely linked to apperceptive, meaning to comprehend.Webster’s American Dictionary
  Apperception is introspective self-consciousness, mental perception, especially the process of understanding something perceived in terms of previous experience.Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  In psychology, apperceptive mass is the whole of a person’s previous experience that is used in understanding a new percept or idea.—J. F. Herbart.
  Metaphysically, apperception is the mind’s perception of itself as a conscious agent; self-consciousness, or self-awareness. To apperceive is to perceive in terms of a past experience.—WordNet®.

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

  Apperception results when the vertical Christ mind awakens the horizontal mind of the embodied soul, creating an x-y axis of soul consciousness. In other words, the eternal cosmic I AM consciousness of the Oversoul, the Christ consciousness, awakens the temporal rational consciousness. Apperception, when treated as apperceptive mass, may be considered as intuitive knowing, the ability to perceive and understand a thing as it happens without prior knowledge of it. In Kant’s philosophy, apperception is a priori knowledge, dependent on prior experience. We call this soul knowing. Plato called it the doctrine of recollection or reminiscence.
  Our definition of apperception differs from that used in psychology: Apperception is not of the self&mbsp; but is a soul faculty, a virtue that 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 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 viewing pictures with the mind’s eye, which may be perfect or imperfect. The evidnce of hearing and smelling also may be perfect or imperfect. As one wag said, Things stink when your nose is in the other fellow’s business. The things of Spirit have a fragrance, but those 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, whereas the taste of earth is bitter in the belly. 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 the lower senses into the one great faculty of apperception. Yet before you can do this, you reach a drab place in consciousness, which mystics 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 impulsive appetitive soul 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 those on your lines of Light. If you turn your imagination up to the Source, free will moves through you as Light to absorb any self-will. 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. So lift the five senses to 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 so that you 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 of 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) to become soul faculties. Gradually, they begin to fuse and synthesize themselves into the one great sense of apperception, which is the high tool of the Oversoul I AM.–Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

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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.” In the Principles of Nature and of Grace (1714), Leibniz says that apperception is “consciousness, or the reflective knowledge of this internal state.” He adds that this is “something not given to all souls, nor at all times to a given soul” (G VI, 600/A&G 208) 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. (Look, 2020) (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
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

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.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Kulstad, Mark and Laurence Carlin, Leibniz’s Philosophy of Mind, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Winter 2020, Edward N. Zalta, ed.

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

Look, Brandon C., Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Spring 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Princeton University apperception. WordNet®. Princeton University. 2023.

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

Related Topics

The Burning Sands of the Desert
Spiritual Seeing and Hearing
The Spiritual Faculties: Edna Lister, January 11, 1935
The Single Vision: Edna Lister, January 30, 1935
Your Spiritual Identity: Edna Lister, April 7, 1935
Acceptance, Perception and Apperception: Edna Lister, September 27, 1946
Intuition or Hunch?: Edna Lister, September 18, 1955