Beauty is an assemblage of graces, or an assemblage of properties in the form of the person or any other object, which pleases the eye. In the person, due proportion or symmetry of parts constitutes the most essential property to which we annex the term beauty. In the face, the regularity and symmetry of the features, the color of the skin, the expression of the eye, are among the principal properties which constitute beauty. Beauty consists in whatever pleases the eye of the beholder, whether in the human body, in a tree, in a landscape, or in any other object.
  Beauty is intrinsic, and perceived by the eye at first view, or with the aid of the understanding and reflection. Beauty is used to express what is pleasing to the other senses, or to the understanding. Beauty is a particular grace, feature or ornament; any particular thing which is beautiful and pleasing; as the beauties of nature. Beauty is a particular excellence, or a part which surpasses in excellence that with which it is united. Beauty is a beautiful person, in scripture, the chief dignity or ornament. Beauty in the arts is symmetry of parts; harmony; justness of composition. Beauty is joy and gladness.
  Synonyms for beautiful include: lovely, handsome, pretty, comely, and fair, terms that mean exciting, sensuous or aesthetic pleasure. Beautiful applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses. Lovely is close to beautiful but applies to a narrower range of emotional excitation in suggesting the graceful, delicate, or exquisite. Handsome suggests aesthetic pleasure due to proportion, symmetry, or elegance. Pretty often applies to superficial or insubstantial attractiveness. Comely suggests what is coolly approved rather than emotionally responded to. Fair suggests beauty because of purity, flawlessness, or freshness.

“Beauty is the Love of God manifested.”–Edna Lister

  Beauty is an absolute: God is the One Good, which is True and Beautiful; thus we say, God is beauty. Beauty is an abstract principle: While you cannot see beauty itself, you do see what is beautiful. Beauty is a law of being; a person or thing that is in syzygy with its source is beautiful because it partakes of the beauty of its source. Beauty is a soul virtue: Others perceive this and say What a beautiful soul! To better understand the Idea of Beauty, also study the Good, Truth, Honor, and Integrity.

Edna Lister on Beauty

I give the best in me for the world, and the world gives its best to me. You must feel that all the beauty of the world belongs to you; you possess it and enjoy it even if you do not have it continually. If you do your very best, God does the rest.–Edna Lister, November 28, 1933

Beauty of soul opens the inner kingdom temple of devotion and consecration. Yet you must always be in a state of expectancy to receive, and looking for it in the outer world.–Edna Lister, February 24, 1935

Express only that which is just, perfect, and beautiful.–Edna Lister, December 26, 1938

Practice seeing beauty at all times.–Edna Lister, April 26, 1940

Love makes everything beautiful; it creates beauty whenever you give it a free, clear passage through you.–Edna Lister, November 14, 1940

Your beauty grows from the garden of soul you plant on the inner.–Edna Lister, Open Doors, March 15, 1942

A young woman may be a beauty at age sixteen, but at sixty, she is beautiful. Love confers beauty of soul that shines through the physical.–Edna Lister, A Mother’s Investments, May 10, 1942

God’s glory turns the common and sordid into incomparable beauty.–Edna Lister, November 4, 1942

Express yourself in beauty at all times.–Edna Lister, November 11, 1942

“Beauty is the soul expressing God’s true glory.”

Your life’s total is written upon your face. A famous writer said that no one could be called beautiful at sixteen because youth was always beautiful. However, when one is beautiful at sixty, that is real beauty because living in beauty earned it. A beautiful feeling within translates into physical beauty.–Edna Lister, The Face of Beauty, Life in a Nutshell, 1943

You walk in beauty because love is all beauty.–Edna Lister, November 15, 1945

Selfless love is beauty and makes the body beautiful.–Edna Lister, February 8, 1946

When the Oversoul remains in the body, health, strength, and radiance abound; Spirit is beautiful, inside and out, and the individual becomes a Christed One.–Edna Lister, Fundamental Principles, December 3, 1946

In the midst of chaos, send forth joy, beauty, harmony, and balance.–Edna Lister, January 28, 1947

Most people are too hasty, too hurried and too busy to know the beauty of life. Stop a while until you can sense the inner beauty, capture and hold it, nourish and sustain it. When you let life’s beauty feed you, your faith grows more beautiful. Dare to be enthralled with love, loving it more than self.
  Become a searcher for beauty, a collector of the glorious. As you let yourself be transformed and transfigured in ascension, you reflect your love in the quality and inflection of your tone of voice. Take time to live in beauty now.
  You dwell in a body composed of the same perfect substance as stardust. Show God the stars of beauty in your shining eyes. Walk in joy at your high point of soul expression and conquering.
  Reach into the Light until you can feel its great beauty, the beauty of days on earth. Take time to live, to breathe the Light of beauty divine that is waiting to express through you and as you. Do you ever search for beauty? Faith is beautiful, pure beauty. Love is beautiful, pure beauty.
  You are an heir to God’s Power, Love, and beauty. Boil up in consciousness of love, not down and out in despair. As you ascend in consciousness, to be surrounded and possessed by Light as Power you become Light and Power. This can be your year of achieving rare beauty. Your joy and beauty are the only gifts that you can bring to God at night.–Edna Lister, An Encompassing Faith, May 4, 1947

Your face is set according to the beauty of the garden you plant on the inner. The world follows no smug face. People follow the Light.–Edna Lister, June 3, 1947

Your love of God demands that you do anything and everything necessary to make your earthly place beautiful and peaceful.–Edna Lister, July 1947

A woman who walks in the graciousness and loveliness of the Christ never feels unworthy because beauty, gentleness, tenderness and compassion clothe her as she walks in Light. I walk in beauty before the Lord all the days of my life. You walk in self-made slums when you descend from a heavenly attitude.–Edna Lister, August 15, 1949

Be kind and courteous in your suggestions. Make your suggestions so beautifully that the other person will want to do it.–Edna Lister, April 15, 1950

Beauty is the soul expressing God’s true glory. God who is waiting to use you beautifully.–Edna Lister, Promises Given, September 10, 1950

Your soul ascends each time you do something beautiful. Seek always to increase God’s beauty in this world of appearances–Edna Lister, September 25, 1950

Let the beauty of God possess you. I am filled with the beauty of God this minute. I walk in beauty. Make a sacrifice of everything unbeautiful in your life, then surrender to be the servant of all the Power of God.–Edna Lister, October 3, 1950

An inquiring consciousness wants absolute truth. How many can say that they absolutely love God "just because"? When you hear a symphony, see beauty and ascend on it to love God, you have the secret of it.–Edna Lister, November 14, 1950

Just as it takes ten blossoms to produce a single cherry, so must you develop the beauties of God according to your faith.–Edna Lister, Be-Attitudes, June 12, 1951

Soul sacrifices make you more gloriously beautiful, more youthful.–Edna Lister, July 14, 1951

The I AM THAT I AM Oversoul Christ consciousness functions beauty, joy, and power.–Edna Lister, July 19, 1951

If left alone and allowed to do its perfect work, God’s Power can create only beauty and harmony.–Edna Lister, I AM Joy, 1953

The glory of God is all beauty.–Edna Lister, April 3, 1953

When evil attempts to enter your life, say silently or aloud if you can, You are the most beautiful thing that has ever come to me. Thus, you can convert the greatest darkness into the most beautiful Light.–Edna Lister, Look Up and Be Alive! October 11, 1953

Beauty will emerge from the dead past, and nothing dark will remain when you turn it over to God in love, if you think of the love of God enough. Ascend to God clean of heart and hands with no holdouts. You cannot get anything out of anyone’s heart until the root is pulled out. Lift everything from your past this way.–Edna Lister, December 7, 1953

Beauty is an aspect of the truth. Truth is an harmoniously beautiful reality that you must hear, accept and become.–Edna Lister, Righteousness, April 7, 1954

When you accept even evil’s darkness as beauty, Light moves in to fill and recreate it as Light.–Edna Lister, June 10, 1954

The kingdom of heaven is within you as well as being a place. To endure the ugliness you meet on this earth, you must move up in consciousness, into the high place of beauty.–Edna Lister, The Golden Silence, June 18, 1954

True beauty reveals a quality of the soul.–Edna Lister, July 15, 1954

You can credit yourself with beautiful motives and still do dirty things.–Edna Lister, December 6, 1954

Be faithful to beauty and you can never slip or be off-balance. If you forget to be beautiful in your expression, you are unbalanced for that moment of forgetfulness of what and of whom you are. Seek beauty from the morning till night. Find beauty in every lesson, and be joyous, for only in joy can you please God fully.
  You shall be amazed when you rejoice in beauty at the glory of miracles that will pour upon you. Stand and hold in constancy, for love will uphold you. Remember to be beautiful in speech, in expression, in glance of eye, in smile, in touch, in word, in act.–Edna Lister, May 19, 1955

“True beauty reveals a quality of the soul.”–Edna Lister

Each soul is endowed by God with all qualities and attributes of the Godhead, with every glory and beauty.–Edna Lister, The Greater You, February 5, 1956

Even if you hold fast to something beautiful, it will crystallize into tomorrow’s opinion and prejudice unless you add some new vitality.–Edna Lister, Lights and Colors, July 17, 1956

As you sacrifice the old to be filled with the new, you look younger and more beautiful, glowing with compassion and love.–Edna Lister, The Light: Your Expression, November 4, 1956

Each has free will to use the right words, to create a kingdom in beauty, to release Power that uses you, to stand as a creator, to love God enough.–Edna Lister, December 2, 1956

Beauty is formless, yet you instantly recognize what is beautiful. Your response to beauty is an expression of joy in God’s Creation, and your effort to increase joy expands the beauty.–Edna Lister, Your Devotion to God, December 16, 1956

Beauty is the yardstick by which to measure your heart’s ideals.–Edna Lister, June 6, 1957

Stand and hold, and if you hold yourself inviolate before God’s throne, you can speak only words of beauty.–Edna Lister, November 28, 1957

When you conquer self, the beauty of both heaven and earth has a chance to shine and express itself through you.–Edna Lister, November 28, 1957

Go forth and become the beauty and heritage that are yours from before the creation of the world.–Edna Lister, February 6, 1958

Look behind the masks others wear and see the beauty and the love they are hiding.–Edna Lister, February 17, 1958

God works in such beautiful ways His miracles to perform.–Edna Lister, March 6, 1958

Lift the past to an altar of fire to burn away its dross and all your beauty projects into the future.–Edna Lister, May 30, 1958

Walk as beauty, and you will be a miracle in the world.–Edna Lister, September 4, 1958

See yourself as God sees you, as beautiful, strong, and equal to all situations.–Edna Lister, October 9, 1958

If you declare, I am that Love of God, walking in beauty, the beauty of the soul shines through.–Edna Lister, October 12, 1958

Our Source is all beauty, all joy, all love, all kindness, all compassion to pour out upon others.–Edna Lister, October 13, 1958

When you see beauty at age sixty-plus, the soul has earned it.–Edna Lister, October 30, 1958

“Walk as beauty, and you will be a miracle in the world.”–Edna Lister

Experiment with joy; it will take you through any trial by fire, over any obstacle. Every hour’s joy is your investment in life, your annuity for eternal youth and eternal beauty, for God is the youth and beauty you express. Then you will hear people say, You look beautiful! How lovely you are!–Edna Lister, Joy, Invincible Power, November 17, 1958

The beauty of Spirit is the only true beauty.–Edna Lister, December 18, 1958

To live within the law is to dwell in the Garden of Eden where all things are beautiful and lovely beyond compare.–Edna Lister, February 8, 1959

When you stand and declare beauty, no power another soul can use can set aside your good declarations for him.–Edna Lister, April 6, 1959

When you understand what true love is, the world will always be a beautiful place.–Edna Lister, May 17, 1959

All that comes to you is a gift of God and it is good, your own good. The way of the Christed Crown is to paint in beauty whatever you are given.–Edna Lister, May 24, 1959

Your thoughts build your heaven, so build it beautifully.–Edna Lister, May 28, 1959

The soul who loves more freely and beautifully returns to God first with joy.–Edna Lister, June 29, 1959

Law may seem grievous and binding to the self when you first plant it with your acceptance, but it grows blossoms of joy and beauty as you water it in faithful obedience.–Edna Lister, December 7, 1959

It matters not whether you see glory in nature or in the face of a friend; if you see it as beauty, you are in accordance with divine law.–Edna Lister, December 14, 1959

Do not tempt God with inaccurate words; accuracy is the keynote of harmony, therefore seek greater accuracy for more beautiful speech.–Edna Lister, February 11, 1960

God does not ask you to give up the beauty, the loveliness, the glory of life, but only the foolish things.–Edna Lister, March 3, 1960

You must be aware of the beauty, the Power, the joy of conquering self.–Edna Lister, What Is Your Measure of Power? June 12, 1960

Invoke the power of beauty into your life, the symphony of nature, all good. When you hold this beautiful feeling inside, Power puts the words on your lips and all things are added. A cloud of loveliness and beauty forms for every good thought. Light is all beauty.–Edna Lister, Realization Through Praise, June 26, 1960

Virtue is the process of thinking of beautiful things, divine speculation.–Edna Lister, What Is Virtue? July 12, 1960

Beauty is the Love of God manifested.–Edna Lister, September 8, 1960

Dedicate yourself to the highest beauty, too high to be tainted by anything dark or any tinge of gray.–Edna Lister, September 6, 1961

Open the eyes of your soul, and see the beauty of the Christ now, everywhere.–Edna Lister, Wherever You Go, October 22, 1961

Raising self up and training it to be alert gives us a thousand beauties instead of a thousand ugly negatives.–Edna Lister, God’s Magna Carta, October 29, 1961

A caterpillar is a prisoner of law and transforms itself into a beautiful butterfly under process of natural law. This happens to you when you rid yourself of opinions, prejudices, criticism, and blame.–Edna Lister, This I Know, December 3, 1961

If you want something beautiful to happen, make yourself equally beautiful.–Edna Lister, December 13, 1961

Let your countenance be a beautiful crystal clear window for Light to shine through; a frown destroys its symmetry and beauty.–Edna Lister, December 31, 1961

Be receptive to others’ needs and you will find the right words are placed on your lips at the right time. To give of your soul’s inner beauty is an absolute necessity.–Edna Lister, What Is Illumination? May 13, 1962

Today, well lived, makes tomorrow beautiful.–Edna Lister, Greater Works, September 29, 1962

The beauty and the glory of law under honor are past words to express.–Edna Lister, November 9, 1962

When you choose to go God’s way, you do not get into trouble, but into beauty, glory and fulfilled promises.–Edna Lister, June 17, 1963

“Beauty is the Love of God made manifest.”–Edna Lister

You enjoy roses and their perfection, which appears completely untouched—but every hour, back of this beauty has been the hard work of taking in the magnetic currents of earth, air and water, producing the bud, all in complete stillness, silence, and confidence. You are like that rose; you stand before the world, the sum total of your service until this moment.–Edna Lister, The Rose as the Crown, June 30, 1963

To declare, Let Light go forth! keeps the day beautiful.–Edna Lister, July 26, 1963

Hunger and thirst after beauty and all good things.–Edna Lister, December 2, 1963

Praise magnifies, increases, makes joy in the heart, Light in the eyes and a special radiance of beauty over the one so praising.–Edna Lister, April 16, 1964

The joy of love, the splendor and glory of God possesses you as beauty.–Edna Lister, Life, Your Glory and Splendor, April 26, 1964

Desire, thinking, and imagination must work in absolute harmony if your results are to be beautiful and exactly what you want in your life.–Edna Lister, Love: Your Glory, Your Magic Wand, May 22, 1964

Joy, beauty and all good will follow you all the rest of your life when you praise and put God first.–Edna Lister, Rejoice! God Reigns! July 5, 1964

Divinity is the characteristic unifying coordinating quality of Deity; divinity in and by man is comprehensible as truth, beauty and goodness.–Edna Lister, Deity and Divinity, October 6, 1964

You must earn beauty, and hold it as a sacred birthright. Beauty may be described as desire flaming until it shows on the outside. When desire flames high enough it consumes everything less than itself.–Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1965

Love is the substance of which beauty is made.–Edna Lister, Loveliness and Beauty, February 7, 1965

When you complete a heavy task that God has given you, He says, Child, no one can take or destroy this beautiful form you have created. It cannot be torn down, for its substance will always come together again in Christlike perfection. It will come together again.–Edna Lister, The First One Through, May 2, 1965

Light is the Source from which beauty descends.–Edna Lister, Truth as Eternal Beauty, November 21, 1965

Beauty is harmony, and harmony is beauty.–Edna Lister, November 22, 1965

Beauty is your heritage.–Edna Lister, October 16, 1966

Your perception of today’s beauty creates tomorrow’s glory of soul.–Edna Lister, How to Collect Your Divine Inheritance, November 6, 1966

Rigid discipline of self will create a beautiful life.
  You register beauty through the five senses. Thus, you may see, hear, feel, smell, and taste beauty. Beauty is composed of color, tone and line, which have substance and quality. Since all is from the Source, all is capable of being beautiful. Some see beauty but others ugliness in the same thing.
  Your subconscious memory cells project pictures, based in emotional responses, reminding you of some smell, taste or noise that obscures God’s original. Others can see through the unlovely superimposed self to the original beauty. The answer is to see pure Light.–Edna Lister, Beauty: A Spiritual Way of Life, May 9, 1967

“Beauty appeals through the affinity of soul.”–Edna Lister

Beauty appeals through affinity of soul.
  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is a quality you attribute to whatever pleases or satisfies some hunger of the soul. It is open to many definitions; all beauty has a foundation in line, color, tone, form, texture, and rhythmic motion. Most importantly, beauty is a quality of the soul, a behavior, and an attitude. Self may be ugly, but soul is beautiful. You must be trained in the soul’s perception the qualities of degree and kind to appreciate perfect beauty. Every soul expresses at least a touch of some quality of beauty.
  The most important factors in expressing beauty include behavior, attitude, and quality of soul. Everyone, even the ugliest in form and disposition, expresses at least one quality of beauty.
  To get the beauty of healing you must go to the Source.
  The beauty of God shines through when you make yourself good and the other fellow happy.–Edna Lister, All Healing Comes Through Beauty of Soul, May 16, 1967

Physical beauty is not a matter of features; beauty of form grows through leading a Christed life. Without soul behind it, outer beauty leaves you cold.–Edna Lister, Physical Beauty, June 6, 1967

Dwell upon the beautiful, and declare, Let Light go forth!–Edna Lister, October 23, 1967

Accept any day’s happenings as beautiful experiences for your soul’s growth.–Edna Lister, November 16, 1967

Express only that which is just, perfect and beautiful.–Edna Lister, December 26, 1968

Satisfaction of the soul is beauty and the soul is satisfied only by touching its source.–Edna Lister, July 27, 1969

The ways of God are beautiful.–Edna Lister, November 17, 1969

It is a rare simplicity of soul which can look beyond the outer covering of the soul and see the beauty therein.–Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971

The beauty others may see in you is God shining through.–Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971

Love is beauty. Loveliness is Light.–Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971

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Beauty Treatments

I am now bubbling inside with a beautiful feeling, and I have now become a fountain of beauty.–Edna Lister, November 11, 1942

Ponder upon beauty of soul. Then, tend this beauty as a shrine. Feed upon it and feed it with joy. Be beautiful as life is beauty. Express beauty with your eyes, with lips, in thoughts, praise, and love toward God.–Edna Lister, November 16, 1942

Declare, The radiant Light of Spirit now moves through these eyes of God melting, dissolving and absorbing, cleansing and purifying every cell, rebuilding every cell in the image and likeness of God. I now see perfectly and divinely. I now see God and beauty everywhere!–Edna Lister, September 20, 1950

Say, Let Light go forth to create beauty over earth!–Edna Lister, October 21, 1968

Declare, This is Light! How beautiful you are! to criticism or to evil.–Edna Lister, November 31, 1970

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The Virtue of Beauty: A Survey of the Literature

By Marge Pauls

Beauty is the soul expressing the true glory of God.–Edna Lister

  Of all the adjectives used by the writers of the Bible to describe the magnificence of God, none speak more eloquently to us than to hear of His glory and beauty and the beauty of His holiness. Mentioned in the Bible many times, these are intangibles, yet the words instill a sense of enormous awe in our hearts, our minds, our souls. There is no clash of cymbals to announce their presence, but they are immensely alive, and in that instant of awareness, our souls explode in joy.
  Hearing of God’s glory and holiness imbues a reverence within us comprehensible by each soul; yet the word beauty itself isn’t perceived as being particularly sacred or divine. Consequently, there must be more to beauty that inspires it to be used as an expression of the splendor of God.
  Beauty by Definition: Beauty has been defined as a combination of qualities, such as shape, color or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight…or the intellect. Such a sere description! Beauty is far more than that; it is also an emotion, an inspiration, a thought pattern, a soul quality, a way of life, a spiritual stillness, a virtue, a law. Beauty embodies all the senses; it charms the faculties through a precious inherent grace that appears to us unexpectedly, taking our breath away and leaving us filled with wonder.
  Beauty is formless, timeless, spaceless, yet we instantly recognize that which is beautiful. An expansion of joy is our response to beauty, and as a result, the increase of joy expands the quality of our soul’s beauty. There is, however, still more to beauty than all this. In the world it is Light that dazzles the eyes, a loved one’s voice, a laugh. It has a celestial ring to the ears. It can be felt in a touch, a gaze, a taste, an experience.
  Ancient Philosophers and the Concept of Beauty: The ancient philosophers appreciated beauty in all its manifestations, including the visible world. In the Timaeus, Plato tells us beauty is summetria, a good proportion or ratio of parts. Lacking summetria is associated with lacking beauty. Summetria is one of the properties that beautiful things have rather than the cause of beauty, which is its form.
  Plato’s theory of Forms (or Ideas) argues that these Forms are the only objects of study that can provide knowledge; thus, every object or quality in reality has a form and represents the most accurate reality. The Form of Beauty, then, is that by means of which all beautiful things are beautiful. It is the essence of Beauty. Plato celebrates no other Form in his Symposium; indeed, his character Diotima, in explaining her commentary on love, observes that men should ascend to attain the love of wisdom to appreciate the absolute and divine beauty (the Form of Beauty).
  The idea that beauty derives from summetria is usually attributed to the sculptor Polycleitus, who wrote a treatise of the exact proportions that generate beauty. The Roman architect Vitruvius explained it in terms of specific numerical ratios, while Aristotle named summetria as one of the chief forms of beauty, alongside order and definiteness. 
  Numbers underlie the basic structure of the world and beauty is one of the properties that the Pythagorean philosophers used since its presence can be fully explained in the terms of proportion and harmony that are expressed in numerical relationships. The Pythagoreans also had a well-known interest in the beauty of music, and were the first to pinpoint the mathematics underlying the Greek musical scale. According to Aristoxenus, a pupil of Aristotle and the first authority for musical theory in the classical world, music had an effect on a person’s soul comparable to the effect that medicine has on a person’s body due to its being an expression of the harmonizing influence of numbers.
  Judaic Beauty: According to Jewish tradition, beauty means the indomitable power of life, the determination to live on despite all difficulties, the affirmation of the victory of life over death, the striving for eternity. The Torah requires Jews to honor the elderly, to ascribe beauty to the old face, precisely because it expresses the ongoing triumph of a life which endured and persisted throughout the arduous passage of time. It requires us to see in their aging not that they are fading away into oblivion, but to recognize in them the unremitting urge to live, the yearning of the immortal soul deep within each individual and the palpable experience of apprehending the eternal in the flow of passing time.
  God Expressing As: As the Supreme Creator, God expresses as each one of His creations, thus, each soul is endowed by God with all qualities and attributes of the Godhead, including beauty. Beauty, therefore, is a soul virtue, a power that represents an abstract law, rooted in an absolute principle. It is the process of thinking beautiful things, and operates in conjunction with other soul virtues that enable it to manifest in its purest form.
  To overcome the presence of evil we face daily in the world, we must move up in consciousness into the high place of beauty and send forth joy, beauty, harmony, and balance. Beauty is that moment of transition which allows us to melt into the flow of Divine Perfection.
  The Face of Beauty: The Principle of Love is an Emanation of Light from the Godhead, and is the substance that nourishes and sustains all creation. Love is the substance of which beauty is made. It is Love that confers the beauty of soul that shines through the physical and goes before us. True beauty must be earned over time.
  Physical beauty is not just a matter of features; beauty of form grows through the soul’s desire to express as God—a desire so white hot it is visible on the outer. Our face and how we express will then become a clear window for Light to shine through us. To be truly beautiful embodies the trait of unmatched aesthetic and inner beauty, regardless of external influences and unchanged by worldly events or situations. In order for our souls to maintain equilibrium, we must remain balanced in emotions, thoughts, words and deeds.
  Beauty and Other Virtues: John Keats, in his Ode on a Grecian Urn, wrote, ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. Truth is something so harmoniously beautiful that you are compelled to hear it, accept it, and become it.
  As well as being the substance of beauty, Love is faith, and faith is the source of inner, joyous beauty representing honesty, loyalty and integrity. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.–Hebrews 11:1. There is no real faith without true humility; humility sees the truth in self while Love sees the truth in others. True humility is a state of grace with no thought of self.
  Real beauty looks out from the soul and is humble, while vanity sees only the outer appearance and has excessive pride in appearance, acquisition, abilities, achievements, and the like. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen keenly observes that, Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us. Beauty, conversely, is founded on a reverence for all life, on surrendering all to God. That is why beauty has such a profound effect on us; we see in it the divinely balanced and endlessly bountiful creation.
  The Mystery of Beauty: Is there a mystery behind real beauty? Joyous enthusiasm is the secret of beauty, and we express the beauties of God according to our faith. By sacrificing our unattractive old to be filled with God’s glorious new, we look younger and more beautiful, glowing with inner Light. Beauty is both an attitude and a behavior, a quality of the soul. True beauty does not lend tongue to idle gossip, to opinion or prejudice, but as the soul clothes itself in garments of God’s Glory, so does beauty clothe itself in tender, golden tones of love and praise.
  Beauty is the Love of God manifested. We enjoy roses and their perfection, which appears completely untouched—but to produce this beauty takes the parent plant many hours of hard work, taking in earth’s magnetic currents, air and water to generate the bud, all in stillness, silence, and complete confidence. We are like that rose; we stand before the world, the sum total of our service until this moment.–Edna Lister.
  Express as beauty. Paint in beauty whatever comes to you. Remember to be beautiful in tone of voice, in your glance, smile, thoughts, touch, words, acts and deeds. Allow no person, situation or event to disturb your balance in joy and peace. Be the beauty that has been yours from before the creation of the world.

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Plato, Phaedrus 249b-251d

For the soul which has never seen the truth can never pass into human form. For a human being must understand a general conception formed by collecting into a unity [249c] by means of reason the many perceptions of the senses; and this is a recollection of those things which our soul once beheld, when it journeyed with God and, lifting its vision above the things which we now say exist, rose up into real being. And therefore it is just that the mind of the philosopher only has wings, for he is always, so far as he is able, in communion through memory with those things the communion with which causes God to be divine. Now a man who employs such memories rightly is always being initiated into perfect mysteries and he alone becomes truly perfect; [249d] but since he separates himself from human interests and turns his attention toward the divine, he is rebuked by the vulgar, who consider him mad and do not know that he is inspired. All my discourse so far has been about the fourth kind of madness, which causes him to be regarded as mad, who, when he sees the beauty on earth, remembering the true beauty, feels his wings growing and longs to stretch them for an upward flight, but cannot do so, and, like a bird, gazes upward and neglects the things below.
  [249e] My discourse has shown that this is, of all inspirations, the best and of the highest origin to him who has it or who shares in it, and that he who loves the beautiful, partaking in this madness, is called a lover. For, as has been said, every soul of man has by the law of nature beheld the realities, otherwise it would not have entered [250a] into a human being, but it is not easy for all souls to gain from earthly things a recollection of those realities, either for those which had but a brief view of them at that earlier time, or for those which, after falling to earth, were so unfortunate as to be turned toward unrighteousness through some evil communications and to have forgotten the holy sights they once saw. Few then are left which retain an adequate recollection of them; but these when they see here any likeness of the things of that other world, are stricken with amazement and can no longer control themselves; but they do not understand their condition, because they do not clearly perceive.
  [250b] Now in the earthly copies of justice and temperance and the other ideas which are precious to souls there is no light, but only a few, approaching the images through the darkling organs of sense, behold in them the nature of that which they imitate, and these few do this with difficulty. But at that former time they saw beauty shining in brightness, when, with a blessed company—we following in the train of Zeus, and others in that of some other god—they saw the blessed sight and vision and were initiated into that which is rightly called [250c] the most blessed of mysteries, which we celebrated in a state of perfection, when we were without experience of the evils which awaited us in the time to come, being permitted as initiates to the sight of perfect and simple and calm and happy apparitions, which we saw in the pure light, being ourselves pure and not entombed in this which we carry about with us and call the body, in which we are imprisoned like an oyster in its shell.
  So much, then, in honor of memory, on account of which I have now spoken at some length, through yearning for the joys of that other time. But beauty, [250d] as I said before, shone in brilliance among those visions; and since we came to earth we have found it shining most clearly through the clearest of our senses; for sight is the sharpest of the physical senses, though wisdom is not seen by it, for wisdom would arouse terrible love, if such a clear image of it were granted as would come through sight, and the same is true of the other lovely realities; but beauty alone has this privilege, and therefore it is most clearly seen [250e] and loveliest.
  Now he who is not newly initiated, or has been corrupted, does not quickly rise from this world to that other world and to absolute beauty when he sees its namesake here, and so he does not revere it when he looks upon it, but gives himself up to pleasure and like a beast proceeds to lust and begetting; [251a] he makes licence his companion and is not afraid or ashamed to pursue pleasure in violation of nature. But he who is newly initiated, who beheld many of those realities, when he sees a godlike face or form which is a good image of beauty, shudders at first, and something of the old awe comes over him, then, as he gazes, he reveres the beautiful one as a god, and if he did not fear to be thought stark mad, he would offer sacrifice to his beloved as to an idol or a god. And as he looks upon him, a reaction from his shuddering comes over him, with sweat and unwonted heat; [251b] for as the effluence of beauty enters him through the eyes, he is warmed; the effluence moistens the germ of the feathers, and as he grows warm, the parts from which the feathers grow, which were before hard and choked, and prevented the feathers from sprouting, become soft, and as the nourishment streams upon him, the quills of the feathers swell and begin to grow from the roots over all the form of the soul; for it was once all feathered. Now in this process the whole soul throbs and palpitates, and [251c] as in those who are cutting teeth there is an irritation and discomfort in the gums, when the teeth begin to grow, just so the soul suffers when the growth of the feathers begins; it is feverish and is uncomfortable and itches when they begin to grow. Then when it gazes upon the beauty of the beloved and receives the particles which flow thence to it (for which reason they are called yearning), 1 it is moistened and warmed, [251d] ceases from its pain and is filled with joy; but when it is alone and grows dry, the mouths of the passages in which the feathers begin to grow become dry and close up, shutting in the sprouting feathers, and the sprouts within, shut in with the yearning, throb like pulsing arteries, and each sprout pricks the passage in which it is, so that the whole soul, stung in every part, rages with pain; and then again, remembering the beautiful one, it rejoices.


1^ The play on the words μέρη and ἵμερος cannot be rendered accurately in English. Jowett approaches a rendering by the use of the words motion and emotion, but emotion is too weak a word for ἵμερος.

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New Testament on Beauty

{Your} adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.–1 Peter 3:3-4

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Old Testament on Beauty

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.–Psalm 29:2

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.–Psalm 50:2

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.–Isaiah 61:3

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.–Psalm 90:17

The Lord will beautify the humble with salvation.–Psalm 149:4

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Beauty in Other Sacred Writings

Wisdom is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.–Wisdom of Solomon 7:29

Do not refrain to speak when you can do good, and do not hide your wisdom in her beauty; for by speech, wisdom shall be known, and learning by the word of the tongue.–Wisdom of Ben Sirach 4:23-24

Commend not a man for his beauty; neither abhor a man for his outward appearance.–Wisdom of Ben Sirach 11:2

[Ignorance] set about with a creation, preparing with power and beauty the substitute for the truth.–The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The established truth is immutable, imperturbable, perfect in beauty.–The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The soul and the spirit came into being from water and fire. The son of the bridal chamber came into being from water and fire and Light. The fire is the chrism, the Light is the fire. I am not referring to that fire which has no form, but to the other fire whose form is white, which is bright and beautiful, and which gives beauty.–Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3
  {This fire is not the high Light, but the creative fire, which being rooted and grounded in desire, seduces the body to attend to the truth of appearances first. Thus is the human will suborned and eventually corrupted to serve the dubious pleasures of the physical.}

Some, who although having wings, rush upon the visible things that are far from the truth. For the fire, which guides them, will give them an illusion of truth, will shine on them with a perishable beauty, and it will imprison them in a dark sweetness and captivate them with fragrant pleasure. And it has fettered them with its chains and bound all their limbs with the bitterness of the bondage of lust for those visible things that will decay and change and swerve by impulse. They are attracted downwards; as they are killed, they are assimilated to all the beasts of the perishable realm.–Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7
  {This fire is not the high Light, but the creative fire, which being rooted and grounded in desire, seduces the body to attend to the truth of appearances first. Thus is the human will suborned and eventually corrupted to serve the dubious pleasures of the physical.}

As the soul learns about her Light, as she goes about stripping off this world, while her true garment clothes her within; her bridal clothing is placed upon her in beauty of mind, not in pride of flesh.–Authoritative Teaching, Codex VI, 3

No way is hard where there is a simple heart. Nor is there any wound where the thoughts are upright: Nor is there any storm in the depth of the illuminated thought: Where one is surrounded on every side by beauty, there is nothing that is divided. The likeness of what is below is that which is above; for everything is above: what is below is nothing but the imagination of those that are without knowledge.–Odes of Solomon 34:1-5

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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 beauty: Anglo-French beute, Old French biauté beauty, seductiveness, beautiful person; Vulgar Latin bellitatem state of being handsome, from Latin bellus pretty, handsome," charming.

Beauty is an abstract principle.

Beauty is a law of being.

Beauty is a soul virtue.

A Thing of Beauty

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
’Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
–John Keats


Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last; and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of countenance; but yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtue shine, and vices blush.–Francis Bacon

Beauty consists of unity and gradual variety, or unity, variety, and harmony.–James Barry

Beauty is the form under which intellect prefers to study the world.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The perception of Beauty is an office of Reason–and therefore all men have property in it.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No picture can be good which deceives by its imitation, for the very reason that nothing can be beautiful which is not true.–John Ruskin


Aristoxenus. The Harmonics of Aristoxenus. Henry Stewart Macran, trans. and ed. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1902.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: R. Bentley; Edinburgh: Bell & Bradfute, 1833.

Bacon, Francis. Of Beauty, Essays, Civil and Moral, Volume III, Part 1. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909.

Barry, James Esq. R.A. Lectures on Painting: By the Royal Academicians, Barry, Opie and Fuseli. Ralph N. Wornum, ed. London: H.G. Bohn, 1848, p. 103.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1909, p. 146.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Beauty, The Conduct of Life. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1860, p. 178.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Elective Affinities: A Novel. John Leonard Greenberg, trans. New York: Collier, 1900, p. 68.

Huffman, Carl A. Aristoxenus of Tarentum: the Pythagorean Precepts (How to Live a Pythagorean Life), An Edition of and Commentary on the Fragments with an Introduction. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe. T. Bailey Saunders, trans. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1906, p. 170.

Keats, John. Endymion, Poetical Works. London: Macmillan, 1884.

Keats, John. Ode on a Grecian Urn, The Oxford Book of English Verse, A. T. Quiller-Couch, ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1919.

Pappas, Nickolas. Plato’s Aesthetics, , The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Fall 2020, Edward N. Zalta, ed. [April 7, 2024].

Pauls, Marge. The Virtue of Beauty: A Survey of the Literature, Cleveland, Ohio, June 26, 2017.

Plato. Phaedrus.

Plato. Symposium.

Plato. Timaeus.

Polycleitus, Polyclitus’s Canon and the Idea of Symmetria, Art History Courses (ARTH Courses) 209, SUNY- Oneonta [accessed February 21, 2017].

Sartwell, Crispin. Beauty, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Summer 2022, Edward N. Zalta, editor [April 8, 2024].

Schneerson, Rabbi Menachem M. Torah: The Beauty of the Elderly. Shabbos Parshas Eikey and Shabbos Parshas Re’ey, trans., The Rebbe.Org, [April 8, 2017].

Shmidman, Rabbi Joshua, Jewish Beauty and the Beauty of Jewishness, The Orthodox Union, Jewish Action Magazine, Spring 1998, [accessed February 21, 2017].

Tatarkiewicz, Władysław, History of Aesthetics, Vol. I, Ancient Aesthetics, Jstor, [April 8, 2024].

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus, "Vitruvius" (a synopsis of the ten books of "De Architectura"), Ancient History Encyclopedia (online), [February 21, 2017].

Webster, Noah. "Beauty" The American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Recommended Reading

The Golden Ratio: Phi, 1.618

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Transformation: Edna Lister sermon outline; December 29, 1946.

The Mystery of All Beauty: Edna Lister speech outline; March 4, 1953.