Beauty is defined as "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. But as it is hardly possible to define all the properties which constitute beauty we may observe in general, that 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 relative, to perceive which the aid of the understanding and reflection is requisite. Thus, the beauty of a machine is not perceived, till we understand its uses, and adaptation to its purpose. This is called the beauty of utility. By any easy transition, the word beauty is used to express what is pleasing to the other senses, or to the understanding. Thus we say, the beauty of a thought, of a remark, of sound, etc.

"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.

“Beauty is another name for the Good, which is God.”

God is beauty. Beauty is an absolute and abstract principle: While you cannot see beauty itself, you can 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. To better understand the Idea of Beauty, study the Good, Truth, Honor, and Integrity also.

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. – Edna Lister, An Encompassing Faith, May 4, 1947.

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 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, the Power of God 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 enters your life, say, "You are the most beautiful thing that ever entered my life." 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 all up in love, if you think of the love of God enough. Ascend with no holdouts, clean. You cannot get anything out of anyone's heart until the root is out. Lift everything from the past. – Edna Lister, December 7, 1953.

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

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

The kingdom of heaven is within; 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 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, Scribe A, May 19, 1955.

“True beauty reveals a quality of the soul.”

The soul who is fervently constant in beauty and joy will never slip. Find beauty in every lesson, and be joyous. When you rejoice in beauty, you will be amazed at the glory of miracles that will pour themselves upon you. – Edna Lister, Scribe B, May 19, 1955.

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 recognize what is beautiful. Your response to beauty is an expression of joy, and your effort to increase joy expands 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 through and express. – 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. – 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; all your beauty is in 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.”

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, "How beautiful you look. 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 a 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. This is the way of the Christed Crown: You 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, but it grows blossoms of joy and beauty. – 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 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 negatives or "uglies." – 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, 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.”

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 means a beautiful life. – Edna Lister, Beauty: A Spiritual Way of Life, May 9, 1967.

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 and 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 affinity of soul. – Edna Lister, All Healing Comes Through Beauty of Soul, May 16, 1967.

"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. – Edna Lister, All Healing Comes from Beauty of the Soul, May 16, 1967.

“Beauty appeals through affinity of soul.”

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. – Edna Lister, All Healing Comes Through Beauty of Soul, May 16, 1967.

To get the beauty of healing you must go to the Source. – Edna Lister, All Healing Comes Through Beauty of Soul, May 16, 1967.

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 evil or criticism. – Edna Lister, November 31, 1970.

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A Survey of the Literature: The Virtue of Beauty

Marge Pauls essay; June 26, 2017, Cleveland, Ohio.

"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 her book, 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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The soul which has never seen the truth will not pass into the human form. For a man must have intelligence of universals, and be able to proceed from the many particulars of sense to one conception of reason; — this is the recollection of those things which our soul once saw while following God — when regardless of that which we now call being she raised her head up towards the true being. And therefore the mind of the philosopher alone has wings; and this is just, for he is always, according to the measure of his abilities, clinging in recollection to those things in which God abides, and in beholding which He is what He is. And he who employs [456] aright these memories is ever being initiated into perfect mysteries and alone becomes truly perfect. But, as he forgets earthly interests and is rapt in the divine, the vulgar deem him mad, and rebuke him; they do not see that he is inspired.

Thus far I have been speaking of the fourth and last kind of madness, which is imputed to him who, when he sees the beauty of earth, is transported with the recollection of the true beauty; he would like to fly away, but he cannot; he is like a bird fluttering and looking upward and careless of the world below; and he is therefore thought to be mad. And I have shown this of all inspirations to be the noblest and highest and the offspring of the highest to him who has or shares in it, and that he who loves the beautiful is called a lover because he partakes of it. For, as has been already said, every soul of man has in the way of nature beheld true being; this was the condition of her passing into the form of man. But all souls do not easily recall the things of the other world; they may have seen them for a short time only, or they may have been unfortunate in their earthly lot, and, having had their hearts turned to unrighteousness through some corrupting influence, they may have lost the memory of the holy things which once they saw. Few only retain an adequate remembrance of them; and they, when they behold here any image of that other world, are rapt in amazement; but they are ignorant of what this rapture means, because they do not clearly perceive. For there is no light of justice or temperance or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass dimly; and there are few who, going to the images, behold in them the realities, and these only with difficulty. There was a time when with the rest of the happy band they saw beauty shining in brightness, — we philosophers following in the train of Zeus, others in company with other gods; and then we beheld the beatific vision and were initiated into a mystery which may be truly called most blessed, celebrated by us in our state of innocence, before we had any experience of evils to come, when we were admitted to the sight of apparitions innocent and simple and calm and happy, which we beheld shining in [457] pure light, pure ourselves and not yet enshrined in that living tomb which we carry about, now that we are imprisoned in the body, like an oyster in his shell. Let me linger over the memory of scenes which have passed away.

But of beauty, I repeat again that we saw her there shining in company with the celestial forms; and coming to earth we find her here too, shining in clearness through the clearest aperture of sense. For sight is the most piercing of our bodily senses; though not by that is wisdom seen; her loveliness would have been transporting if there had been a visible image of her, and the other ideas, if they had visible counterparts, would be equally lovely. But this is the privilege of beauty, that being the loveliest she is also the most palpable to sight. Now he who is not newly initiated or who has become corrupted, does not easily rise out of this world to the sight of true beauty in the other; he looks only at her earthly namesake, and instead of being awed at the sight of her, he is given over to pleasure, and like a brutish beast he rushes on to enjoy and beget; he consorts with wantonness, and is not afraid or ashamed of pursuing pleasure in violation of nature. But he whose initiation is recent, and who has been the spectator of many glories in the other world, is amazed when he sees any one having a godlike face or form, which is the expression of divine beauty; and at first a shudder runs through him, and again the old awe steals over him; then looking upon the face of his beloved as of a god he reverences him, and if he were not afraid of being thought a downright madman, he would sacrifice to his beloved as to the image of a god; then while he gazes on him there is a sort of reaction, and the shudder passes into an unusual heat and perspiration; for, as he receives the effluence of beauty through the eyes, the wing moistens and he warms. And as he warms, the parts out of which the wing grew, and which had been hitherto closed and rigid, and had prevented the wing from shooting forth, are melted, and as nourishment streams upon him, the lower end of the wing begins to swell and grow from the root upwards; and the growth extends under the whole soul — for once the whole was winged.

During this process [458] the whole soul is all in a state of ebullition and effervescence, — which may be compared to the irritation and uneasiness in the gums at the time of cutting teeth, — bubbles up, and has a feeling of uneasiness and tickling; but when in like manner the soul is beginning to grow wings, the beauty of the beloved meets her eye and she receives the sensible warm motion of particles which flow towards her, therefore called emotion (ἵμερος), and is refreshed and warmed by them, and then she ceases from her pain with joy. But when she is parted from her beloved and her moisture fails, then the orifices of the passage out of which the wing shoots dry up and close, and intercept the germ of the wing; which, being shut up with the emotion, throbbing as with the pulsations of an artery, pricks the aperture which is nearest, until at length the entire soul is pierced and maddened and pained, and at the recollection of beauty is again delighted. – Plato, Phaedrus

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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.

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
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
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, Endymion, Book I, 1-24


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, Of Beauty

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


Aristoxenus. The Harmonics of Aristoxenus. Henry Stewart Macran, translator and editor. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1902 [accessed June 28, 2017].

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Bacon, Francis. "Of Beauty," Essays, Civil and Moral, Volume III, Part 1. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier and Son, 1909–14;, 2001 [accessed February 24, 2017].

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

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

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

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

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

Keats, John. "Endymion," Poetical Works. London: Macmillan, 1884;, 1999, [accessed February 24, 2017].

Keats, John. "Ode on a Grecian Urn," The Oxford Book of English Verse, A. T. Quiller-Couch, editor. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1919, [accessed February 24, 2017].

Pappas, Nickolas. "Plato's Aesthetics," , The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Fall 2016, Edward N. Zalta, editor [accessed February 21, 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].

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Recommended Reading

The Golden Ratio: Phi, 1.618

Related Topics

See Goodness

See Honor

See Integrity

See Truth

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

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