Being, the Absolute Principle: God

Ontology is defined as "the science or study of being; that department of metaphysics which relates to the being or essence of things, or to be in the abstract." Ontological is defined "of or pertaining to or of the nature of ontological."

The Oxford English Dictionary defines being as "existence, the fact of belonging to the universe of things material or immaterial; existence viewed as a property possessed by anything; substance, constitution or nature; essential substance, essence; that which exists or is conceived of as existing."

Mirriam-Webster Dictionary describes being as:"the quality or state of having existence; something that is conceivable and hence capable of existing; something that actually exists; the totality of existing things; conscious existence; the qualities that constitute an existent thing; essence.

"Ontology is the philosophical study of being in general, or of what applies neutrally to everything that is real." – Encyclopaedia Britannica.

"Ontological argument "proceeds from the idea of God to the reality of God. It was first clearly formulated by St. Anselm in his Proslogion (1077–78); a later famous version is given by René Descartes. Anselm began with the concept of God as that than which nothing greater can be conceived. To think of such a being as existing only in thought and not also in reality involves a contradiction, since a being that lacks real existence is not a being than which none greater can be conceived. A yet greater being would be one with the further attribute of existence. Thus the unsurpassably perfect being must exist; otherwise it would not be unsurpassably perfect. This is among the most discussed and contested arguments in the history of thought." – Encyclopaedia Britannica.

“God as principle is Being. Being is all that God is as potential and as the actual principles of Wisdom, Love, and the Logos.”

Philosophically considered, being was τὰ ὄντα (ta onta) to the Greeks. "Being is that which has actuality either materially or in idea, or absolute existence in a complete or perfect state, lacking no essential characteristic; essence. In philosophical language, being is the widest term applicable to all objects of sense or thought, material or immaterial.

"Phrases in philosophy, formed to translate the corresponding German and French expressions, include being-for-itself, conscious being, being as actuality; being-in-itself, being that lacks conscious awareness, being as mere potentiality; being-itself, pure being, regarded as infinite and uncharacterizable; being-with, human existence, regarded as membership of the community of persons."

We use the term being in describing God as principle. Being is all that God is as potential and actual Wisdom, Love, and the Logos. In dealing with being as it applies to spiritual laws, we are concerned with states of consciousness, which are states of being. The relative laws of being include every instance in the Bible where God commands us to "be" some soul quality.

Being is an absolute principle: God is. Being is an abstract principle, a law of being, and a law of doing. I AM describes your personal state of being. Each time you preface a statement with "I am," you are about to report on your state of being physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

Edna Lister on Being

"Super-conscious mind" is a purely psychological term describing man's relational consciousness of God. "Oversoul" is a philosophical term describing the manner in which our individual being is related to God's Being. "I AM" is a metaphysical term describing God's Being, while "I am" describes ours. Science would call this relationship "the differentiated within the undifferentiated," or the "differentiation of the undifferentiated." Philosophy refers to God as "Being" or "Reality." – Edna Lister, January 16, 1933.

Real religion is a state of being — I AM THAT I AM — the divine nature of the soul now. – Edna Lister, The Second Degree, March 23, 1935.

Prayer is a state of being, communion, devotion, your intelligent desire to communicate with your Father-Mother God. – Edna Lister, How to Pray, May 16, 1935.

The theory of being examines final thought conceptions concerning real existence, man, nature, and fundamental reality. Philosophy calls this metaphysics. Meta- is a Greek prefix meaning "between, with, beside, or after." Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that deals with the theoretical being and knowing, thus it is the science of mind based on abstract general reasoning. Metaphysics deals with that which is supernatural, visionary, or invisible, that which cannot be sensed, felt, or measured. – Edna Lister, Philosophy, September 3, 1935.

Balance is a state of being unaffected by outside influences, unmoved in what you think, do, or say. – Edna Lister, Be-Attitudes, September 12, 1935.

Being, in any form, determines thought. Thought does not determine being. The knowing self knows its own states, and their modifications. It also knows the objective things of the universe, as well as their relations, which its experience reveals. – Edna Lister, Philosophy, September 16, 1935.

The ultimate statement of being is simply, "God is"; an ancient form of this is I AM THAT I AM, which we may translate as "being is being." We use the word God to express the is, some "is-ness." God is not going to be; God is not has been. He is whatever is, which philosophy declares to be the "totality of being." All thinking demands an "ultimate" statement of truth, a final definition, a "hypothesis of being" that finite mind will accept.

The "totality of being" is all that is, everywhere evenly present, absolute, and final. The totality of being implies law that is absolute and final, which means that you can go no higher, go nowhere else, or appeal to any other authority. This law must have something through which to operate and upon which to operate.

The totality of being includes absolute substance and motion, Spirit moving throughout all space. Therefore, absolute being is filling absolute space, governing absolute time by absolute law, creating via absolute substance, in a process that is absolute abstract motion. The process of reasoning brings us inevitably into sight of the "immanence" of God "in all," "through all," and "as all." – Edna Lister, The Theory of Being, November 18, 1935.

Power must act on substance to move it from one state of being to another. – Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

Poise is the most potentially dynamic state of being. – Edna Lister, The Word Made Flesh, January 5, 1947.

Be loyal to God. – Edna Lister, April 17, 1947.

Be joyful always. – Edna Lister, June 27, 1947.

"I am Light" establishes your most stable platform, your perfect state of being. – Edna Lister, April 27, 1948.

Be as perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Edna Lister, July 28, 1948.

To "arise" means to move up from an unconscious state into a conscious state of being and "expressing" soul. – Edna Lister, I Arise, June 20, 1954.

God as principle is your state of being, no matter how you see yourself. – Edna Lister, As God Sees Me, June 8, 1958.

You cannot really kill anything in God's creation; you only alter its appearance, state of being or rate of vibration. – Edna Lister, November 4, 1958.

Truth is a quality of soul and a state of being. Being is a name of God as principle. – Edna Lister, I Am the Truth, October 11, 1959.

Forgiveness is a high state of being that includes wisdom, love, and compassion. – Edna Lister, January 10, 1963.

Reality refers to the overall comprehensive state of being which is the Three Emanations as Mind, Power and Substance; Wisdom, Love, and Energy; Father, Mother and Son. – Edna Lister, Deity and Reality, October 13, 1964.

Once you have asked to become like the Master, you must practice being as he is until you feel his arms enfolding you at all times. – Edna Lister, April 25, 1966.

Patience is a state of being that includes everything that God is. You must be patent with regard to everything. – Edna Lister, December 19, 1966.

Be conscious of being the Light with no possible darkness tainting it. – Edna Lister, January 5, 1967.

The law of God is a perfect state of being. – Edna Lister, June 25, 1967.

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The Ancient Greeks on Being

From The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Heraclitus (c. 535-475 BC) is best known for his assertion that πάντα ῥεῖ (panta rhei) "all is flux" or "everything flows." Heraclitus did not use an explicit word for what things were flowing, but simply said, "all flows." The most familiar quote attributed to him is: "On those stepping into rivers (staying the same), other and other waters flow on." (ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμβαίνουσιν, ἕτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ. Potamoisi toisin autoisin embainousin, hetera kai hetera hudata epirrei.) Herodotus's Greek words have a most mellifluous internal rhyme and rhythm — oisi oisi oisi ousi, hetera hetera hudata.

Plato, in his Cratylus 402a, paraphrases Heraclitus's saying about rivers, but uses χωρεῖ (gives way, make room) rather than ῥεῖ (flows). (πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει" καὶ δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης. Panta chōrei kai ouden menei kai dis es ton auton potamon ouk an embaies.) The Loeb translation (H.N.Fowler) is "all things move and nothing remains still, and he likens the universe to the current of a river, saying that you cannot step twice into the same river."

In Cratylus 401d we find, "All things move and nothing remains still." (Tὰ ὄντα ἰέναι τε πάντα καὶ μένειν οὐδέν. Ta onta ienai te panta kai menein ouden.) Here Plato adds "onta," things that exist or have being (to on) as opposed to Protagoras's word χρήματα for the things (of value) of which "man is the measure."

Heraclitus is also famous for saying that there is something that governs all this change, something which in itself is eternal. He called it "Logos." (ποταμοῖσ τοῖσ αὐτοῖσ ἐμβαίνομεν τε και οὐκ ἐμβαίνομεν, εἶμεν τε και οὐκεἶμεν. (Diels-Kranz B49a, "Homeric Questions.") The Logos.) The modern interpretation is that he intuits the notion of laws of nature that describe the material world. Theologians have for centuries identified Heraclitus's logos with God.

Aristotle, in Rhetoric 1407b, writes, "The logos of all things is eternal." (τοῦ λόγου τοῦδ᾽ ἐόντος ἀεὶ ἀξύνετοι ἄνθρωποι γίγνονται. Tou logou tous eontos aei.) Aristotle uses ἐόντος, the early Ionic form of ὂντος from Heraclitus's time and place.

For Plato, "Being" is one of his forms or "ideas" that are prior to any instance of an object with a given form. The forms exist, or subsist, in another "realm" that is more "real" for Plato than the everyday physical world of material objects. Forms outside space and time resemble Immanuel Kant's noumenal world of the thing-in-itself, the "Ding an sich."

Plato set up the fundamental dualism of philosophy, the distinction between idealism and materialism, between abstract eternal essences and concrete ephemeral existences, between Parmenidean Being and Heraclitean Becoming. In Timaeus 27d, Plato asked "What is Being always, but has no Becoming (origin or genesis), and what is Becoming always, and never Being?" (τί τὸ ὂν ἀεί͵ γένεσιν δὲ οὐκ ἔχον͵ καὶ τί τὸ γιγνόμενον μὲν ἀεί͵ ὂν δὲ οὐδέποτε.) Plato preferred the "Being" (τὸ ὂν) of Parmenides over the "Becoming" (γιγνόμενον) of Heraclitus. That Being was from the earliest times associated with God may account for the survival of Plato's corpus and the demolition into fragments of the work of Heraclitus.

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New Testament on Being

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:48.

I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. – Matthew 10:16.

The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. – Matthew 10:24-25.

Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:26-28.

He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. – Matthew 23:11.

Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. – Matthew 24:44.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. – Luke 6:36.

The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. – Luke 6:40.

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. – Luke 12:37-38.

To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. – Romans 8:6-7.

Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12:2.

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. – Romans 12:16.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:21.

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. – 1 Corinthians 14:20.

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. – 2 Corinthians 5:20.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God. – 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. – Galatians 6:2-3.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. – Ephesians 4:17-24.

Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7.

Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. – 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12.

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. – 2 Timothy 4:2.

Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. – James 1:19-20.

Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. – James 1:22-25.

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. – James 5:8.

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. – 1 Peter 1:14-16.

Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. – 1 Peter 3:8-9.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. – 1 Peter 5:8.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. – 1 John 3:2.

Old Testament on Being

When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. – Genesis 17:1.

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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 being: Middle English ben, from Old English beon, to be.

Being is an absolute principle.

Being is an abstract principle.

Being is a law of being.

Being is a law of doing.


Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Ontological argument."Encyclopedia Britannica, April 20, 2009. Accessed 28 August 2022.

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

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Simons, Peter. "Ontology". Encyclopedia Britannica, January 19, 2015. Accessed 28 August 2022.