Bridging the Abyss

By Linda Mihalic

An abyss is an unfathomable chasm, a yawning gulf, an immeasurably profound depth or void; the primeval chaos.Oxford English Dictionary
  Metaphysically defined, a physical abyss is a section of condensed substance in space, created by the friction of passing between incoming and outgoing emanations of supernal Light, filled with unnumbered, unnamed life sparks.–Edna Lister, Design for Ascension, 1942
  The James Webb Space Telescope (Webb or JWST), launched in 2021, has already thrown a significant amount of so-called settled science in its ear and we expect it shall continue to do so. Man proposes, but God disposes said Thomas à Kempis in Imitation of Christ, circa 1418–1427 A.D. The Webb Telescope has already caused rethinking on the s uposed dark matter/energy in the universe and we wonder if it may point to the existence of the abysses Edna Lister proposed.
  An abyss in consciousness is a passage into and through the unknown that elicits all possible fears, doubts and uncertainties. Bridging the abyss is a series of initiations that involves sacrificing the known for the unknown. The abyss is one of consciousness, considered in quality and in quantity.
  Most of earth’s inhabitants are awake, but live in a mesmerized, dreamlike state, not quite fully conscious. You may acquire greater conscious awareness by sacrificing the self and your selfish concerns rooted in the material world. Being able to ask, Is this all there is? marks the soul’s first awakening to the possibility of more than the appearance of things, and from there, you step into the abyss to becoming.

Edna Lister on Bridging the Abyss

Bridging the abyss is accepting your personal responsibility to act against your former passivity, giving up grief the physical world inflicts upon the soul and following the Way of the Christ to safety through all trials and temptations.–Edna Lister, October 7, 1938

Wisdom leads upward into the green pastures of God’s Kingdom. Love heals all mortal ills. Devotion makes the path plain before you. Surrender bridges all abysses of darkness. Faithfulness makes everything possible.–Edna Lister, October 27, 1938

After completely bridging the abyss, you no longer need an interpreter for the evidence of your soul faculties. You hear directly, and see for yourself.–Edna Lister, November 24, 1938

The Great Abyss surrounds the Sources. Only the venturesome and bold, only those who can pass the fires and fears of terrifying initiations can ever achieve it. Only those who can face initiation without fear may ever hope to cross it. This crossing is greater than all passages before it. When you accept the invitation to cross, you, as a Neophyte to higher realms, begin the final dissolving of the silver cord that binds you to earth. Remember, although it is a gift that only sacrifice and rigorous discipline can earn, still, it is a gift.–Edna Lister, December 14, 1938

When you realize that only the very few can bridge the abyss to make this heavenly contact with Oversoul, then you also realize how great a conquering it is, not to be treated lightly or superficially, though in a spirit of triumph and joy.–Edna Lister, June 21, 1939

Only unconquerable faith and the blazing fires of unquenchable love shall be able to carry you over the bridge across the great abyss.–Edna Lister, January 22, 1941

If you bridge the abyss, you cross the fate line to the Path of Destiny.–Edna Lister, August 4, 1949

Light is all that matters. Follow the Light up, and find the answer at the end. Abysses separate the different realms and kingdoms in heaven. You cannot leave a realm until you have finished that last step, bridging the abyss. You have mighty help, for your Oversoul descends to the realm in which you work.–Edna Lister, September 18, 1950

Some abysses exist solely for initiatory purposes. Crossing these abysses brings out doubts, fears and all your personal limitations. You are being prepared to release greater Power. Everyone faces a black abyss, which you cross by faith. This is the last initiation of the first 33 Degrees. You face a great initiator, who asks many questions, the last of which is, "What does God mean to you?" The sublime answer is, "My God is a God of love in whom is no fright, apprehension or delusion." Finally, you reach the granddaddy of all abysses. Love is one word that God cannot resist, the one magic word in the universe. This black abyss is as great in extent as all the abysses you have crossed previously.–Edna Lister, December 5, 1950

The abyss between God’s Mind and the mind of man is an immutable principle. God as personality bridges this abyss. Science reveals the physical structure of the bridge over the Abyss.–Edna Lister, August 2, 1951

You need many credits in heaven to bridge the abyss.–Edna Lister, October 28, 1951

Crystallized soul substance is stored in spheres of individual debt in each abyss. Every time you cross these abysses, you attract your share of that debt and they release just the amount you can lift. Wipe the day’s page clean each night, lift every negative spoken or thought for burning or absorption, so you neither harm nor delay yourself or the person you criticized.–Edna Lister, November 21, 1955

Each time you cross an abyss, you must clear your soul records. The soul’s greatest sin has been hedonistic enjoyment of life, and being lukewarm and indifferent to lifting spiritual when in high places and positions of earthly authority.–Edna Lister, July 16, 1956

You can reach the point where nothing illuminating or inspiring comes through, when you float between waves in a state of suspension because you have cut yourself off from the River of Life and each life spark has lowered in activity of expression into that state known as the void. The void is a state in each abyss, before you can perceive any form. The life sparks are inert. Lift your arms and reach for the stars. If you sink to the subconscious mind, you remain there, stuck.–Edna Lister, October 15, 1956

When you earn the privilege of taking your final initiations, the Council collects all your leftovers from past initiations into a personal 33 Degrees. You cannot enter the abyss to take the 33 Degrees with any trait that is not Christed.–Edna Lister, June 6, 1957

You must open the soul faculties to bridge the abyss for seeing and hearing.–Edna Lister, June 19, 1958

The laws of the abyss are the hardest of all to learn. The great abyss includes all abysses between earth and the Source. Countless thousands of descended gods lose their places there and start to regress through self-blame, self-pity or even resentment for such trials by fire. It requires the cleaning up of all soul taints, thus we call the "great crossing" of all abysses. There is no easy way to conquer the great abyss, and you make the great crossing only through the most rigid soul disciplining. At times one can only gasp from pain but usually from a self-disgust.
  You can cross instantly as a miracle, or inch by inch; some choose a little death every day. You may tolerate no self, no looking back or faltering, but must demand alert perfection of the self, awareness of all that happens around you with no self-excuses or justification. Move up in consciousness into the Light, making the self into a gift that you lay upon the altar, giving God whatever the situation is making or creating. This is the sum of the laws of the abyss.–Edna Lister, January 3, 1961

The laws of the abyss are the hardest to hold because you can accept only what you comprehend as law. As the great Day of Creation opened, we laid our memories and soul robes upon altars, creating places where we would have to sink into darkness to test for fear on our return. Thus, we created four great abysses from the highest Source downward.
  We must return and be strengthened again to prove our ability. The testing and temptations measured the descent, just as they mark the ascent. All that comes to us is good, and nothing that comes is too hard or takes too long to lift. If it comes to us, it comes because God has no one else to lift it. It makes no difference how hard it is. We are the conquerors and can always last one day longer than the challenge. So, remember Jesus’ command, "What is that to thee? Follow thou me," for whatever comes does so for you to release the Power to lift. You are the law when you lift.
  The laws of the great abyss include all lesser laws. On the outside, it is always something you wish to escape. You are the responsible one in your place, and are supposed to engineer it, entice it and kick it in the rear. Having done all, you are to stand and know until you have conquered it. You may not shout or demand "You’ve got to" of anyone. You get to live in every circumstance and call it good. Where you stand is where you are supposed to be, so you must accept responsibility for the place you occupy. It is your conquering point.
  If you don’t like your situation, you must recreate it and make it more beautiful. Love enough will end your pouting and give you comprehension of law. God has sent everyone who scratches you on contact to polish a facet of your 144 soul virtues. All He asks of you is to be a purveyor of Power, a catalyst, a mediator who draws disparate elements together as one. Love is the catalyst that causes no destructive explosion. When you find someone who is determined to "explode," ask God to fill him with Light and glory. Stand and view him as though you were the Master. Wonder what makes him tick, and he will squirm under the Light.
  These are your trials by fire as you cross the great abyss, which is compounded of all lesser abysses. You are not kept from the first Source, but must still pass the abyss to cleanse all taints. You cannot go to the Source and remain there until you cleanse all taints. Law is your life preserver of Light in the great crossing.–Edna Lister, January 12, 1961.

The initiations are Rebirth, Baptism by Water, Baptism by Fire, Transfiguration, Crucifixion (Death), and Ascension, which is crossing the abyss to sacrifice the last of self. The first set of 33 Degrees is a bit uneven, but "God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb" (Laurence Sterne, 1713‑1768).

The second set of 33 Degrees is a bit smoother. The third set of 33 Degrees really begins the Resurrection to climb the Mount of Transfiguration. It is a rocky way, with many pitfalls, and a vast abyss, which you must cross. You must achieve all of this to reach Paradise, which is not given to you free.

Stand on your Mount of Transfiguration, where all is perfect, and the world will follow. When you finish the fate line, you step onto the Path of Destiny.–Edna Lister, May 14, 1965

Each has his own way of bridging the abyss. Religion is supposed to help build your bridge, but you must must let it permeate your physical, mental and spiritual lives to make this bridge complete.–Edna Lister, June 26, 1966

We all cross abysses, all according to our degree and kind.–Edna Lister, November 7, 1970

Top ↑

A Story That Illustrates Bridging the Abyss

Lazarus and the Rich Man: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.–Luke 16:19-31

Top ↑

New Testament on Bridging the Abyss

No man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven.–John 3:13

The gift of Christ: Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)–Ephesians 4:7-10

Top ↑


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 abyss: from Greek abyssos bottomless, unfathomed, hence, generally, enormous, unfathomable, also as a noun, he abyssos the great depth, the underworld, the bottomless pit. This is a compound of a- without (see a- + byssos bottom.

Bridging the abyss is a series of initiations.


There may be two or three or four steps, according to the genius of each, but for every seeing soul there are two absorbing facts, I and the Abyss.–Ralph Waldo Emerson


Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1909, p. 171.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

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

Related Topic