By Linda Mihalic

Conscience is internal or self-knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong; or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them. Conscience is called by some writers the moral sense, and considered as an original faculty of our nature. Others question the propriety of considering conscience as a distinct faculty or principle. They consider it rather as the general principle of moral approbation or disapprobation, applied to one’s own conduct and affections; alledging that our notions of right and wrong are not to be deduced from a single principle or faculty, but from various powers of the understanding and will.Webster’s American Dictionary
  The conscience manifests itself in the feeling of obligation we experience, which precedes, attends and follows our actions. Conscience is first occupied in ascertaining our duty, before we proceed to action; then in judging of our actions when performed. The estimate or determination of conscience; justice; honesty. Real sentiment; private thought; truth; Consciousness; knowledge of our own actions or thought.Webster’s American Dictionary
  The world defines conscience as the awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one’s conduct with the urge to prefer right over wrong.Oxford English Dictionary

“Your Oversoul invariably speaks through your conscience to remind you of law.”
–Edna Lister

  Conscience is both a soul virtue and a mental faculty. Conscience is that soul impulse which directs you to right conduct in thought, speech and action. The voice of conscience, your moral compass, speaks as your moral and ethical code. Your soul uses your endocrine and central nervous systems to tune in on a light wave and hear the Voice of God or His messengers. Your guardian angel and the Master may also speak to you through the voice of your conscience.
  Self and the minions of evil will always make excuses for misconduct and disobedience to law. A sociopath is conscienceless, a soul who has repeatedly, throughout many lives, so ignored and debased his moral and ethical code as to have f allen to become a son of Belial, a soul that has misused so much soul substance as to be nearly worthless. A sociopath is both wicked and lawless, a vector of inquiry and often of perversion. They constantly work to bring other souls down to their level.

Edna Lister on Conscience

Your thoughts are constructive or destructive, and you must bring them all before the judge of conscience, to be self-reviewed.–Edna Lister, The Dividing Line, May 27, 1934.

You may improve yourself morally by being honest with self and others, by remembering that right is right and wrong is wrong, by helping others, by being charitable, by avoiding temptation, and by living now, not in the past or the future.–Edna Lister, How to Improve in Every Way, January 4, 1936.

You hear God’s orders completely under law and direct to the voice of conscience.–Edna Lister, October 1, 1938.

Most people can hear only the voice of their own innermost desires. Let go fully of all that limits your vision and perfect hearing of the Master’s voice. You cannot hear his voice unless you accept responsibility to conquer self. Yet when you listen, his voice may come from many directions, the Bible, books, lectures, your thoughts, in conversation with others or through outer circumstances.–Edna Lister, October 20, 1939.

You acquire consciousness and creative conscience.–Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

When conscience yawns with your first inspiration, aspiration prompts the soul to begin the long travail of ascension. As your soul awakens brain cells, the officer of soul conscience arouses remorse and delivers you to the prison of regret, where you repent quietly and alone, after remorse and grief make self sorry. Your soul takes charge and begins trying.
  Conscience is born when you hear about it, a sense of remorse awakens, and an albatross of guilt plagues you. One who rehashes his guilt is unconsciously remorseful, and begins doing when he tires of chewing the cud.
  The first misstep softens morale and the moral stance, making the second mistake easier. Weakened moral fiber inevitably leads to the point where all that remains are selfish desires, until you can’t say yes or no.–Edna Lister, The First Days, June 17, 1951.

As conscience develops, it awakens remorse for past deeds, and begins to teach you a better way to live.
  Conscience is the judge, your Oversoul speaking as conscience, reminding you of law.–Edna Lister, The Candle of Glory, June 24, 1951.

The way of self is hard, and you are always kicking against the pricks of conscience.–Edna Lister, The Golden Silence, September 28, 1952.

Your Oversoul invariably speaks through your conscience to remind you of law.–Edna Lister, I Accept, June 27, 1954.

The call of conscience comes when you get off target, which is why you may feel right or wrong about some event or choice. A soul can shut out the Light until it cannot penetrate, but such a soul has corrupted his own integrity until he has no conscience.–Edna Lister, July 23, 1955.

Your conscience is guilty when your soul consciousness reminds you of your vows.–Edna Lister, April 15, 1956.

You hear the Voice of God with your brain cells.–Edna Lister, October 21, 1956.

Criticism is so rampant today that even the lowest life forms are developing a conscience.
  Fault finders are just awakening to the idea of Christed stature.–Edna Lister, May 29, 1957.

An oracle stands for and expresses truth in business, social or family life to the best of his ability, prays much, praises much, and has always had the vision and heard God’s Voice speaking. An oracle has always accepted that the Voice of God speaks to him when he is teaching, from the lowest grades to the highest, as words from above put on his lips, and that phrasing is an oracle’s service.–Edna Lister, December 16, 1957.

A Master [the degree] learns honor by polishing his or her ethics and morals.–Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

Love awakens conscience.–Edna Lister, June 22, 1959.

"The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."–John 5:25. The dead of this world have no time left for God because their world revolves around the self only.–Edna Lister, I Am the Life, October 18, 1959.

Injustice is the death of moral being; it is moral evil, falsehood in action.–Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 20, 1959.

As you hearken, you hear the Voice of God. Day or night, your mind tunes in the problem’s answer from divine Mind under prayer, yet you must listen when God calls you.–Edna Lister, Hear, Hearken, Heed and Obey, November 8, 1959.

Conscience forms character, which is the sum of the moral and mental qualities that distinguish an individual, the individuality impressed by nature or habit on man, mental or moral constitution.Oxford English Dictionary. Character also expresses moral qualities strongly developed or strikingly displayed.–Edna Lister, Is it Right to Ask for Myself? June 14, 1960.

God speaks to you as your conscience. The true voice of conscience is the Light penetrating the memory cells so that you remember truth.–Edna Lister, The Ladder of Faith, December 18, 1960.

While you may be moderate in your relationships to all on the outside, you live in absolute morality in everything that means God’s honor. You cannot be moderate about the principles that cover morality.–Edna Lister, October 12, 1961.

Religion deals with the laws governing humanity’s morality. A child becomes moral under discipline and training.–Edna Lister, The Seven-Branched Candle Stand, October 24, 1961.

The rational soul must first listen to the Oversoul before it can hear the Voice of the Source.–Edna Lister, January 29, 1963.

You use the endocrine glands to tune in on a light wave and hear the Voice of God. First, you must ascend to close out the physical and mental sound waves and to escape earth’s gravity.–Edna Lister, November 18, 1963.

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.–2 Peter 3:1-2. Oversoul conscience is your pure mind, the Christlike part of your soul that lives in integrity, honor, and calls your incarnate soul to remembrance.–Edna Lister, Loveliness and Beauty, October 25, 1964.

He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.–John 10:2-5. You must know the voice of your Shepherd.–Edna Lister, The Good Shepherd, November 1, 1964.

To repent, you must return to perfect moral balance.–Edna Lister, June 19, 1967.

Morality means to live by honor to God, loyalty to God, and integrity in your relationship with God and man.–Edna Lister, The Great Modern Problem, November 12, 1967.

The River of Life is divine Mind flowing through you as the voice of conscience.–Edna Lister, Awareness and Becoming Law, May 26, 1968.

Most people do not hear the voice of God calling.–Edna Lister, From Earthbound Slavery to Winged Glory, June 23, 1968.

When God speaks, He gives you time to put it on the altar and wait to prove whether He is speaking.–Edna Lister, The Flaming Sword, June 28, 1970.

Top ↑

Soul Guidance versus Self-Will

Light moves through a situation only when you say, "This is good! Let there be Light!" Then time and space meet as the eternal now. You can discriminate between soul guidance and the use of force under the self-will only under Light; otherwise, your intellectual self is merely deluding you. There is no self in soul. You cannot have it both ways; you may choose to have your credits on the inner or the outer, but never in both places at once.–Edna Lister, December 9, 1959.

 Soul Guidance  Self-Will Aggression
 Soul is restful and quiet.  Self-will is urgent and boisterous.
 Soul is calm, waits for the right time.  Self-will is insistent, forceful.
 Soul unites people.  Self-will divides people.
 Soul cleans up it’s own sins.  Self-will spotlights another’s sins.
 Soul gives God the credit.  Self-will takes credit.
 Soul is modest, poised, obedient.  Self-will feeds its appetites: sex, success, security.
 Soul accepts the Cross of Christ.  Self-will creates crosses for self and others.
 Soul brings freedom.  Self-will creates frustration.
 Soul is decisively active for good.  Self-will feels complacent and unreal.
 Soul lives in the peace of God’s presence.  Self-will wallows in self-righteousness.
 Soul says, I don’t know what to do, but
God will tell me when I ask.
 Self-will says, I know. You don’t. I’ll tell you what to do.
 Soul requires rigid discipline of self that is balance under God.  Self-will gives the self unbridled freedom to act as it wills.

Top ↑

Stories That Illustrate the Voice of Conscience

Elijah Heard the Still Small Voice: And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.–1 Kings 19:11-12

The Good Shepherd: He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.–John 10:2-5

Top ↑

New Testament on Conscience

The scribes and Pharisees brought unto [Jesus] a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.–John 8:3-11

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.–2 Corinthians 5:10-17

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.–1 Peter 2:19-24

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 conscience: Latin conscientia, from conscire, "to be conscious of": com "with" + scire, "to know."

Conscience is a soul virtue.

Conscience is a soul faculty.


There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course: a quiet conscience.–Euripides

Conscience is the only clue which will eternally guide a man clear of all doubts and inconsistencies.–Thomas Jefferson

Conscience is the most sacred of all property.–James Madison

I will place within them as a guide
My umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear,
Light after light well us’d they shall attain,
And to the end persisting, safe arrive.

A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.
–William Shakespeare

Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.–George Washington


Euripides, Hippolytus,

David Kovacs, trans. and ed. Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Jefferson, Thomas. letter to George Washington.Founders Online, May 10, 1789.

Madison, James. Property. The National Gazette, March 29, 1792.

Milton, John. Paradise Lost, 2nd ed. London: S. Simmons, 1764, line 195.

Shakespeare, William. King Henry VIII, Act 3, Scene 2.

Washington, George. Rule from the Copy-book of Washington when a schoolboy. Familiar Quotations, John Bartlett, comp. Boston: Little. Brown & Co., 1905, p. 425.

Webster, Noah. Conscience. Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Related Topic


I Agree in Time: Edna Lister outline; July 1, 1951.

I Agree in Time: Edna Lister transcript; July 1, 1951.

Loveliness and Beauty: Edna Lister outline; October 25, 1964.