Attention to Details

Attention is applying your mind, especially in readiness for such attention involving especially a selective narrowing or focusing of consciousness and Dictionary
  A detail is an item, a particular of an account, a process, etc., a minute or subordinate portion of any (especially a large or complex) whole, the particulars or items of any whole considered collectively.Oxford English Dictionary

“Attention to detail is the king of all laws.”—Edna Lister

A description of attention to details: Verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.—Matthew 5:18. A jot (י) is the smallest Hebrew letter and a tittle is the dot on an i or a j.
  In 1926, Edna Lister, who was then a single mother, found herself in a work situation where she had to attend to details for a department store’s shoe sales staff whose hosiery sales were low. The six men shouted their orders with many distractions. It seemed impossible, but her need was great. She prayed for a week, then decided that she could remain silent longer than they could dump. They kept her running, shouting the hosiery sizes and colors and she picked the orders unerringly, three and four dozen at a time. They made fun of her, but at the end of the first month, hosiery sales were up $900. [Adjusted for inflation, $900.00 in 1926 is equal to $15,603 in 2024.] She said that she began learning attention to details this way.
  Your attention to details is an accurate measure of your degree of consciousness, or lack of awareness. Attention to details is the key to ascension of soul. Paying attention to details is a law of doing under the abstract principle of order, which is also a virtue.

Edna Lister on Attention to Details

No one can progress without obedience to law, not only to the great principles, such as Love and Wisdom, but to small everyday details, especially your attitudes toward others.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

When you let the details slide, they accumulate until it is too late to do the right thing at the right time.—Edna Lister, Return on Investment, Life in a Nutshell, 1942.

You may need to return for a peasant-type lifetime of scrubbing and doing inconvenient tasks to learn how to pay attention to details.
  The conscious mind tracks everything and plans the important work while watching the subconscious mind attend to the details. You track both levels simultaneously. You could cook, plan a project, and carry on an intelligent phone conversation simultaneously. This is how to dwell on several planes at once.—Edna Lister, June 23, 1945.

The worst time is best to work out how you attend to details—you must work out details every moment of your life.—Edna Lister, June 28, 1945.

When a soul has refused to learn certain lessons in past lives, those brain cells are closed in this lifetime. In many, the brain cells related to drudgery and details, which they ignored for several incarnations, are closed. The more you push to attend to all new details, the faster your atrophied cells return to life. Attend to your details without pinning de tails on your rump.—Edna Lister, July 2, 1945.

Be constantly constant in attention to details. Seek to love each task more, to do it better and faster, to redeem time which law will credit to your soul expansion.—Edna Lister, July 3, 1945.

Many become bored with the pettiness of details; they grow too weary to bother attending to necessary daily details, and so lose time. Anyone can make the meanest of life’s daily duties into stepping-stones to glory, for soul-expansion. Let no small daily task in any department of life be too humble for your care in self-discipline.
  Every soul needs to redeem the time he or she has wasted, so redeem each moment spent doing the humblest task, to do it better or with greater speed. This is the law of Use what you now have in your hands. For the climb upward, you have no greater need than to keep the vows you have made to your own soul, to watch each task and finish it, to leave nothing for another to stumble over as he seeks to redeem time, to make each moment pay the greatest of dividends, not only with a task well done, but with some discipline to the self to exalt your soul.—Edna Lister, July 3, 1945.

Haste is no excuse. If you slight a detail, you need a reprimand, so don’t permit self to feel hurt about what you have brought on yourself.—Edna Lister, July 7, 1945.

You notice the details by using your powers of observation. Details are de tails hanging from everything still needing to be done! There is no shortcut way to gain spiritual seeing and hearing; you must be willing to pay the price. You can use nothing in heaven, no faculty or virtue that you have not first developed and strengthened on earth.—Edna Lister, July 9, 1945.

Keep your mental eyes and ears open to see the details.—Edna Lister, July 17, 1945.

Constant watchfulness over every detail of life is crucial; there is no small thing. No detail of daily living is too small to be censored. You must account for all idle words, actions, expenditures of energy, such as gossip, criticism, self-condemnation instead of proper repentance and lifting, surrender, giving up of selfness in each day’s final judgment. Therefore, watch for idle words and small details in your life.—Edna Lister, July 17, 1945.

To neglect a detail is the greatest weakness in the chain of life. All strengths grow from conquering weaknesses. Your greatest hidden weakness becomes your crowning glory of strength.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

You accomplish sublimation of self to ascend, and to see and hear spiritually, only by watching details and becoming proficient.—Edna Lister, July 29, 1945.

When you really want to see, so that you are consumed with a fire to attend to details, you will kick your self to see every detail and do it. You may think you want to learn attention to detail, but you must want it with a consuming fire of desire. Then you will know what details are, and that there is no minute thing on earth.—Edna Lister, July 31, 1945.

You must train the self to enjoy and love all details.—Edna Lister, August 8, 1945.

Watch the details, for in each could be a test to see how much Power you can release.—Edna Lister, August 10, 1945.

Your full measure of service to truth is constantly and always to check yourself on indifference or carelessness, to observe and attend to the details of living so that no one can catch you off base.—Edna Lister, Six Creative Laws: The Keys of the Kingdom, September 1, 1945.

Plan more loving attention to the smallest details of daily living. When you seek with all your heart, mind and soul for perfection in the smallest detail of each task, then you will truly be overcoming and conquering. Details will lift you to the highest height of glory, once you do them in enough joy, love, and praise.
  Unless you love the details, you will always create more occasions to do the same thing. To always be in joy, praise, and love over the smallest details of life is the only way up. Be in joy about every detail, not just about those that are pleasing and easy. Praise God for the details you dislike and resent.
  To leave undone, or to half-do a detail and leave it for another or yourself to stumble over causes you to lose your high vibration, for you break law. To cover one detail carelessly, or in a way that the whole world cannot also use is always a broken law, and the least law broken breaks all laws, causing untold chaos and delays.—Edna Lister, September 17, 1945.

Everything is a detail.—Edna Lister, September 19, 1945.

Gather up every smallest detail in life. One detail as small as a thread left lying on the floor will anchor you to earth, under delays and obstacles. Search hourly lest one detail is barring you from full open soul vision, spiritual seeing and hearing while fully conscious on earth. Remember, there is no small thing, and law tests you on the tiniest details. Do this and you build the strength to overcome self.—Edna Lister, September 20, 1945.

Each smallest task, each simple detail is based on law.—Edna Lister, September 24, 1945.

List as many details as you desire as perfect soul habits, then strive to become law on each.—Edna Lister, February 14, 1946.

Watch the many small daily details, for you can awaken your soul vision faculty to its fullness in no other way. As your outer alertness grows, so does your ability to see spiritually increase.—Edna Lister, March 3, 1947.

Be constant in self-correction on all details. Every detail is important to teach self to hear and see. You see spiritually as you see the last unwashed dish from dinner.—Edna Lister, May 1, 1947.

You eventually destroy the glands of your head when you leave details undone.—Edna Lister, June 17, 1947.

The smallest of details are the trickiest ones, for they throw you off the Path and render you impotent.—Edna Lister, July 2, 1947.

The law is attention to details, doing everything as if the Master were watching, which he is.—Edna Lister, July 3, 1947.

Attention to details and absolutely no idle words will ascend you to heaven. You enter your high place of soul on details.—Edna Lister, July 14, 1947.

Attend to the details perfectly always, and leave nothing to chance.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1947.

There is no reason in heaven or on earth for unconsciously letting down on one detail. You pay, for it is considered deliberately willful to permit carelessness and indifference of desire, or to let go. You can rest from labor but you may not let go of details.
  You are checked for indifference to details, for not paying attention to warnings.
  You can maintain the place you gain only by attention to details, present and future. This is all you have to do: Stay up and do all from above.—Edna Lister, August 17, 1947.

You have no relation between your spiritual life and outer details because you allow them to remain divorced from each other; you must relate the two as one.
  There is no small thing is the law on details. You can open unlimited neurons and return home on the laws of acceptance and details. Stand on your observation point to hold these laws. Every detail makes an impression on the neurons for the next incarnation.—Edna Lister, August 20, 1947.

Details awaken brain cells, and you develop new brain cells by making yourself do new things in new and unusual ways.
  When you forget details, it is because you want to forget. When you want to remember, then you do.—Edna Lister, August 21, 1947.

Every detail attended awakens a bundle of brain cells.—Edna Lister, September 30, 1947.

Be fervent and on fire to be alert, alive and looking for details.—Edna Lister, October 12, 1947.

There is no easy way to write a book, become famous, or to be a good housekeeper—the details are the same.
  Desire for perfection takes you many places, but not to the Source. You must see all details instantly to be perfection. It’s yours for the earning, the struggling. Stepping up to see all fine points is simple.
  If you let one detail go today and another tomorrow, you sink. You have great strengths, but your failures come from deliberately letting go, which gets you nowhere. "A miss is as good as a mile." You cannot miss and have it. With more attention to the same details, you could be perfect now.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1947.

When you slip on one detail, watch carefully, take stock immediately, you are on your way down.—Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

Attention to details is the one thing everyone must conquer.—Edna Lister, December 5, 1947.

You advance as high, as far, as gloriously as you serve in the petty details. Nothing is too small to do well, as the world should do it.—Edna Lister, January 5, 1948.

Balance means to know details.
  When you drop details, it is indifference. Anything short of doing is not living the law.—Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

Do the next thing next, efficiently; be efficient to the last detail.
  Not to care about details is self-satisfaction, which is the curse of all earth expressions.—Edna Lister, January 8, 1948.

You can become perfect by observation and paying strict attention to details.—Edna Lister, February 27, 1948.

The law of dalliance applies to all details in all things and in all ways, conscious or subconscious. The subconscious is the seat of treachery, which is the dilly-dallier.—Edna Lister, May 13, 1948.

Make a details ledger sheet for your life, and balance it nightly.—Edna Lister, June 17, 1949.

You must strive and eventually must be, absolute perfection in attention to detail on earth.—Edna Lister, June 9, 1950.

Everything is a detail. Keep all lines of Light up always. The dry rot of indifference and lukewarmness set in when you drop the details.—Edna Lister, August 3, 1950.

You must reach the point of obedience to all known laws, and to attend every detail, unwaveringly, with eyes ahead.—Edna Lister, Unconquerable Faith, November 5, 1950.

Make sacrifice of self on details for greater consciousness, for therein lies the only true way of ascension. Disciplining the self may best be done in these small things. As you do so, you build self-conquering strength to handle all greater things.—Edna Lister, April 5, 1953.

Taking advantage of an opportunity is easy when you always pay attention to details.—Edna Lister, May 28, 1953.

You are never free from attention to details when awake; checking yourself on details is always necessary.—Edna Lister, December 9, 1954.

One of the greatest of all laws of success is never to miss a detail. Nothing is too small to be overlooked. This leads us to see where others are neglecting details and you may collect every detail left undone around you. It will not only pay great dividends in salary and promotions but makes you alive and alert in mind and body.—Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1955.

Attention to details means truth in all ways, at all times.—Edna Lister, September 9, 1957.

How far do you let your subconscious recreate carelessness in details? You cannot leap from crag to crag on carelessness.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1958.

You go lax on details when your vibration settles like silt while thinking you are doing many things perfectly well. Letting the subconscious take charge is no good. When part of you is still at work, you let down at home. You will slip if someone doesn’t remind you. You may not miss even once and get where you want to go.—Edna Lister, September 17, 1958.

Details will become automatic when you truly start paying attention.—Edna Lister, September 21, 1958.

Your attention to detail controls your rate of conquering.—Edna Lister, October 13, 1958.

The wisdom of attention to detail amplifies and benefits all wisdom on earth, revealing the tiniest flaws, which might otherwise wreck a perfect structure.—Edna Lister, April 6, 1959.

As you use observation in your outer life, according to your practice of observation, exactly so shall you see and hear in heaven.—Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, June 23, 1959.

Everyone has the capacity for multiple thinking, seeing and hearing. Your guardian angels prompt you to be perfect in details if you desire to be perfect. When you leave one detail undone for another to pick up, you are headed down the greased pole.—Edna Lister, February 22, 1960.

Breaking law is easier on an expansion vibration because we tend to forget attention to details.—Edna Lister, How Can I Apply Law to My Life? June 7, 1960.

The greatest need in conquering self is attention to details where you are.—Edna Lister, January 1, 1961.

The only way to go home to God is never to miss a detail. "I am so sorry" is no debt payer, but a selfish excuse only. Do the details right now rather than leave them to remember later.—Edna Lister, January 12, 1961.

You can do a thousand things at once, but not one while robbing another detail of attention. Put all of you into everything you do about the one task.—Edna Lister, January 23, 1961.

The purpose of the subconscious, when it is focused, is to take care of outer details.—Edna Lister, January 25, 1961.

You open yourself to premature senility when you let yourself go in inattention to details. The law is, The little he hath is taken from him.—Edna Lister, November 18, 1962.

Everything is important, and all the little things are really great details. What you do, do properly, leaving nothing out of place. That is the law of details.—Edna Lister, March 23, 1963.

You get caught out in big ways if you don’t always attend to all details. When you do it often, you do it well. Ascend in a second, stand a second, and do it. In Shakespeare’s play, Richard III cried, A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse! The horse was a rather large detail!
  If your details are not in order, you lose under initiation. You can complete 1,000 days of burnt offerings on attention to details alone.—Edna Lister, April 4, 1963.

We always base the true quest for truth on unquestioned honor, loyalty and integrity: All for one and one for all, self-sacrifice and rigid self-discipline—all this plus attention to all details in a split second. We call it the Via Christa, the Way of the Christ.—Edna Lister, You Are Immortal Now, July 4, 1963.

When you hold completely to detail, you slip not, even a little. You must do so before you can see and hear. It is nonsense to have even a small taint, or to slip on such small things. Hold to small details and you will not slip on the big things.—Edna Lister, July 24, 1963.

No detail is unimportant, and each must be kept up to date. Each detail is important to train brain cells.—Edna Lister, November 27, 1963.

The first indication of decline comes when you begin to miss details every day because you fail to make every moment a challenge to move up in consciousness until your desire burns.—Edna Lister, July 28, 1964.

The law and the secret of ascension is attention to detail, which also covers alertness and awareness. If you pay attention to detail, you have miracles. Attention to detail is imperative. The Father makes the promises, but you fulfill them with praise. Praise is a detail. Practice attention to details in all ramifications and it shall lead you to great transfiguration.
  Make a three-month project of attention to detail. Obeying only one law at a time should not tax you. It can be on top of your mind, to remember and act hour by hour on attention to detail. This includes imagination, thinking, idle words, only to glance at evil words, statements, news, people. Dissolve it in Light.
  Declare it good! Thou art now transfigured, transformed into good. This is a good power of suggestion. Pay attention to details and break free of your earth jail, self-built chains, locks and bars. Attention to detail and no idle words will ascend you to heaven.
  Be of one mind, one heart, one purpose. Practice attention to details in all its ramifications and it shall lead to great transfiguration.—Edna Lister, November 30, 1964.

Seek new ways to attend to details, offering no excuse for failure.—Edna Lister, January 3, 1965.

Attention to detail is the king of all laws. Just to know law is starvation unless applied to the point of becoming law. Attention to detail includes idle words, the greatest detail—all your actions on the outer, every thought, idea, emotion and physical act. You can accept God, be aware of God and yet pay no attention to detail. This avails you nothing. Look about you and see this in others.—Edna Lister, April 22, 1965.

You cannot be too watchful in your constant attention to details, not to let one inattention slip by. Laziness, indifference and the hope of avoiding responsibility cause you to forget attention to details.
  When you are paying attention to details, you are seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven.—Edna Lister, February 12, 1966.

You must seek new ways to apply attention to detail with no excuse to the soul for failure, with a rigid discipline of the self to hold to the highest righteousness, which is the right use of all law now, and the expression of this must be from the physical to the spiritual. The glory descends from the spiritual to the outer physical as Power and Light, but discipline must work the other way, from physical attention to detail through the emotional, through the mental, to remove the blocks that hinder the Light from doing its perfect work through you.—Edna Lister, July 14, 1966.

When you are up in consciousness, the subconscious takes care of details as it should.—Edna Lister, Choice, Your Glorious Foundation, October 16, 1966.

The instant you depend on another to remind you of details, senility begins its encroachment and spread. Each can recall all details for the self. Be alive, be alert and let no smallest detail escape you.—Edna Lister, April 7, 1967.

Constant attention to details means that God is at the base of your tongue to stop the idle words.—Edna Lister, November 7, 1968.

Creation can follow the original divine pattern only under perfect obedience to law and attention to detail.—Edna Lister, Let There Be Light, March 16, 1969.

Lack of attention to details is the self’s past weakness showing, and if we allow it to slip in, it will rule us.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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Treatments for Remembering Details

When you need to recall a detail, ascend instantly in surrender to the heart of Being, and stand in the Light. Ponder on the laws you have learned to prompt instant recall the appropriate law. Look around, and the Light will point to it. See the Light as it shines to direct the action.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1945.

I now observe every detail of my life. I am alive and alert to observe above and below. As I use observation in my outer life, according to my practice of observation, exactly so shall I see and hear in heaven, the inner.—Edna Lister, July 5, 1947.

I must attain a higher point of contemplative receptivity to gain full comprehension of how to apply spiritual laws to every smallest detail of my life, especially in my relationships with others. I do not need this inattention under the surface. I must have a line of Light up from each of my faculties to my Oversoul to be conscious of what I am doing every moment of every hour, and that I may, while finishing one detail or task, be aware of my next step. Only by this awareness can I avoid losing my soul vision. This one thing I do now. I, Name, a Son/Daughter of God, am now determined to make every word I hear as important in my life as if I were doing it for a million-dollar prize.—Edna Lister, September 17, 1958.

Make a three-month project of attention to detail. Obeying only one law at a time should not tax you. It can be on top of your mind, to remember and act hour by hour on attention to detail. This includes imagination, thinking, idle words, only to glance at evil words, statements, news, people. Dissolve it in Light.
  Declare it good! Thou art now transfigured, transformed into good. This is a good power of suggestion. Pay attention to details and break free of your earth jail, self-built chains, locks and bars. Attention to detail and no idle words will ascend you to heaven.—Edna Lister, November 30, 1964.

In the spirit of praise and exaltation, say, I will arise and go into my Begotten Father’s House. I will stand under His Light, which He shares with me from above. I will wait upon the Great Voice and the Great Face always while I work out my salvation through outer attention to details.—Edna Lister, April 22, 1965.

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New Testament on Details

If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.—Matthew 5:14

For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.—Matthew 5:18

Take heed how you hear [listen]. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.—Luke 8:18

The kingdom of God does not come with observation … the kingdom of God is within you.—Luke 17:20‑21.

Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.—1 Thessalonians 5:5‑6

Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of Christ, fulfill your ministry.—2 Timothy 4:5.

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To think upon Wisdom is perfection of wisdom: and whoever watches for her shall quickly be without care. She goes about seeking such as are worthy of her, shows herself favorably to them, and meets them in every thought. For the very true beginning of her is the desire of discipline; and the care of discipline is love; and love is the keeping of her laws; and the giving heed unto her laws is the assurance of incorruption; and incorruption makes us near to God: Therefore the desire of wisdom brings us to a kingdom.—Wisdom of Solomon 6:15-20

Observe opportunity, and beware of evil; be not ashamed when it concerns your soul, for there is a shame that brings sin, and a shame which is glory and grace.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 4:20-21

This is the doctrine of the perfect: If you desire to become perfect, you shall observe the laws of Light; if not, your name is ’Ignorant’, since it is impossible for an intelligent man to dwell with a fool, for the intelligent man is perfect in all wisdom. To the fool, however, the good and bad are the same.—Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. Wm. D. Whitney and B.E. Smith, eds. and compilers. New York: The Century Co., 1896.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Dictionary. 2024

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

The Oxford American Dictionary: New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. ISBN 0-19-502795-7

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

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of detail: Old French detail, "a piece cut off," from detaillir, "to cut up."

Paying attention to details is a law of doing under the principles of consciousness and Mind.

Paying attention to details is an initiation.

Paying attention to details is a soul virtue.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Dictionary. 2024

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

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

Related Topics


Spiritual Seeing and Hearing