A detriment is any kind of harm or injury, as loss, damage, hurt, injustice, deterioration, diminution, hindrance, etc.Century Dictionary
  A detriment is a cause of harm or damage.Oxford English Dictionary
  Synonyms for detriment include affliction, damage, harm, hurt, injury.— Dictionary

“As you conquer self, your lowest point of detriment will become your highest point of glory.”—Edna Lister

The virtues are all soul powers, or faculties that are elements of what the world calls character. Every virtue has a corresponding detriment. Most people fail to understand that you can have a detriment, which is a character flaw or a missing element that is as great as or greater than some virtues. Shakespeare used these detriments as tragic flaws in his dramas, and as the minor foolish blind spots in his comedies.
  Detriments include all the ways in which a soul can be damaged over time. They usually are rooted in some violent experience that causes a memory so strong that it stays with the soul as a niggling fear, resentment, or negative expectation of some sort, strongly affecting what people call their feelings.

Edna Lister on Detriments

Lift everything in your past, here and now, as you ascend. Put everyone and everything you have disliked into the Light. Lift the detriments and everyone you have called an enemy. However you have labeled him, you’ve pasted your name on his back and stuck him in darkness, on a line that extends back to you. Thus, you remain connected, no matter where you go.—Edna Lister, The Chalice, July 6, 1941.

Your path is narrow, sometimes with room for only one foot at a time, which is when doubts, fears or self-pity assails the conscious mind, when all hidden detriments will arise from the deeps of the subconscious. Lift them! Stop at once and raise your arms in surrender to the power of love. Let God’s glory move in to possess every corner of mind and heart. Let the glory of the Almighty move in and possess you.
  Light absorbs darkness. If you find darkness, the answer is more Light, more Love, more Power. This is always your first step. In quiet and in confidence shall be thy strength.—Isaiah 30:15. So, enough love, Light, and Power is enough quiet and confidence.—Edna Lister, July 3, 1945.

As you conquer self, your lowest point of detriment will become your highest point of glory.—Edna Lister, June 20, 1947.

When you stay up in consciousness through an initiation, they hand you a bill for the debt you must pay before you go on. Then fears or pain may come in the body organ that corresponds to the initiation taken. You have been working on the virtues of the signs. You are conquering these detriments from all the twelve signs that you have passed through. Move to the hub of the wheel of fate, where Light, balance and poise are found. When you wobble, you are running down, like a top. Pray beyond ease and comfort, not just under ease and comfort.—Edna Lister, June 16, 1949.

Ascension empties the self-delusion and illusion until you hold no detrimental thoughts.—Edna Lister, Your Life Plan, May 16, 1954.

I’m so grateful that you are growing up to where all detriments fall away, instead of wearing a hair shirt over your self-imagined sins. Lift the detriments and flaws joyfully. Tell every cigarette and drink how wonderful it is. How beautiful. How glorious. How enjoyable. Bless each and every one until you feel good inside. Bless every match and lighter, too. Make the habits pay you some dividends, and I assure you they will, truly. You have cursed every drink, every cigarette and yourself until you have created a monster of guilt, and more desire for what is detrimental to you.—Edna Lister, March 9, 1955.

When others gossip, do not wallow with them. What difference does it make what they do or say? Never take what someone says as a personal slight or dart to overcome. If you take things personally or see the detriments first, you cannot avoid the grief and physical and desire body reactions, like crushing the wings of a butterfly.—Edna Lister, February 6, 1956.

Discipline yourself. You are only as strong as your weakest detriment. Make a ladder of your weakest points.—Edna Lister, June 26, 1956.

Step up to Christed consciousness, which protects you from outer detriments so fate cannot deflect you from your goal.—Edna Lister, Your Devotion to God, December 16, 1956.

A Light-filled mind becomes your upholder of universal truth, as your Oversoul, pulling you up from above. It will illumine life’s details because it reaches into the composite world mind about you, and will tell you everything. When you induct intellectually from the outside, you receive only the detrimental. Yet when you sublimate the self in favor of the soul, the subconscious mind inducts only what is positive. It will show you everything, all the details you have left undone.—Edna Lister, January 9, 1958.

Your physical eyes see all the detriments, pain and disease. Look beyond the pain or the object with your mystical eye. Direct your vision to what God can do about it if you stand on truth. You may look at someone and see horns and a tail because of their speech or behavior. Look beyond the appearance and see them as perfect. Look behind the mask they are wearing and see the beauty and love in their soul.—Edna Lister, February 17, 1958.

Each planet exerts an influence over or rules certain parts of the physical body and phases of the emotional and mental lives. The planets relate to the initiatory degrees so you can know what detriments you must conquer.
  Pray for each television actor or announcer you see, surround them with arms of Light and lift all their detriments.—Edna Lister, May 19, 1959.

The roots of martyrdom and self-blame usually run back through many lives. Pulling at those roots is necessary until you loosen them and can yank them out with a final pull. This often takes a long time because you must be certain that you are holding nothing back or leaving any root-ends. Soul training must begin with digging deep to uncover all detriments and taints of the past and scrape them clean. No matter how high and glorious your vision, no matter how great your heart’s desire for perfection, you are never stronger than the weakest of your taints of self. The taint will always dig a ditch into which you must fall because of its detriment to your soul.—Edna Lister, October 16, 1959.

From the time you lift it, your subconscious mind rules from the head. It will clog the works of your thinking and judgment when you sink into its detriments, which permit the subconscious to work detrimentally as mere intellect, not intelligence.—Edna Lister, March 11, 1960.

Energy oozes out when you indulge appetitive soul too much or pamper it with rest. Beyond a point, rest debilitates because your vibration dies too low. You must learn to balance the outflow of energy with the inflow, holding them in balance at certain levels. Conquering consists of this. Each level of initiation requires that you coordinate the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual contact. Get vigorous with self on curbing lukewarmness and procrastination.
  God gave each soul a star in the beginning, and your Oversoul star is a great storehouse that duplicates your soul’s capacity. You must hold fast to a definite balance to coordinate Power, Mind and desires. Sometimes appetitive desires lead you into an excess of activity that depletes the atomic body until the Power is detrimental, weakness results or you may experience a recurrence of limitations long since conquered.
  Therefore, recharging the star is one of the most important exercises you can do. This keeps the crown center open, the vital centers and the Oversoul star all exactly centered over the corresponding organs and the silver cord properly attached to the heart. If you are off-center from your star under stress, it causes migraines, confusion, and interferes with memory. Raise your hands, reach for the stars and use the rag doll exercise, bending forward at the waist and letting your head, shoulders and arms hang loosely.—Edna Lister, June 9, 1961.

Your Oversoul star is a great storehouse of Light as power and energy. It will increase your stature according to your use of the portion endowed that day. If it causes too great a distress, the Power will be slightly lessened to an acceptable balance, enough to unfold but not disturb. Hold fast each day to a definite balance, to coordinate Power, Mind, and desires. Desires can lead you into a detrimental excess of activity until you deplete the atomic body to weakness or a recurrence of limitations long since conquered. Set yourself a good pace with frequent deep breaths and recharging from the star.
  Recharging from the Oversoul star is essential to keeping the crown open and vital centers working properly. Lines to all vehicles—physical, desire, mental and spiritual—are bound in a knot, centered exactly under the star. The pressures and tensions of worldly activities can misalign these bodies and cause headaches as the nerve endings in the head pulse and react at an abnormal rate of vibration, some slowing, some speeding according to the day’s mental work. This can cause confusion, swelling, unbearable pain and distress.—Edna Lister, June 30, 1961.

Rocky is the way for the returning soul to assume the full responsibility of the law—the path is full of pitfalls, quicksand and abysses. There is no easy way. Where you have allowed detriments such as self-pity or thoughts of self to take charge even briefly, the way grows ever harder, ever steeper. Conquering becomes almost a nightmare at times, for you must fill every detrimental pitfall made by corroding self-pity so it will not trip you to the bottom again. It is like being lost in the forest, you go around and around the same path, falling into the same ditches until desire for ascension becomes your soul’s burning motivation and determination.

  Indifference is always deadly. Getting the average person to understand the need to add each conquering of self to the soul’s Light and using it hourly is almost impossible. Put every smallest law into practice on everything that follows. Leave no laws scattered along the path as unexplained stumbling blocks. You take your original place only when you choose full discipline before the Councils. Faithfulness without works is impossible.
  You must be alive and alert to lengthen your days with praise. The way is one of constant, alert soul conquering of self. The song of soul is loving compassion, devotion to God and rejoicing. You have no excuse for weakness, but must lift it to restore your full identity. You must be alive and alert in all departments of life, and wherever you are, you will trained in details by observation, attention and action.—Edna Lister, March 27, 1962.

You cannot steal time without spending your own soul substance. One woman stole time constantly from her family and friends, and was never on time herself. She frequently said, My time is important. She spent her last three years living in a vegetative state to pay for all that stolen time. You live in eternity, but exist in and must accept the limits of time and space. If someone wastes your time, talks incessantly and repeats himself, the repetition is detrimental to him. Tell him, You are using my time and God’s with this, so please stop repeating yourself.
  The only way to help another reach healing is to stand him on his own feet and do something about it. Everything under the surface must become Light. All this depends on how you use time. What a man does in his odd moments, reveals what kind of man he is. When someone petitions for help, for example, with a rummage sale, you need not make excuses for what you do with your time. This is the law: When someone is wasting your time over the phone, for example, say, I hear the doorbell ringing. It will be true because the thought is your signal to pray. Time is of the essence now, so stop wasting time.—Edna Lister, November 28, 1965.

You meet no greater detriments than these three ills—opinions about, prejudices against, and blame for, which act like viruses.—Edna Lister, Truth as Practical Common Sense, April 4, 1963.

Even when you are right, you may not turn on the Power to remind or to suggest to another, but let God do the work. Speak the Word in gentleness, tenderness and compassion, for arrogance and pride in knowing the right are detriments. Lift them forever now. To see what everyone should be doing is a gift of the Father, yet the instant you insist that you are right, you must open the gift again. You are the servant of the Light only. Let it be so and the world shall be turned to Light.
  You will see evil consumed only when you stop considering evil and turn to worship the Light. Become that Light as God holds you secure, safe and protected. He knows where evil is and needs no illustration or reminders from your lips in prayers, only lifting and declaring, Let there be Light! Arrogance and pride create a debt of blame for the other fellow’s weakness. You are on earth but not of it, having no reason for a moment’s descent from the high altars of Light.—Edna Lister, April 23, 1967.

Imagination without the power to keep it lifted and focused as soul vision is a detriment. It becomes an outcast, for it wanders aimlessly.—Edna Lister, Power and Imagination, May 21, 1967.

Lift the dregs of detrimental guilt complexes from earth to the high place in the silence to lift it without removing all memory of it. The memory is necessary for the soul to hold contrition, which is the highest point under Light. You reach true contrition when your fervency of desire to have it erased from the minds and hearts of men creates tears in your eyes. Lift everyone on earth to contrition. Lift sordid memories, rejoicing that you may do so.—Edna Lister, May 29, 1967.

Not thinking about what you must lift is best. Review the past as each of your contacts presents a debt, and lift the situation as it was when it happened, until Light burns away the dross and the soul substance is put in a sphere of fire for purification. It’s time to clean up the past. So much of earth’s floating evil remains to be lifted, but it takes only seconds to do so daily. You will find yourself less inclined to succumb to the detrimental. As long as family or friends can trigger a memory impression, it can drag you down, but you can lift the good things in praise and joy.—Edna Lister, November 21, 1968.

The subconscious mind works on emotions. When you win the battle with self, your lowest point of detriment becomes your highest point of glory. You reach new points of glory each time you conquer. Joy is the highest vibration of love.—Edna Lister, July 15, 1971.

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A Treatment for Lifting Detriments

Your path is narrow, sometimes with room for only one foot at a time, which is when doubts, fears or self-pity assails the conscious mind, when all hidden detriments will arise from the deeps of the subconscious. Lift them. Stop at once and raise your arms in surrender to the power of love. Let God’s glory move in to possess every corner of mind and heart. Let the glory of the Almighty move in and possess you.
  Light absorbs darkness. If you find darkness, the answer is more Light, more Love, more Power. This is always your first step. In quiet and in confidence shall be thy strength.—Isaiah 30:15. So, enough love, Light, and Power is enough quiet and confidence.—Edna Lister, July 3, 1945.

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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 detriment: directly from Latin detrimentum a rubbing off; a loss, damage, defeat, from past participle stem of detere to wear away, figuratively to weaken, impair.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

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

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

Related Topics

Soul Taints

Your Life: Detriment or Glory: Edna Lister Pentecost sermon outline, June 6, 1965

Your Life: Detriment or Glory: Edna Lister Pentecost sermon transcript, June 6, 1965