Expression is defined as "the act of expressing; the act of forcing out by pressure; the act of uttering, declaring or representing; utterance; declaration; representation; a phrase, or mode of speech. In rhetoric, elocution; diction; the peculiar manner of utterance, suited to the subject and sentiment. In painting, a natural and lively representation of the subject; as the expression of the eye, of the countenance, or of a particular action or passion. In music, the tone, grace or modulation of voice or sound suited to any particular subject; that manner which gives life and reality to ideas and sentiments. Theatrical expression is a distinct, sonorous and pleasing pronunciation, accompanied with action suited to the subject." – Noah Webster

In modern terms, expression is defined as "representing in words, motion, or manifestation, something that communicates." To express is defined as "to set forth in words; state; to manifest or communicate, as by a gesture; show; to make known the feelings or opinions." – OED

Expression is the overall absolute and abstract principle of doing, forming a trinity with energy and action. The One God has created law to govern man's outer expression. God created us as an instrument for law to use. Expression is how the Light pours through us to become what we think, desire, emote, believe, speak and do to create. Expression includes all laws of doing; however, in this instance we are dealing with the nonverbal forms of expression.

Edna Lister on Nonverbal Expression

Self-confidence results in expression of the self and you can see it in the face as the wrinkles of age when it fails. Soul expresses as personality shining through the eyes, the windows of the soul. No self dims the shining eyes of an ascending soul. – Edna Lister, Personality Plus, February 20, 1933.

Earth is the outermost level of expression. Earth's expression is how you learn life's lessons, and learn how laws work. – Edna Lister, The Lord's Prayer, October 13, 1935.

Each soul is an individual expression of the indivisible One. – Edna Lister, The Theory of Knowing, October 21, 1935.

The truths of experience and truths of expression are truths of being, and both exist. – Edna Lister, Philosophy, January 27, 1936.

To discern clearly the difference between living by self-expression and soul-expression is the work of a lifetime. – Edna Lister, September 28, 1938.

Harmony, glory of soul, peace of heart, tranquility of mind and divine energy quickening and vitalizing all your activity, brings freedom from self and opens the door to full soul expression. – Edna Lister, October 25, 1938.

To be fully responsible before God means to be fully obedient to all laws. Obedience, with no lukewarmness or indifference, will finally bring you to full expression of Godlike qualities, faculties and powers, and so lead to all "added things." – Edna Lister, November 13, 1938.

For many, their business expression makes them very hard, the type who says, "You'll have to show me." Avoid this. – Edna Lister, November 24, 1938.

Do not grow lukewarm. Remain at a white point of heat for full soul expression. – Edna Lister, November 24, 1938.

We are but servants, and even as a servant who leaves a master no longer partakes of his master's abundance, so also do we lose partaking of our heavenly Father's Life, Substance and Power if we let go of soul expression to allow self-control, which severs our contact with God. – Edna Lister, January 19, 1939.

God created us to be His expressions of ever more love. – Edna Lister, January 19, 1939.

Prayer is the soul's expression of the delight in obedience to law, the soul's glory in its own high estate, and knowing that its Source is forever drawing it home and into its own Light. – Edna Lister, February 7, 1939.

As you ascend in consciousness, you can draw on more of your inheritance of the Light's expression. Your expression of soul is as great as your suffering and travail to conquer the self. – Edna Lister, February 25, 1939.

Do not work for patience, but perfect your praise. Patience is its outer expression. – Edna Lister, May 7, 1939.

God's will for you is to be the perfect expression of His law. – Edna Lister, October 26, 1939.

Self-satisfaction is the curse of all earth expressions. It stultifies the soul itself. When the little self expands in self-satisfaction, self-exaltation, self-pity or any other self-expression, it draws soul substance down into appetitive soul until it leaves rational soul withered, almost extinct. This is a true death indeed — to inflate the little self. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1939.

Law is. We are. The One God has created law to move forth into expression on the outer. We are and have been created to be used by that law, which is perfect, whole, complete, here and now. Let us resolve this very moment to make of ourselves a perfect instrument upon which the laws of God may play those perfect, harmonious symphonies of the Almighty, which will ring around the earth. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1940.

You are life, light and the expression of all law. – Edna Lister, January 28, 1941.

When you fully assimilate all God has given you to embody the Christ-life, then will your Light so shine that others will see your good works and glorify our Father in heaven. – Edna Lister, May 7, 1941.

Law always seeks a new means of serving God. Perfect law uses those who lend themselves as servants of God unto perfect expression of the fullness of all life. – Edna Lister, January 5, 1942.

Law is the only expression of God as man upon earth. Man is law, the Word made flesh. Jesus Christ embodied this. – Edna Lister, February 22, 1945.

The pearl of great price, the first and fundamental law of expression for the Elect is to ignore the truth of appearance and to accept, surrender to, and declare the truth of reality. – Edna Lister, The Pearl of Great Price, April 13, 1945.

Live high, others will follow. – Edna Lister, July 11, 1945.

Self-satisfaction is the curse of all earth expressions. – Edna Lister, August 10, 1945.

God created you to become the expression of His Power, not to express to be heard. God created you to express Power as love, as faith, as its vehicle, to release Power continuously, to pray without ceasing. So few can express Power in prayer, just as prayer. You are the perfect expression of God when you are lifting, releasing the Power, praising the Father and letting more Power go forth. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1945.

Energy, action, and expression are the basic fundamental abstract principles of doing. – Edna Lister, May 16, 1946.

The Via Christa is the way of self-conquering, soul expression and selflessness. – Edna Lister, September 10, 1946.

Work from the white heat of your soul to heaven as your highest point. Work from on high no matter what you do or where you go. Stay up in consciousness for your work, where God is. Everything you touch is God. Work always at your high point. If you can come down, you have not achieved! – Edna Lister, June 20, 1947.

Your lowest point of detriment becomes your highest point of glory as you ascend. – Edna Lister, June 20, 1947.

Expression is the essence of the personality you show the world. Individuality is the soul; personality is a reflection of the soul. Your expression of soul as personality may be hope-less or hope-full, but your expression must be founded on hope. – Edna Lister, Promises Fulfilled, September 24, 1950.

Success consists of continuity in expression. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1952.

Surrender to God to be His Light, glory and expression on earth. – Edna Lister, February 18, 1953.

Light is enough to create anything the world needs for expression. – Edna Lister, Success Through Divine Action, July 14, 1953.

Free will is your expression of divine identity. – Edna Lister, The Gospel of the Cross, October 18, 1953.

Each time you call for more physical energy, the call and corresponding release of Power become your new high, stabilized expression, equal to life's demands. – Edna Lister, November 15, 1954.

Relative law deals with earth individual expression. – Edna Lister, September 27, 1955.

Your expression includes your approach to life. – Edna Lister, Fulfilled Promises, May 13, 1956.

Light is modified in the Creation and you personalize it as its expression. – Edna Lister, The Light, Your Expression, November 4, 1956.

Mind is composed of three phases of expression: superconscious, conscious and subconscious. – Edna Lister, November 5, 1956.

You must study the five categories of expression: psychology, metaphysics, science, philosophy and mysticism. Don't just read, but study; dig into the topic you don't grasp. If you must return to any book but the Bible for a refresher, you are in the same grade, and have made little progress. – Edna Lister, February 5, 1957.

The principles of expression include Light, color, tone, number and form (name). – Edna Lister, Conquering Time, October 22, 1957.

Your expression is the degree of your love of God. – Edna Lister, November 9, 1957.

You must strive for soul-expression, which is a perfected self-expression. – Edna Lister, February 4, 1958.

The Beatitudes set a conduct pattern of gentle manners, a way of life, fitting whatever role you choose. Eventually, they become your expression of God. – Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

Personality is the outer expression of the indwelling living soul, the individualized expression of God. Personality is what the world sees of soul. – Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

The first law of expression is to lift desire and emotions to achieve physical balance. The second law of expression is to lift self-will to a state of calm under trial. The third law of expression is to ascend self-desire, which balances emotions at the solar plexus center. The fourth law of expression is to balance love and wisdom perfectly, to stand in balance under the pure white Light of the Christ. The fifth law of expression is to accept responsibility to polish your ethics and morals, which becomes your honor. The sixth law of expression is to practice full surrender of all self. The seventh law of expression is to live by pure illumination, the final, complete conquering of soul. – Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

God created us as instruments for His expression. – Edna Lister, Desire Is Your Glory, June 14, 1959.

Any form "I" takes in expression is the self, giving self the credits. – Edna Lister, October 8, 1959.

God is all principle but has no means of expression without personality. – Edna Lister, I Am the Truth, October 11, 1959.

Your expression of your soul's true identity is only as great as your desire. The only realm you can open is one equal to the level of your desire. This is law. – Edna Lister, From Gethsemane to Ascension, May 15, 1960.

Soul uses mind as its tool of expression. – Edna Lister, How Can I Help Myself? May 31, 1960.

Soul consciousness springs from an emanation of Light, a spiritual flame from the Source that becomes the individualized expression of God. – Edna Lister, Is Faith Enough? June 21, 1960.

Soul is an individualized expression and manifestation of God, endowed with all the qualities, all attributes, all potential Power and parts of God, lacking nothing. – Edna Lister, Do You Trust Your Own Decisions? June 20, 1961.

You see everything as Light from above. If a person needs to speak of the details about his physical, let him, to get it out of his subconscious. If you deny him expression, he represses it and continues. As he speaks it, you see it as Light and perfection. Declare it so. – Edna Lister, July 24, 1961.

Only God has all the qualities and quantities of perfection. Self has no qualities of perfection, only opinions and prejudices. That phase of soul that expresses through and as personality, not as self, has some rational qualities of expression. Appetitive soul expresses in creature-like or animal ways. – Edna Lister, July 26, 1961.

The first movement in civilization and in expression of life must be an aspiration. You cannot express, advance, or achieve in life without aspiration. – Edna Lister, June 7, 1963.

What you think, feel and say about things today will appear tomorrow as your life's expression. – Edna Lister, June 22, 1964.

One person has a goal, is even-tempered, controls his life while conquering, and another runs off in all directions, lacks self control and has no desire to conquer. The one is soul expression and the other is self expression.

Soul expression harnesses the potential Power of God, and releases it in prayer and declarations. The results are miracles and success, as compared to the delays and anemic failures that result from no respect for the Power of God. This is what ails people, from atheists to agnostics to people who "believe" in God. – Edna Lister, What Is Power? February 2, 1965.

The purpose of Creation is to express, to give. If life has no purpose, you live a useless, miserable existence each day. You must have a goal, and your purpose is then to reach it. Once found, you put your faith in achieving the goal, you give it your devotion and you must serve it. – Edna Lister, The First One Through, May 2, 1965.

Good is the expression of God's will, which is itself the expression of His eternal, absolute justice, which His will did not create, but which it executes. Your will proclaims and promulgates and executes the idea of the good that is in you. – Edna Lister, May 4, 1965.

Mother love expresses in many degrees of three different kids of love – emotional-sentimental, mental-intellectual and spiritual-universal mother love. – Edna Lister, Eternity Is Now Mine, May 9, 1965.

By deep breathing, you can inflate the atomic body with unlimited energy. One breath reaches the Source. You can express atomic energy. This is how you move up into unconquerable faith, fill your body with Light and become an instrument of Light and Power. – Edna Lister, You Are Immortal Now, September 5, 1965.

Truth is an expression of Wisdom. – Edna Lister, May 13, 1965.

We call soul-expression "personality." Soul cannot change, but personality can. – Edna Lister, October 18, 1966.

God's full Power is ready to move through you for you to express fully. This is your recompense for loving Him. – Edna Lister, Comprehension and Recompense, November 7, 1965.

Discipline begins in the nursery, where you can stop a child's bad behavior before it become his life's expression. Crime, war and evil can exist only where discipline is lacking. Parents can and sometimes do pay their child's debts past childhood. Thank God they can pay the debts through their love. – Edna Lister, Invisible, Powerful You, December 12, 1965.

The right hand symbolizes expression, how you execute your ideas and act in the world. – Edna Lister, May 1, 1966.

"These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." – Revelation 2:1. Stars represent God expressing as personality. You are stars in your personal expression. You are a star, and you have a star that represents you in the Milky Way. – Edna Lister, May 1, 1966.

All negative emotions and their expressions eventually fall of their own weight, resulting in a nervous breakdown as the soul seeks to escape the self's negativity. – Edna Lister, May 8, 1966.

You must choose between self-expression, demanding and forcing demonstrations or working from soul's ideals. – Edna Lister, May 22, 1966.

You express the Power moving through us though your voice. – Edna Lister, June 5, 1966.

No one cares about your opinions, since they're too busy fanning the fires of their own. This kind of self expression is the seat of all illness. You must surrender self to let the Power use us. – Edna Lister, June 26, 1966.

By living in the love of God, you are expressing it as compassion. – Edna Lister, November 13, 1966.

The Beatitudes are attitudes of your being in expression before the world, the sum of what you show the world, what the world sees as you. Consciously or unconsciously you impose your attitudes of expression on people, your expression of Light. This attitude is all that the world can see of you, the tip of an iceberg, for the rest of what you are is invisible. People can have good manners, a lack of manners, or bad manners. The Beatitudes are lessons in the expression of gentle, good manners, and laws that you must accept. – Edna Lister, December 4, 1966.

When the peace of Christ consciousness is my soul expression, my poise reaches up, the Power descends, and peace and patience become their offspring. An explosion of illumination fills me and I stand immovable and untouchable, according to the Christ mind pattern. – Edna Lister, December 4, 1966.

God is your Source of all life and expression. – Edna Lister, Always Wear Your Crown, December 11, 1966.

Patience is the expression of nonresistance in its three virtues, its three great laws, to stand, to endure and to hold. – Edna Lister, Are You Strong to Endure, December 18, 1966.

You sacrifice certain spiritual, mental and emotional expressions for the purpose of overcoming the little self. – Edna Lister, February 23, 1967.

Primary absolute laws are the first rank in any series of original laws, formed to control and govern all soul unfoldment and human relationships, behavior and expression. We use primary abstract laws to break one principle into many laws of being and doing, to make them relative to simplify how we apply fundamental principles to our present degree of understanding and to govern our daily lives. – Edna Lister, Beauty, a Spiritual Way of Life, May 9, 1967.

Will, ideally, is an expression of wisdom in man. – Edna Lister, May 28, 1967.

Appetitive soul as the life conserver also functions to generate and conserve the life of the body. The lowest expression of this is sensation, the highest form is the ascension of life. Yet the misuse of the creative fire, on the low side, is impulsive, vindictive, and destructive. Light goes from your head down the spine. To express it as sensation destroys the generative faculty at the sacral plexus.– Edna Lister, June 11, 1967.

Theology is thoroughly intellectual and is not a true interpretation of religious values. Jesus taught divine love to be our personal expression of religion. Theology deals with attitudes about love, religion and God. All outer religion, man-made or God-inspired, deals with three states of being and expression — inspiration, faith and reverence. Love as the substance of faith becomes our expression of absolute spiritual values. Religion is not an invention of or by man, but an expression of our soul. All arts, all sciences come from the great religion of divine love. – Edna Lister, The Supremacy of Religion, October 15, 1967.

Jesus taught us to express God, and religion teaches us His divine attributes and qualities, which we are to become. Wisdom inspires you, but faith is your expression of the love of God. Everything you do well, wisdom inspired you to accomplish. You are devoted to and worship what you find in God's wisdom and love. – Edna Lister, The Supremacy of Religion, October 15, 1967.

The "Let children express themselves" idea started around 1906. From that has come our non-patriots and hippies today. This illustrates the foolishness of using love without the wisdom of disciplining the self. – Edna Lister, The Supremacy of Religion, October 22, 1967.

Every negative expression builds spiritual debt. – Edna Lister, November 5, 1967.

Reincarnation is an action of life sparks in expression. – Edna Lister, November 20, 1967.

If your ultimate goal is soul expansion and ascension upward, your outward soul expression will then be perfect. – Edna Lister, December 17, 1967.

Character is the direct expression of the qualities, attributes and unfoldment of the soul. Character is invisible, yet its cumulative results, from many lives, show. All outer expression is the result of your past living and it shows in physical form. Character is the result of how you live by honor, integrity and how you apply law. Reputation uses power, but the Power uses character. Character is the expression of the soul, while reputation is the expression of self. – Edna Lister, How to Make a Just Appraisal, May 14, 1968.

To pass the Adept Degree, you must first recognize that control is not an end in itself, but only the first step in a long process of lifting negative expressions up and out of your consciousness. Controlling it halts a negative expression only temporarily. Soul conquering lifts the negative expression up and out of your being and fills the void with new added soul substance and Light to remake your being. – Edna Lister, October 22, 1968.

Every word must be a controlled expression of glory and create beauty. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1969.

Your rational soul expresses your degree of soul consciousness in the outer. – Edna Lister, November 11, 1969.

The world must realize that it must become all of the attributes and quality of God in expression. – Edna Lister, December 14, 1969.

One who lives by self is expressing only self-will. – Edna Lister, February 19, 1970.

You must be the living expression of faith to be one with all that God is. – Edna Lister, When Is Healing Lawful? November 22, 1970.

When soul wins the battle with self, the lowest point of detriment conquered becomes the highest point of glory. You reach a new point of glory each time you conquer self. – Edna Lister, July 17, 1971.

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The Trinities of Being and Expression
Edna Lister, A Perfect Design for Ascension, 1941.

diagram of the trinities of Being and Expression

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Seven Laws of Balanced Expression

Equilibrium, harmony and balance are the fundamental abstract principles of doing.

The first law of expression is to lift desire and emotions to achieve physical balance.

The second law of expression is to lift self-will to a state of calm under trial.

The third law of expression is to ascend self-desire, which balances emotions at the solar plexus center.

The fourth law of expression is to balance love and wisdom perfectly, to stand in balance under the pure white Light of the Christ.

The fifth law of expression is to accept responsibility to polish your ethics and morals, which becomes your honor.

The sixth law of expression is to practice full surrender of all self.

The seventh law of expression is to live by pure illumination, the final, complete conquering of soul. – Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

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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 expression: Latin exprimere, "to represent, describe," literally "to press out."

Expression is an absolute principle, rooted in the Logos Emanation

Expression is an abstract principle.

Expression is a law of being.

Expression is the law of doing.


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).

Related Topics

See the other forms of expression as Speaking the Word: Arguing, Blessing, Boasting and Bragging, Complaining and Whining, Criticism, Cursing, Demands, Gossip, Idle Words, Lies and Lying, Praise, Prayer, Speaking the Word, Teaching and Teachers, Tone.