Freedom and Liberty

Freedom is defined as "a state of exemption from the power or control of another; liberty; exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement. Freedom can be personal, civil, political, and religious. Freedom includes articular privileges; franchise; immunity; exemption from fate, necessity, or any constraint in consequence of predetermination or otherwise; as the freedom of the will; any exemption from constraint or control; frankness; boldness." – OED

Many souls first seek to walk the Via Christa with the Master because they desire freedom from some earthly condition, person or government. The very idea that you can suffer from something outside the self is an error in perception, since God created you with the freedom to choose your own course in life.

When it seems that nothing presently in your life has placed you in bondage and caused this overwhelming desire to be free, you must accept the fact that you created the condition at a prior time, perhaps in another life. Every seeming paradox reconciles itself when you accept the doctrine of many lives, and the laws of reciprocity, of cause and effect.

Edna Lister on Freedom and Liberty

Legally, you may never demand or ask, but always give others the freedom to choose their own way. – Edna Lister, Love: The Conqueror, April 12, 1934.

The first true soul freedom comes through spiritual illumination. – Edna Lister, Ten Plagues on Egypt, May 16, 1934.

Giving love creates freedom beyond man’s ability to fathom – not freedom to do as you please for a few, but freedom for everyone. – Edna Lister, From Materialism to Spiritual Awareness, September 9, 1934.

The usual idea of freedom is to have all you want, what you want, where you want it, and naturally you dislike all restraint. Freedom comes through definite understanding that many laws govern each plane, and obedience to all law at every level. – Edna Lister, October 31, 1934.

Surrender to law creates freedom, and love becomes the point of attachment. – Edna Lister, October 31, 1934.

You become free through bestowing freedom. When you recognize and rejoice in the other fellow's right to freedom from your opinions and prejudices, you are free. – Edna Lister, October 31, 1934.

You desire freedom, but for what? Do you hurry to get through the day's work to sleep more? Or do you live a wisely planned life to get all you can from it and sleep exactly enough? Do you desire freedom to selfishly do as you please, or freedom to please as you do? – Edna Lister, October 31, 1934.

“You become free through bestowing freedom.”

Freedom from the idea of having to hurry to redeem time does not save time. You need a poised freedom that moves from task to task without wasting time or effort. The eagle epitomizes poised, effortless flight. A deer that bounds effortlessly up a hill displays a natural, graceful and untrammeled freedom. – Edna Lister, October 31, 1934.

Each freedom won becomes but bondage, if you have a greater goal ahead. You will be bored if you have no goal, and ruled by shadows of your own making. – Edna Lister, October 31, 1934.

To some, peace means freedom from unrest, or quiet, calm, and harmony. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are a student of truth, sworn to live by and as truth, which implies activity. God has “called us to liberty,” which means that He has given you the freedom to express either after the pattern of Spirit, or after the world. Liberty has no one to bind, no one to bully. You are free to choose how you shall use your freedom and liberty. If you choose to live by the world pattern, it will devour you. – Edna Lister, November 11, 1934.

You attain soul freedom through selfless giving. – Edna Lister, God Is Spirit, November 16, 1934.

The Father has given you the ability to choose because He has given you the freedom to choose. – Edna Lister, Cooperation in Service, November 18, 1934.

Freedom from problems is the “natural” result of knowing truth. – Edna Lister, Problems, December 5, 1934.

He who covets his ease and freedom makes plenty of money to enjoy it, which he is then afraid to lose. – Edna Lister, The Truth of Reality, December 14, 1934.

You may choose between the freedom to seek pleasure and material things for self, or freedom to surrender the self, to obey law, to expand, to express your soul. Or you may choose to walk with God and be free from bondage to all darkness. – Edna Lister, The Christ Standard, February 17, 1935.

Freedom is more than a license to do as you will and as you wish. True soul freedom arises from joy. – Edna Lister, August 4, 1935.

Earth’s masses cry, “Freedom!” Yet freedom from what? Why do you need freedom? First, offenses will come, and you must face this fact now. Every offensive experience is an opportunity for advancement on the Path of Light.

Worse are the offenses you commit: "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." – Luke 17:1-2. You must watch your step, taking care in your choice of words especially. – Edna Lister, November 3, 1935.

St. Peter recorded five steps to liberty in 1 Peter 2:11-17. First, "Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." Second, conduct yourself honorably, including what you say in conversation. Third, submit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. Fourth, do the will of God by doing good to "put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." Fifth, act as a free man, "not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servant of God." – Edna Lister, January 19, 1936.

In perfect obedience to law, the soul knows freedom. – Edna Lister, January 19, 1936.

The worse things look, the closer you are to real freedom. – Edna Lister, August 17, 1937.

Freedom is personal liberty, non-slavery, independence, liberty of action, the right to do, and to determine for yourself. – Edna Lister, October 2, 1937.

You must choose what kind of freedom you want. Everyone is free to express the gifts that God has given them. – Edna Lister, October 2, 1937.

Religious freedom consists in knowing who you are, where you came from, and how you may return to God. When you know your Source and can identify with God as your Source, you know that life on earth is but a school, one that prepares you to return to your Source, perfected. God has endowed us with all potential powers, for He created us in His image and likeness. Thus, we are inheritors of His life eternal, and our inheritance is freedom. – Edna Lister, November 28, 1937.

The essence of emancipation is a belief in an ideal greater than all humanity can accept. Progress toward that ideal brings the only emancipation possible to any soul. Jesus left us an ideal plan for soul freedom, which only a few accept today. He illustrated that the Father was in him through his complete surrender to do the Father's will. He no longer acted of himself, but the Father acted through him. To have Jesus manifest to you is true emancipation. People always believe after seeing because that's easiest. Following Jesus' plan for you requires more — that you believe to see. – Edna Lister, February 13, 1938.

To gain freedom from all darkness, lift everything and everyone into the Light, give up all burdens to be changed into Light, and love whatever service you give where you are, that you may be emancipated into God’s more perfect place for you. – Edna Lister, February 3, 1939.

The law is "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." – 2 Corinthians 6:14. To find yourself yoked unequally requires you to make a choice. The law says that you cannot go to heaven while walking over the broken backs or hearts of others. Emancipation comes only through mastery of the situation in which you find yourself. Your choice must therefore come from within, from the soul. The one more illumined one who desires freedom must lift the yoke, maintaining silence until it ascends. – Edna Lister, December 7, 1941.

Give up selfishness. Do something toward your freedom each day, and one day you will have that freedom. This is seed time, and one day you will have the stalk, the leaves, and the blossoms. It is inevitable. – Edna Lister, May 30, 1940.

Give all others their full freedom to be and to express their own idea of law. So shall you be free to express your own idea of law. – Edna Lister, November 26, 1940.

Do you desire freedom? What kind? For what use? To lord it over another? To crack down on another? Or to see only the Light, leaving all others alone to follow their own Light. – Edna Lister, Lenten Questionnaire, February 13, 1941.

The secret of emancipation from a situation in which you are unequally yoked is to add more Light. – Edna Lister, December 7, 1941.

Simplicity of Spirit is the greatest key to freedom. The world's complexities bring you only bondage. Simplicity is freedom, which never misses an opportunity to do good. When you live simply, by the honor and the faith of God, it brings you the Master's joy and love. – Edna Lister, March 29, 1942.

We are not told to understand others but to love them, to loose them, to agree with them, and ever to seek to understand God and His Ways. Nor are we told to demand understanding of a single individual of earth, but never to misunderstand them. Thus, shall the true Freedom come to earth. – Edna Lister, December 16, 1942.

Give everyone freedom to choose. Thus, you may eliminate most soul debts. – Edna Lister, July 14, 1944.

Among the first laws of the universe is the freedom to express for the purpose of learning and to unfold the faculties for wisdom. – Edna Lister, April 6, 1945.

To completely heal a mind of a martyr complex gives emotional and mental freedom. – Edna Lister, August 10, 1949.

What is freedom? We have reached the point of the vast cycle of time in which the hedonistic influence is at the forefront again. Searching for freedom individually, and insisting that one's own way is the only right, causes all human suffering. Therefore, harmony must arise from cooperation. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1955.

How can you be free? What is the price of freedom? The basis of your soul freedom is faith unconquerable, love unquenchable, and wisdom inexhaustible and limitless. You can be free by letting your uplifted imagination balance your illumination, intuition, understanding, and faith. The price you pay for freedom is to let the Christ mind rule your consciousness, not the earthy appetitive soul. True freedom causes you to expand and ascend into Light. Choose soul ascension, which pays the price of soul freedom. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1955.

Fear of the responsibility to love enough causes many people to hunt personal freedom at any cost. The price of freedom is to love. Love unquenchable is the power to consume barriers, to heal, and to lift. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1955.

"Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." – Galatians 5:13-14. Speak the Word for soul freedom, and you shall have credits as strength, life, wisdom, love and a sparkle in your eyes. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1955.

“Live by the mind of Christ in freedom, or go with self into slavery.”

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." – Matthew 7:7-8. This sounds so simple, yet you can meet so much interference in attaining freedom. First, ask what you are seeking. What is slavery? What is freedom? Slavery is bowing to a master or an enemy, such as fear, doubt, old patterns or old ideas. People can be slaves to opinions, prejudices, pride, hatred, anger, self-pity, food, drugs and drink. Freedom is the opposite of that which enslaves. Many experience momentary freedom when someone makes them happy by offering a sugar-sop to "little me," but this isn't real freedom.

To know true freedom, you must know who you are, where you came from, and where you are going. You are the sons and daughters of God, the Word made flesh in His image and likeness in heaven. You are going to heaven, where the Master has prepared a place for you in the Father's house. Complete freedom includes desire, decision, and action. You can desire to be a slave to self, or to plan your life free of self. Decide whether little self will rule your life through your appetites, or live by soul and let Oversoul I AM rule you.

Who is going where, I AM or "little me"? Declare, "I am all-conquering!" The action to take is to ask, seek and knock in one of three ways. "Little me" demands, saying, "Gimme. I want," and is blown about by every wind. Reason and intellect are too busy seeking causes to find time to conquer. Self and intellect shout "that's impossible," and "I say so" without "I do so."

To respond to new ideas, ways, patterns and illuminations, you must ask, seek and knock at the door of intuitive I AM consciousness. Desire and ask that God will use you. Decide to love enough, and seek God's love. Your action is to knock at the door of abundance, where all things are possible. I AM takes you there. I AM can. I AM does. – Edna Lister, October 9, 1955.

You can "walk on water" after you conquer your emotional bondage. You can do only two things to substance: Raise its vibration and expand, or lower its vibration and condense. You raise the vibration under prayer by integrating your desire with faith.

“You can ‘walk on water’ after you conquer your emotional bondage.”

You are never more in heaven than you are right now, but this is nearly a lost teaching. What approach do you choose, the way of self or soul? The wise soul chooses desire, decision, and action. Superconscious Oversoul never partakes of the little self, but you feel better when "little me" submits and ascends to Oversoul. Oversoul I AM always lifts "little me" in its expression. The weaker self-based decision is to tarry along the great path. Do what you know is good now: You can surrender self. Subconscious mind is your servant, so use it as such. Seek to be an instrument of almighty Power. You cannot make Love, Wisdom and Power perfect, since they are already, but you must seek them. You are God's creator-instrument, and He created you to serve His Light and Power. Simply relax, breathe deeply and recharge your energy to find the freedom to express as the creator you really are. – Edna Lister, November 27, 1955.

You can be independent only through faith, which empowers you to stand before the world unconquerable, in a state of grace, rejoicing in the glory of God and feeling free. Independence to express as a creator is the only true freedom. One person's idea of independence is going it alone and fighting to be left alone. All he wants is to be free from dictation about what to do and how to do it. Day and night he mentally runs to escape from responsibilities and obligations, but ends lonely and frustrated. Others seek the opposite form of independence, to have someone else assume all responsibility, to do the thinking and planning, to be told what and how. Their idea of independence is to be completely dependent, and they are lost without someone to turn to for help.

All insecurity arises from complete dependence on the state, government, or someone else. The only lasting security is your faith in God, your love of work, knowing who you are, where you are going, and how to start on the work at hand. All the unrest in the world results from seeking freedom and independence from the fear of bondage. People try to depend on other people and their ideas; nations depend on other nations, all without God.

The cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, purifies you to give the sense of at-one-ment, which is the only true, lasting independence. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1957.

The quest for independence is a great keynote of seeking, yet you cannot successfully pursue freedom outside yourself. Inner conflicts enslave you, for without faith, you experience fear, which is the faith principle turned upside down. Faith is the only independence you can ever have. Faith in God is part-time independence, but the faith of God is faith in action as freedom. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1957.

God is the only true security. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1957.

Everyone wants independence, yet exchange one kind of dependence for another. You feel free only when you are at one with God and declare others perfect right where they are. Freedom that resets your vibration to the high keynote of faith and love of God is your glory of independence. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1957.

We all know the story in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, two brothers with very different types of disposition, but both were in bondage to self. The younger son was in bondage to gratification of the senses as pleasure, and the older son was in thrall to greed as his pleasure. The younger son decided to be free of his brother's complaints and unasked-for advice. He claimed his inheritance and immediately took off for the city to do as he pleased, as he'd dreamed of doing. He found out the hard way that pleasuring self brings no freedom. He sacrificed his old ideas of self-centered freedom for his father's love. He had learned the hard way, through loss, lack and hunger. The older son worked only for the self. His enslavement was as deep as his brother's had been. No common meeting point is possible between such opposites, other than through great love.

True freedom comes with acceptance of full responsibility as an ascending creator god. The only true measure of your capacity for freedom is the measure of your ability to surrender self and become the full-time servant of all God's Power. No bondage exists in Light, which is love's power – self is the only bondage. Under Light, the soul soars. You follow a threefold path to complete freedom of the soul when you use discernment, discrimination, and discretion. Your use of these faculties frees you in the body and in your affairs. – Edna Lister, November 17, 1957.

What is freedom? The prodigal son found no freedom in his wild spending. The older son had no freedom in his love of being a miser. True freedom is the greatness found in your capacity to surrender self to become a servant of all Power. – Edna Lister, November 17, 1957.

Your freedom depends on your balance of love and wisdom. Since love multiplies itself faster than any other quality of God, wisdom suggests that the way to freedom is to love enough to gain lasting freedom. As many earthly ideas of freedom exist as individuals who live on earth. Everyone wants and searches for his own idea of freedom. A creature roaming the wood uncaptured, with enough to eat, has freedom. A man, living in a hut on a mountainside, has the same type of freedom. To some, living alone, never sharing or being bothered is freedom. To others, money spells freedom. All are in deep bondage to self and their own ideas. No matter whether they talk about politics, religion or fear, they all want freedom.

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." – John 8:32. Your interpretation of principle and law constitutes your freedom of expression. You must prove that your soul is free of fear. We have two methods of getting rid of fears and being free: You are free to speak truth, and you are free to do what pleases God. Your freedom depends on pleasing God, not on pleasuring self. The truth about God and your relationship to Him sets you free.

Your challenge to freedom is to do the greater works. Change your narrow-view pattern of self to a larger, vast horizon. Grow up to that past horizon and you again begin to feel squeezed, cramped and bound. Your most precious jewel, your pearl of great price is the freedom to expand. Every new desire for freedom is your guarantee of a new power generator installed to help you love more. The power of love brings all irreconcilable factors into balance. You set them free with your new freedom to love, to please God enough. Your freedom to do this is as timeless, as tireless, and as limitless as love itself. – Edna Lister, June 28, 1959.

Honor above all things and loyalty to God are fundamental laws and absolutely necessary principles. How you apply these laws and principles to your life is your philosophy of life. The world has as many philosophies of freedom as it has individual types, yet you must balance every freedom in love and wisdom.

Self feels bound and burdened when it is not free to do as it pleases, and puts all its burdens on your back. Self produces your burdens. Power descends when you have that freedom of the love of God that unconsciously gives of and sacrifices itself. Your true freedom is freedom from the weight of self, and freedom to expand. – Edna Lister, October 7, 1942.

Treatment for Freedom and Liberty

“I AM free and I have freedom from all weakness, freedom from all lack, freedom from closed doors, freedom from all delay, freedom from all darkness. I AM FREE. I have received NOW!” – Edna Lister, February 27, 1948.

Freedom and Liberty in the New Testament

Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. – Galatians 5:13-15.

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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

No rack can torture me,
My soul's at liberty
Behind this mortal bone
There knits a bolder one

You cannot prick with saw,
Nor rend with scymitar.
Two bodies therefore be;
Bind one, and one will flee.

The eagle of his nest
No easier divest
And gain the sky,
Than mayest thou,

Except thyself may be
Thine enemy;
Captivity is consciousness,
So's liberty.
– Emily Dickinson

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
– William Ernest Henley


Dickinson, Emily, "Emancipation," Poems. Mabel L. Todd and Thomas W. Higginson, editors. Cambridge, MA: University Press, 1890.

Henley, William Ernest. "Invictus," Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, editor. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920;, 1999 accessed March 7, 2017].

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Webster, Noah. "Freedom," Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.