Guilt is a failure of duty, delinquency, offence, meriting condemnation and reproach of conscience, of having willfully committed crime or heinous moral offence, criminality, great culpability.Oxford English Dictionary
  Guilt is criminality; that state of a moral agent which results from his actual commission of a crime or offense, knowing it to be a crime, or violation of law. To constitute guilt there must be a moral agent enjoying freedom of will, and capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and a wilful or intentional violation of a known law, or rule of duty. The guilt of a person exists, as soon as the crime is committed; but to evince it to others, it must be proved by confession, or conviction in due course of law. Guilt renders a person a debtor to the law, as it binds him to pay a penalty in money or suffering. guilt therefore implies both criminality and liableness to punishment. Guilt may proceed either from a positive act or breach of law, or from voluntary neglect of known duty.Webster’s American Dictionary

“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

Being guilty in breaking man’s law merits a sentence of punishment paid in this life. However, guilt in breaking God’s law renders the soul liable for payment unto the last jot and tittle. Soul debts must be paid in full, no matter how long that takes, and they follow the soul from life to life. Feeling guilt is an indicator that one feels a sense of failed responsibility for an action or inaction. Guilt is often a soul taint for getting away with something; thus linked with blame, reentment, self-pity, etc., because the soul knows it really is culpable. Some souls entertain such a deep-seated, pervasive sense of guilt that it injects itself into their every relationship and project. Such guilt most likely began in a prior existence and will continue until that soul tracks it to its source and lifts it into the Light.

Edna Lister on Guilt

Go to the Master in your weak moments, but not to another, lest you become guilty of disturbing another’s soul peace, or of putting out another’s Light.—Edna Lister, July 11, 1938.

When a vibration is at an end, press forward without regret, although with great gratitude for the vehicle which has brought you thus far.—Edna Lister, September 6, 1938.

When push comes to shove, you must have your head on your shoulders, not your heart.—Edna Lister, February 8, 1942.

Anyone who dares to allow another to take all the blame is judging, and so is guiltier than the guilty party.—Edna Lister, November 1, 1944.

When law is used by self to its own ends, soul knowledge of guilt always causes terrible wear and tear upon the body.—Edna Lister, November 2, 1944.

If you break one of the least laws, you are guilty of breaking them all.—Edna Lister, December 7, 1944.

Don’t go to bed with a cloud over your head, but under it.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

If you are insulted by reprimand, you are found guilty of self-deceit.—Edna Lister, December 6, 1947.

Conscience is not born until a sense of remorse awakens, and an albatross of guilt plagues the guilty one. One who rehashes his guilt is unconsciously remorseful. He begins doing when he tires of chewing the cud.
  You wear guilt like an albatross, just like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner. Regret is repenting quietly and alone, after remorse and grief make self sorry. Many dwell in a prison of guilt because they do not know how to lift their regrets to a cloud continent of Light.—Edna Lister, The First Days, June 17, 1951.

The exaltation of the Elect is inevitable. Some will deeply regret that they did not labor and stand steadfastly through the heat of the day.—Edna Lister, September 4, 1952.

Those who stand on the 33rd Degree stand on law, and regret the time they have wasted. What thousand golden offerings of self-sacrifice will you bring to the altar, without regret, but in full knowledge and joy?—Edna Lister, September 22, 1952.

You may never charge a debt of blame to anyone. Always admit your own guilt.—Edna Lister, October 23, 1952.

Don’t bother with clinging to guilt or you create a guilt complex. All guilt complexes are rooted in self-pity, so go up to God and pay your debt while you release Power.—Edna Lister, June 14, 1953.

Consider the hours you have wasted in regret before you waste any more time on it.—Edna Lister, I Accept, June 27, 1954.

It is time to climb without backsliding or feeling guilty. If you keep falling back, you will not have accomplished much during this life, but will have worked backwards, which is retrogression.—Edna Lister, July 23, 1955.

Your conscience is guilty when your soul consciousness reminds you of your vows.—Edna Lister, April 14, 1956.

You cannot ascend while carrying a guilt complex or wearing a hair shirt.—Edna Lister, July 9, 1956.

Covering up or ignoring the truth is how guilt complexes start.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1956.

You take Light into your own group or family and they hate the Light that causes change because it gives them a guilt complex. They cannot hide from the Light, so they fight you! The Light shows up what is in their dark places.—Edna Lister, The Way, Your Path, October 14, 1956.

Exorcize the demon of regret, which is born of self-condemnation.—Edna Lister, Metaphysical Correspondences, November 6, 1956.

Your soul record contains everything you have thought, heard, seen, said or done, along with every vile name that others called you, the wicked along with the good. You identify with these records, then build a sense of guilt. Lift whenever evil touches your lines of Light, triggers a record, and you feel guilt.—Edna Lister, June 4, 1957.

One who has touched the Oversoul I AM consciousness in a marriage of the Lamb, then fallen, will have a guilt complex about it. He will never be happy until he climbs back.—Edna Lister, June 6, 1957.

Lift grief and guilt, which is nothing more than being afraid of showing love for God. Sacrifice of self means to give up opinions and prejudices, guilt and fear.—Edna Lister, December 30, 1957.

A vague or whining tone of voice is an apology for buried guilt. A guilt complex results when you excuse self.—Edna Lister, January 9, 1958.

Do not alibi. Take the blame. If you descend in consciousness, you descend in the body. Admit your guilt and lift it high instantly.—Edna Lister, February 3, 1958.

Moths represent people who bite your ego. Everybody has "moths" of doubt, regret, boredom and resentment that nibble at their highest ideals. You exalt self when you allow a moth to chew on you.—Edna Lister, Brainwashing, Inc., October 19, 1958.

Declare your guilt perfect and Light will absorb your guilt.—Edna Lister, May 17, 1959.

Your detractors carry heavy guilt, so they voice platitudes to escape. They will mock you, but in their hearts they weep that they do not have what you have, because they are unwilling to accept their responsibility.—Edna Lister, December 7, 1959.

Guilt is often the unvoiced demand for approval from God.—Edna Lister, April 7, 1960.

A guilty feeling attracts all the guilt in the neighborhood. The parable of the man who had the unclean spirit cast out illustrates that he was lonely and attracted seven spirits more wicked than the first. Others, especially children, reflect your self-indulgence in a personal sense of guilt as lack of respect.—Edna Lister, How Can I Apply Law to My Life? June 7, 1960.

The world must be released from many devils—persecution, anxiety and guilt complexes are among the worst. Psychiatrists relieve people of the little devils that beset them through private and group therapy. Ministers do it through prayer and advice.
  A guilt complex disturbs your faith in God. Give Him the mess, and stop rolling around in guilt.—Edna Lister, What Is Your Measure of Power? June 12, 1960.

When a guilt complex devitalizes and confuses you, your spirit of adventure goes to seed.—Edna Lister, Do You Trust Your Own Decisions? June 20, 1961.

What if another is guilty? Your darkness in judging unrighteously covers his dark treasure and buries it deeper. You may bury his debt so deeply he can never see it until you become perfect and blameless. People get so involved in hurt feelings about what grieves them that they descend to "an eye for an eye."—Edna Lister, Your Contact With Cosmic Power, October 8, 1961.

Reconciliation begins when you regret your disobedience and desire to learn what law means.—Edna Lister, Fourteen Stations of the Cross, April 24, 1962.

Self-righteous evangelists curse people who sin, and make them feel so guilty that many don’t return for ages.—Edna Lister, August 16, 1962.

The minute you feel guilt, you challenge yourself to pay your debts. You need not challenge yourself when you have done all.—Edna Lister, December 17, 1964.

Suffering from self-inflicted guilt is different from mentally kicking yourself. Giving yourself a good mental kick is legal under a just appraisal.—Edna Lister, October 26, 1966.

Ignore the past. You may not waste time with regrets.—Edna Lister, May 7, 1967.

Lift the dregs of earth, the unbearable guilt complexes from minds and hearts, to the high place, without removing them from memory. Lift the sordid memories of everyone on earth to contrition, which is the highest point under Light.—Edna Lister, May 29, 1967.

We must release the world from demons of persecution, anxiety and guilt complexes.—Edna Lister, May 10, 1968.

Our job is to lift the world’s guilt.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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New Testament on Guilt

Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.—James 2:10.

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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 guilt: Old English gylt, "crime, sin, fault, fine."

Guilt is a soul taint.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

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

Webster, Noah. Webster’s American Dictionary. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Recommender Reading

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Poetry Foundation.

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