Habit is the state of any thing implying some continuance or permanence; temperament or particular state of a body, formed by nature or induced by extraneous circumstances; as a costive or lax habit of body; a sanguine habit; a disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition. Hence we speak of good habits and bad habits. A great point in the education of children, is to prevent the formation of bad habits.Webster’s American Dictionary

Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad habits.—Benjamin Franklin

  At first glance, the idea of habit has three general connotations — good, bad, or humdrum — as in routine, custom, an inclination or propensity. The downright negative habits range from addiction and fixation to susceptibility and falling into a rut. Yet a habit can also be a discipline that soul consciously imposes on the self.
  On the Via Christa, we use the term "design" to describe the array of constructive and executive disciplines that make up our plan for ascension. One of the most deadening aspects of unconscious habitual behaviors and mental-emotional illusions is following family, ethnic, or racial patterns without thought or deviation. No expansion in consciousness can result from this; in fact, consciousness can and will regress.
  Edna Lister said that life itself is designed to be a grand adventure composed of a series of small but exciting adventures. When life grows dull, boring, uninteresting, look to your habitual thoughts and emotional ruts as the cause. Live graciously, in the presence of the Lord, being filled with His grace and loving kindness.
  A perfect habit for gracious living is this: Mary Batson, who was turning 99, when asked her secret for longevity, answered, Why, I get up in the morning and invest my first thirty minutes with the Lord. I put my hand in His and He leads me throughout the day.
  The only legal addictions are God, Light, perfecting the soul virtues, releasing Power, and declaring everything and everyone good. Declaring Light a thousand times an hour is a divine addiction.

Edna Lister on Habit

You must develop the habit of right thinking, and using the right words. Every man’s words shall be his burden.—Jeremiah 23:36, so make yours as light as a balloon.—Edna Lister, Prayer, the Broad Highway, May 15, 1935.

The more you think about a habit, the deeper you impress it on the unconscious mind.—Edna Lister, The Golden Fleece, September 1936.

When you experience a relapse after a miracle or conquering self, you are probably indulging in a habit.—Edna Lister, August 9, 1940.

Breaking a routine at times is good. Any habit may become a rut unless you watch your step.—Edna Lister, September 17, 1941.

Plan to do everything in your life in a more thoroughly beautiful way. Try to change your routine, your time of doing things, your old ways, even if you only eat your soup last! Do something different and more beautiful in your daily tasks, and new ideas will flow.—Edna Lister, January 26, 1942.

Memorize and work on one law a week until law becomes a habit.—Edna Lister, November 2, 1944.

Develop the habit of doing to replace procrastination.—Edna Lister, July 4, 1945.

One law well learned, until it becomes a life habit, is worth more than a book full of knowledge soon mislaid or forgotten in life’s turmoil of actions.—Edna Lister, August 1, 1945.

As an adult, your subconscious mind has moved in a certain set of grooves about some ideas for years. It takes five years to fill in such a deeply-cut habit groove. Once you have torn out the roots of an idea, you must refill the groove with Light and new constructive patterns of thinking and behavior to prevent the past habit from resettling.—Edna Lister, September 4, 1945.

Let’s form the habit of living each hour by praising God.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1945.

Instantly lift everything that comes to you into the Light, as a constant, steady habit.—Edna Lister, February 14, 1946.

Subconscious mind corresponds to the impulsive appetitive facet of soul as it builds and maintains the physical metabolism. It reacts to all stimuli with impulses and appetites for it is incapable of thought; it can only follow a pattern pre-established by the rational mind or by a habit that conscious mind has permitted by default. Hence, the subconscious is the source of all your delays and difficulties in life.
  The subconscious mind’s purpose is to run the body as the servant of the conscious and super-conscious phases of mind, so it must have a pattern to follow. Yet, if you are body-conscious in any way, you will live by the appetites and impulses of the subconscious dictator. The superconscious mind of Oversoul I AM forever seeks to change your path in life from fate to destiny by directing your conscious mind to form habit patterns for the soul’s destiny, which is like pulling teeth.
  Appetitive soul operates like a robot—it can’t change the pattern, but works according to every habit pattern you let it set for you. If you allow others to change your habits by dictating to you, confusion results in your life pattern. Stated another way, if you let others’ emotional advice recondition you away from principle, your mental patterns will become confused. —Edna Lister, Integrating Mind and Power, June 22, 1952.

Personal habits are all right if they are wise for you and do not interfere with anyone else.—Edna Lister, December 18, 1952.

Do not curse yourself when you smoke, but declare that the cigarettes represent the Power of the Living God soothing every nerve. Gradually you will no longer need them. Do not curse, but bless substitutes. The substance in cigars is the same as in the Communion bread and wine; only the form changes. As you think in your heart, so it is, for you are the creator. Habits cling because you curse them without blessing them.—Edna Lister, Jesus, the Descended God, December 12, 1954.

If you blame yourself, others blame you. Do not blame yourself for any habit or fault, but work to eliminate them.—Edna Lister, December 13, 1954.

Subconscious mind, rooted in self, is always at war with conscious mind, rooted in the soul. If a battle, a conflict rages day and night, soul is ravaged, torn apart. For example, if you want to stop a habit such as smoking, unconsciously you may make a law by saying, "I can’t ascend unless I give up smoking." It starts an immediate violent chain reaction: Desire increases, the nerves react throughout the body until it prowls, restless and miserable, and you find your self with a lighted cigarette in hand, with no recollection of having lighted it. Habit lights the cigarette, a perfect example of self putting one over on soul.

An inner conflict cannot pay you dividends or cover spiritual debts. You redeem a negative emotion, habit or debt when you decide you have had enough of it.—Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

Entertainment habits, such as television [and computers, smartphones, tablets, texting and games], keep you from conquering.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1956.

Keep moving or you settle on your gains and they settle on you. Light will prod and push you until conquering becomes a habit.—Edna Lister, October 15, 1956.

Form the habit of standing steadfastly. Once you form it, it is yours for all eternity.—Edna Lister, May 9, 1957.

You must reach the point where you never modify, dilute, or adulterate the original Power that goes forth. To do this, so firmly establish the habit of saying, "Darling, you are wonderful," that only this fills your mind, emotions and imagination. When you establish "You are wonderful" as a habit, the Light of your countenance will attract love, everything you desire, and fill your personality.—Edna Lister, September 5, 1957.

Seek the kingdom of heaven always as a heavenly habit. If you do not seek all the time, you will not have enough strength to climb to the heights when you need to.—Edna Lister, September 30, 1957.

Your work of ascension must include raising the vibration of body cells until you become immune to anything earth can produce. For instance, for the habit of cigarettes to fall away, you must ascend high enough in consciousness and desire.—Edna Lister, Conquering Space, October 15, 1957.

Old habits are hard to break, but you must shatter them in prayer, so that Light absorbs them.—Edna Lister, December 6, 1957.

You must decide upon a new technique for everything you do. Your approach to each day’s problems must apply old and tried laws in new combinations, new formulas. You can think of many things at once but must exercise your thinking faculty constantly for good results. Multiple thinking easily becomes a habit with practice by applying all you know to everything you do.—Edna Lister, A New Technique for Living, October 13, 1958.

You can rid the subconscious of old blemishes and downright evils. However, if you let the self have its way for just twenty-four hours, you will recreate habits that you must conquer again. It is a greased pole. One slip and you are in the mud on the bottom.—Edna Lister, March 7, 1960.

Acceptance is absolutely necessary as a part of training. You have established this habit, and from one established habit, you can lift all other weak points. One habit of self-discipline makes it easier to create the next.—Edna Lister, June 10, 1960.

Time, circumstances, situations and people will break in on your established customs and habits, and this you must accept graciously to return instantly and begin where you left off.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1961.

It takes millions of years to make a habit track of faith in the brain.—Edna Lister, Your Field of Wheat and Tares, December 9, 1962.

If you live in Light and center your desire on perfection and following Jesus the Christ, the habit you are trying to overcome will fall away from you. Later, bad habits will no longer mean anything to you.—Edna Lister, Power to Ascend, December 18, 1962.

You can easily form a good habit or conquer any habit-taint when your burning desire to be perfect as thy Father in heaven is perfect.—Edna Lister, November 28, 1964.

To assess my improvement, I must stand off a few paces and look at myself. What kind of person am I? Do I display entrenched habit patterns? Do I raise my eyebrows, or shrug my shoulders when persecuted, to show my contempt for it? Or do I lift it to a cloud continent of Light, declaring it good and ignoring it?—Edna Lister, Following Your Path of Destiny, December 4, 1966.

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.—John 3:14. The serpent represents wisdom and intellect. Intellectual darkness is evil and wisdom is the tempter of life. The wilderness is world confusion. The serpent is a tempter. When you lift up your serpent in the wilderness, you give up all opinions, prejudices, negative traits and habits. To give up a cigarette habit, bless it and call it beautiful. Bless every cigarette advertisement. When you light one, declare it burns up evil and the habit throughout the world. Declare that it is self-consuming and self-absorbing.

You do not give up a habit, it gives you up because you lift it into the Light and evil hates Light. The ones who hate the cigarette habit curse it and do more to keep the habit going than do the indulgers. The "good" people can keep the world in bondage to evil through their intolerance. Everywhere is here and we are everywhere. Think on this in lifting up the serpent.—Edna Lister, To Know, to Be, to Do: The Keys of the Kingdom, June 16, 1968.

What you bind or loose on earth, you bind or loose in heaven. Curses about a habit create a veil of illusion and bind the habit.—Edna Lister, To Know, to Be, to Do: The Keys of the Kingdom, June 16, 1968.

To cure old habits, maintain high expectancy and always keep an eye on the goal.—Edna Lister, June 28, 1968.

Nothing is easy about conquering dark selfish habits, and you must maintain a constant watch, a constant standing in the Light to overcome them. To establish only the habits of Light is your privilege and glory, and gives you needed credits.—Edna Lister, July 27, 1969.

When you move up into the Light, it becomes a fiery furnace. When you want to quit a habit, fan your flame of desire into a consuming fire. If you keep declaring that you are moving up and out of worshiping false gods (habits), you may throw yourself into the fiery furnace repeatedly. As you conquer the little self, you lose the tendency and finally the ability to worship false gods. As your Oversoul takes charge, Light translates you into the image of the Christed one.—Edna Lister, Seven Manifestations of God: The Fiery Furnace, December 7, 1969.

Make a specialty of conquering idle words because that is the most clutching of all habits. It has the deepest root.—Edna Lister December 11, 1969.

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Declarations for Lifting Habits

People ask, "What shall I do?" Cooperate with the habit. Consciously light the cigarette, saying, "Baby, here’s your pacifier. Be sure you enjoy this now because I am giving it up! I am ascending to be free. I am putting you in training pants and cutting off your curls!"—Edna Lister, No Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

In your treatment before entering the golden silence say, "Here I am, Father. Please move in and erase every habit taint."—Edna Lister, April 13, 1964.

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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 habit, from Latin habitus "condition, demeanor, appearance, dress," originally past participle of habere "to have, to hold, possess."

Habit can be either a soul virtue. or a soul taint.


It was the peculiar artifice of Habit not to suffer her power to be felt at first. Those whom she led, she had the address of appearing only to attend, but was continually doubling her chains upon her companions; which were so slender in themselves, and so silently fastened, that while the attention was engaged by other objects, they were not easily perceived. Each link grew tighter as it had been longer worn, and when, by continual additions, they became so heavy as to be felt, they were very frequently too strong to be broken.—Samuel Johnson

The valiant good man is he who, by the resolute exercise of his free-will, has so disciplined himself as to have acquired the habit of virtue; as the bad man is he who, by allowing his free-will to remain inactive, and giving the bridle to his desires and passions, has acquired the habit of vice, by which he becomes, at last, bound as by chains of iron.—Samuel Smiles


Johnson, Samuel. The Works of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. Robert Lynam, ed. London: George Cowie, 1825. VI. 273-285.

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

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Smiles, Samuel. Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them, Chicago: U.S. Publishing Co., 1882, p. 495.

Webster, Noah. s.v. "Habit." Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

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