Illusion is a deceptive appearance; a false show, by which a person is or may be deceived, or his expectations disappointed; mockery.Webster’s American Dictionary
  An illusion is an erroneous perception of reality, an erroneous concept or belief, the condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief, something, such as a fantastic plan or desire, that causes an erroneous belief or perception." To illude is "to trick or to delude.Webster’s American Dictionary

“Illusion is always founded on a fact, which is then distorted to fit some perversion of reality.”—Edna Lister

Illusion is always founded on a fact, which is then distorted to fit a perversion of reality. Illusion is an initiation in perception of the difference between the truth of appearances—often an illusion—and the truth of reality. Illusion is the misrepresentation of reality by individuals or personalities.

Edna Lister on Illusion

Leave all others free to believe whatever will ’o the wisp illusion they choose to chase. Follow the Light of truth into all healing.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1924.

If you keep your eye on the illusions of this world of appearances, you receive rebukes that signal your failures in discernment.—Edna Lister, Command Ye Me, January 16, 1935.

Darkness grows by dividing the truth of Light into plausible part-truths, perverted weapons designed to deceive the very Elect, those who do not have their eyes on God. Being deceived, such souls then fall prey to the illusion of a lie masquerading as the truth of Light. Then they blame the soul who makes them see the truth.—Edna Lister, March 30, 1935.

Absolute reality eternally, accurately and completely expresses God’s ideas, whereas a temporary, imperfect reality may misrepresent God’s ideas. Unseen absolute reality exists before illusion or seen unreality appears, therefore illusion is subject to the principles of absolute reality.
  Illusion deceives the bodily eye by false or unreal appearances or the mental eye by false prospects or statements, by deception or delusion. An illusion deceives or deludes by producing a false impression. Illusion is the misrepresentation of reality by individuals or personalities.
  Spiritual substance is absolute and eternal. God as spiritual substance is “deathless, ageless and abiding.” Material substance is subject to temporal relativity, therefore physical matter is relative, limited and only temporarily real. We may think about spiritual substance as the “truth of reality,” whereas we may understand material substance only as the “truth of appearance.”—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

The truth will seem an illusion to those with no spiritual understanding.—Edna Lister, February 25, 1941.

Standing nobly and serenely upon the truth, being steadfast to establish truth can harm no one, but draws others to itself from the deep shadows in the vales of illusion.—Edna Lister, March 3, 1942.

You must test your intuition or impulses to action. If you have a flash of vision, immediately go to the Mercy Seat and ask the Father if it signals “yes.” He sends you back, usually several times to check that it is no illusion. You will see pictures and be asked from what realm they come. If you proceed without a clear “green light,” soul vision fades behind the veil of self you are choosing instead.—Edna Lister, April 3, 1942.

Seek confirmation of your soul vision. Make certain that selfish desires do not color your seeing and hearing, for self-delusion leads straightway into the vale of illusion from which you do not emerge easily or soon. Once within, you follow paths through mazes. There is no turning back, only following each path to its final and often bitter end. This is a sad way of great delay. Therefore, it is much better to seek confirmation first, even if you find you are under self-delusion. Learning to know the true way is better than to enter the long path through the vale of tears.—Edna Lister, November 5, 1942.

Verify your spiritual hearing and seeing by checking with another seer. Truth is truth and the same to all souls everywhere. Thus you save yourself from wandering off into the vale of illusion, which is destruction to a mediator’s soul faculties.—Edna Lister, October 9, 1944.

Wait upon the Lord in learning law to equal the great gifts of full spiritual seeing and hearing. You must be able to discriminate between your imagination creating illusions, replaying past records, instant knowledge of a strange alien vibration seeking to break through, and actually seeing the form of an agent of God as well as hearing the voice.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1944.

A mediator must be so trained in law to be able to discriminate, and use discretion to be able to discern the difference between self-created delusion, illusion, imagination, the vibration of the Sons of God, or illusions created by those bodiless ones still roaming, seeking a resting place for their false work.—Edna Lister, October 25, 1944.

Force not, lest you enter vales of illusion in all innocence. To go slowly, step by step, and to awaken the mediator’s great soul powers gradually is best.—Edna Lister, October 26, 1944.

On earth, you are only as great as the extent of your ability always to be completely surrendered in obedience to God’s law. Obeying law is best, even if you see nothing. Release of the power of love, which cannot harm or mislead anyone.—Edna Lister, October 27, 1944.

Automatic writing is open to self-delusion, self-seeking, self-desire to be great before others, and illusion. You may pick up and rehash the records of words spoken in the past. Automatic writing opens a direct line to tricksters, who delight in mischief, and to downright deceivers floating near earth.—Edna Lister, October 30, 1944.

When you are blinded by selfish desires, you are really blind to the difference between truth and illusion. Illusion is always founded on a fact, which is then distorted to fit some perversion of truth.—Edna Lister, February 22, 1945.

Your delusions of the truth are the source of your soul’s shame and humiliation. You wear these delusions as filthy ragged robes, which diminish your soul’s capacity to release Light on earth. Then you are ashamed to approach the Father’s throne in the bliss of atonement.—Edna Lister, April 29, 1948.

If you try to put someone in emotional bondage, the veils of illusion descend on you as doubt, fear, and conflicted emotions.—Edna Lister, The Twelve Tribes, June 22, 1948.

It is necessary to experience the vale of illusion or valley of grief at some point in your ascension career; otherwise, you might not express the necessary degree of compassion.—Edna Lister, Be-Attitudes, June 24, 1951.

The seat of self delusion is fragile, and soon breaks, causing the one so seated to fall.—Edna Lister, June 25, 1951.

You may have looked for something that is right before your eyes, but was invisible because you wear the blinders of self, the veils of illusion, which delude vision. You must see past the illusion.—Edna Lister, The Flaming Sword, July 29, 1951.

Search for hidden self within even your best motives. Make certain there is no self-delusion remaining to spread again in subtle ways.—Edna Lister, April 10, 1952.

Often you may see a short movie, like a “preview of coming attractions” for lifting. Close this preview immediately (if it’s for now) treat it now). Otherwise, you may get embroiled in nebulous future possibilities that neutralize your present ability to serve. You must be free of heart and mind to act as if the present situation were the final perfect thing, or you could never free your soul. Don’t waste time holding this short glimpse open, it it becomes snooping, and leads to confusion, illusion and worse.—Edna Lister, September 18, 1952.

You may not hide things from yourself, evade issues or tell tales under treacherous self-delusion. You are of the truth and only the truth shall set you free from the wages of sin, which is the death of soul.—Edna Lister, July 20, 1956.

Illusions are imaginary, but seem real to the one who is having them.—Edna Lister, Five Categories of Expression, November 19, 1957.

Each soul, shedding tears of mourning in self-pity, creates his own veil in the valley of illusion.—Edna Lister, August 28, 1958.

Every time you lift the curtain on your unlovely, unloving intentions and motivations, you lift the veil of illusion from self and open the way to soul illumination.—Edna Lister, October 9, 1958.

When the faculties of wisdom and love do not open in balance, the rational and appetitive phases of soul are erratic in judgment and emotions. You must develop wisdom to contact divine Mind, for if you open only the love faculty, you live by emotions, dreams and slide into illusion, unbalanced by wisdom.—Edna Lister, October 3, 1960.

People must be dis-illusioned by prayer, not by talk.—Edna Lister, March 16, 1962.

As a creator god, you could not originally descend until your soul’s sheath became heavier. As you descend and become relative, you must leave behind a veil, composed of substance at a particular rate of vibration on every level. These veils of illusion, dense and difficult to penetrate, close your memory of your divine past. Thus, you must ascend to cleanse taints of self, which aids in consuming the veils of illusion. To do this, you must wash your memory records white as snow. You cannot remove a veil without successfully completing your initiations.—Edna Lister, God as Personality, November 12, 1963.

The seer sees, the prophet hears, then speaks what he hears. Check whatever you see and hear with another seer, because this is always a danger point of illusion and delusion.—Edna Lister, You Are a Seer and a Prophet, December 17, 1963.

“Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”—Hebrews 5:12-14.
  Danger lies in confusing plain earthy imagination with spiritual seeing. When using outer intellectual imagination, it’s easy to fall into illusion, seeing figments of imagination, or into delusion, exaggerating ideas, doubts and images already in your mind. When you turn imagination up into the Light, using the eyes of the mind, it becomes soul vision. An oracle’s vision is compounded of both spiritual seeing and hearing, balanced through soul knowing.—Edna Lister, The Oracle Speaks, June 27, 1965.

An illusion is always based on a misinterpreted fact.—Edna Lister, November 7, 1967.

A mirage is an illusion in the second degree of substance of which dreams are made, the grade of substance in which we see spiritually.—Edna Lister, December 7, 1967.

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Treatment for Illusions

“Name, you are free of illusion. You are no longer gullible. You are free to see with the eyes of God.” Or declare, "I am free of illusion. I am no longer gullible. I am free to see with the eyes of God."—Edna Lister, December 14, 1959.

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New Testament on Illusion

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.—Matthew 7:15-6.

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.—Matthew 13:22.

If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.—Matthew 15:14.

That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.—Mark 7:20-23.

Take heed lest any man deceive you. … For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.—Mark 13:5, 22.

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true … But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.—John 5:31,36.

If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.—John 9:41.

Their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.—2 Corinthians 3:14-16. [When you turn to the Lord, the veil is removed from your soul vision.]

Appearances can be deceiving: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.—2 Corinthians 11:14-15.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit [sophistry], after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.—Colossians 2:8.

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.—2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.—1 Peter 2:1-2.

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.—1 Peter 2:21-23.

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts [in God, not in the world of appearances].—James 5:8.

He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.—1 John 2:11.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.—1 John 4:1-3.

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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 illusion: Latin, "a mocking, irony," from illusus, past participle of illudere, "to mock."

Illusion is an initiation

A Dream Within A Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow—
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand—
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep—while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
—Edgar Allan Poe


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Random House, Inc., Modern Library edition, 1938, p. 967. This work is in the public domain.

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

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