To improve is to raise to a more desirable or more excellent quality or condition, to make better; to increase productivity or value; to become better; to make beneficial additions or changes.Oxford English Dictionary
  Synonyms for to improve include to ameliorate, amend, better, enhance, enrich, help, perfect, refine, upgrade.—Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“Improving is bettering your best.”—Edna Lister

Improving, a Via Christa degree, is a law of doing, rooted in the principle of desire. The ability to improve is a fundamental aspect of ascension. Improvement defines the purpose of ongoing initiation. The ability to Improve is grouped with the abilities to Defend and to Expand to form the sixth lesser trinity of Via Christa Degrees, the keynote of which is to Conquer.

Edna Lister on Improving

You must know God first, before you can learn who you are. Then you must study the habits of the little self, thw appetitive soul, to discover what you must do to improve your life.—Edna Lister, September 17, 1934.

He who has and uses what he has, improves, and to him more shall be given.—Edna Lister, Faithfulness, November 25, 1934.

Life’s action is the great field for spiritual improvement. No task of earth is without a spiritual end.—Edna Lister, The Degrees of Initiation, August 24, 1935.

Seek to improve in the fullness of the stature of the Christed One you are.—Edna Lister, January 19, 1939.

You can do ever greater things in ever greater ways, but only if you do things in ever more fervor with every breath you draw and improve day by day in every way.—Edna Lister, March 5, 1941.

To improve your memory, dig out what lies underneath and let Light through from above.—Edna Lister, July 13, 1945.

When your performance is good, seek to improve it. Improving is bettering your best.—Edna Lister, April 18, 1947.

Adepts are masters of manipulating the appearances of reality, not the stuff of reality itself. They are interested in and devoted to improving what they can do, but not necessarily what they are. Thus, we call them the Do-ers.—Edna Lister, June 8, 1955.

Whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.—Matthew 13:12. The more you use your brain power, the faster it becomes, and it increases in ability and capacity. The more brain-power you use, the more you have available to use. –Edna Lister, October 15, 1957.

The whole process of life is based on ascension. Bettering oneself is ascension. People improve their jobs, their homes and move to better neighborhoods. All improvement is ascension, whether it is selfish or godly.—Edna Lister, Constancy in Obedience, October 26, 1958.

Choose a side and choose every hour of each day where you are going to stand—on God’s side or on self’s. Every time you choose the virtues and obey law, you improve your conscious command of your subconscious mind. Just to plod along in the right course makes you invincible eventually. Improvement is not a flash in the pan or brilliance of mind in action, but a steady, constant forward and upward conquering, hour by hour. It includes rigid self-discipline and attention to the smallest detail. Never let the appetitive soul of self get away with anything. Make no demands and offer no self-justification.—Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 27, 1959.

When people rebuke you, thank them for their interest in improving you before the world.—Edna Lister, Healing Through Forgiveness, November 24, 1963.

The study of mathematics, grammar, rhetoric, and logic will cultivate and improve your mind’s ability to reason and think. If you wish to think great and noble thoughts, you must purify and refine your body and soul. As you improve your mind, you will improve your whole life in general. As your thinking improves, so should your life, for no man’s thoughts can be higher than the standard of his actions. A well-trained mind can easily think back from actions to locate their causes, and forward from actions to see their results.—Edna Lister, June 8, 1965.

Improve the quality and quantity of your giving and service to God and man.—Edna Lister, November 4, 1968.

You cannot improve your mind without generally improving your whole life.—Edna Lister, Greek Philosophers and Mystics: Pythagoras and Plotinus, November 26, 1968.

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How To Improve in Every Way

Edna Lister lecture outline; January 4, 1936, Buffalo, New York.

You Can Improve Physically:
By eliminating bad food. Not eating too much.
By breathing plenty of fresh air.
By using plenty of water, inside and outside.
By perfect diversion and rest by letting in more sunlight, and being outside more.
By exercising for health, not strength.
By making hourly declarations for health and strength.

You Can Improve Mentally:
By learning from others’ experiences.
By reading only good books, magazines, etc.
By observing events making for world progress.
By discussing your problems only with those who can help you.
By thinking only of things that will help you.
By "forgetting those things which are past" and looking and thinking forward.

You Can Improve Morally:
By being honest with self and others.
By remembering that right is right and wrong is wrong.
By helping others (the more you have, the more you know, the more strictly you will be judged).
By being charitable (charity begins at home).
By avoiding temptation.
By living now, not in the past or the future; hopes and plans now.

You Can Improve Financially:
By working more systematically and intelligently.
By deceasing unnecessary expenses.
By more closely following efficient methods (studying about it).
By taking advantage of all your opportunities.
By making your business so absorbing that all other interests are incidental.
By learning what plans are; learning how to plan, learning steadfastness in executing those plans.

You Can Improve Socially:
By choosing the right kind of friends.
By avoiding associates who discourage you.
By taking more interest in family, friends, neighborhood.
By taking more interest in your city, state, nation and world.
By treating others as you would be treated.
By loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

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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 improve: Middle English improwen, "to enclose land for cultivation," from Anglo-Norman emprouwer, "to turn to profit": Latin in + prou, "profit," from Late Latin prode, "advantageous."

Improving is a law of doing.

The ability to improve is a Via Christa Degree.

Improvement defines the purpose of ongoing initiation.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Dictionary, s.v. “improve,” accessed October 21, 2022.

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