Inner Conflict

A conflict is a mental or spiritual struggle within, often unconscious, resulting from the opposition, clashing or variance of opposed principles, statements, arguments, or the simultaneous functioning of mutually exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies. Inner conclicts are ideas, feelings, etc., that disagree with one another.One psychological label for inner conflict is cognitive dissonance, which describes the uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. Oxford English Dictionary

“Inner conflict mirrors the war between perception and reality.”—Edna Lister

We all learned family patterns at home, while we were young. As adults, when we find these patterns are at odds with reality, we may entertain inner conflict before we decide to retain or discard the patterns.
  Political correctness and self-will may often be at odds with the readings you register on your moral compass (assuming that your compass is intact, not damaged or broken). Political correctness is not usually healthy or even honest. Instead, it sets the stage for inner conflict and cognitive dissonance. Forceful self-will is immature and creates soul debts.

Edna Lister on Inner Conflict

When will and desire are pulling opposite directions, you are filled with conflicting emotions, thoughts, doubts and fears.—Edna Lister, The Teammates, Will and Desire, May 28, 1941.

If desire and will are in conflict, you cannot agree and adjust. Give up the conflict.—Edna Lister, July 1949.

You have many ideas about what you desire to do and to become; if these desires conflict or are at war with one another, you entertain inner conflict.—Edna Lister, Prove Me Now, October 28, 1951.

So long as you have inner conflicts, you are stuck in the mud and must climb out again. When you even think something is "wrong," you descend from your room of Light. You are here to declare all as good.—Edna Lister, Success Through Prayer, July 7, 1953.

Those who live by the Christ Light, and ascend, eliminate inner conflicts because they declare all things good.—Edna Lister, Surrender and Transfiguration, July 12, 1953.

Self-will and self desires are the opponents in your inner conflicts.—Edna Lister, I Ascend, July 11, 1954.

If you cannot accept what comes to you without rebellion or inner conflict, you limit the Power you may breathe as Holy Breath.—Edna Lister, November 20, 1955.

Stop the inner conflict between "little me" and "I AM." Challenging every bit of Light that comes through you causes inner conflict.—Edna Lister, I AM the Light of the World, January 1, 1956.

You cannot maintain rightness with God amid a raging inferno of inner conflicts that cannot pay you dividends or cover debts. You have no good reason to entertain inner conflicts.—Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

Unless you lend yourself to become a servant of all Power, your remaining false beliefs will create inner conflict.—Edna Lister, October 22, 1956.

You are Mind, personalized as subconscious, conscious and superconscious. The subconscious mind is the world mind, and conscious mind stands between it and the Oversoul superconscious mind. The conflict is between the subconscious and the superconscious. You must convince the subconscious to let conscious soul and Oversoul direct and control your life for greater glory than the subconscious can produce.—Edna Lister, The Light, Your Expression, November 4, 1956.

Your remaining opinions and prejudices seesaw between below-the-surface conflicts and conscious mind wobbling.—Edna Lister, June 29, 1959.

"He leads me beside the still waters."—Psalm 27. If you can’t make up your mind what to do, where to start, or how to act, you never get to the still waters. The still waters are the place of I AM consciousness, of nonresistance, where there is no inner conflict.—Edna Lister, God as All the Little Things, November 24, 1957.

All your subconscious conflicts begin to clamor as you become silent.—Edna Lister, Come Ye Apart, April 20, 1958.

People always have some type of inner conflict. Conflicts arise because subconscious mind flares at the least sign of being set aside. When you learn a new truth, a new law, it sets up an inner conflict.—Edna Lister, I AM the Truth, October 11, 1959.

Dreams reveal the symbolism of the subconscious mind. You cannot interpret dreams until you understand symbolism. Even a nightmare follows the symbolic pattern of the subconscious mind, in which lie all the various strata of our past misuse of Mind, Substance and Power. All inner conflict rises to the surface for lifting through dreams. Write the pattern of the dream, then review and analyze the symbols in it.—Edna Lister, The Mystical 33 Degrees, October 13, 1959.

When your body, mind and soul are working together as one, there is no conflict.—Edna Lister, Your Full Birthright, December 6, 1959.

Inner conflict is a fight between the subconscious and the conscious phases of mind. The whole process of helping yourself is learning to let go of conflict and let God, as all the Power, do the work.—Edna Lister, How Can I Help Myself? May 31, 1960.

We each have "little self" conflicts boiling below the surface. If soul consciousness is strong, all these conflicts subside, but little self must surrender its negativity. Soul moves into the background until self surrenders.—Edna Lister, Increase Through High Prayer, July 3, 1960.

All your personality conflicts involve your relationship to God through personality.—Edna Lister, September 12, 1960.

God’s commandments are grievous only when they conflict with something you want.—Edna Lister, Here and Hereafter, October 9, 1960.

Life sends everyone who scratches you on contact to polish a facet of your 144 soul virtues. All the Father asks is that you be a purveyor of Power, a catalyst, a mediator who draws disparate souls together.—Edna Lister, January 12, 1961.

Many meditation teachers instruct their followers to take certain words, a mantra, with them into the silence, to meditate on them. Mental action introduces an inner conflict. The words still pamper the "little me." Self is still interested in thinking of its relationship to God. Self is still dwelling on self.—Edna Lister, When Prayer Is at Work, June 4, 1961.

Love is the only coordinator great enough to smooth away all differences and conflicts between body, heart, mind and soul. Don’t confuse love with piety, which is a cover-up for hidden inner conflicts.—Edna Lister, Do You Trust Your Own Decisions? June 20, 1961.

Conflict tears down the body. The body can be light, free and glorious only when your consciousness is in harmony with God. You are still in conflict if you care about what the world thinks — all that matters is God’s opinion. Inner conflicts, mainly opinions, prejudices, doubts, fears, criticism and condemnation of self, cause all illness.—Edna Lister, August 3, 1961.

Doing good and knowing it, which some people call being "objective minded," causes an inner conflict between the atoms and electrons, and puts the system under pressure.—Edna Lister, August 31, 1961.

Inner conflict is the cause of war.—Edna Lister, November 1, 1961.

Jesus’ whole message was to lift humanity from self, the creature, to soul, the creator. To reach for the stars successfully, you must give up all inner conflict between self and soul.—Edna Lister, Healing, November 3, 1961.

A state of grace is a calm state of consciousness of having no inner conflict. Many people entertain inner conflict all the time. Some people think they have no conflict with God or the world, but they do have inner conflict with self.—Edna Lister, This I Comprehend, December 10, 1961.

Civilization must move onward and upward with the expanding Christed consciousness in humanity. You must move with this expansion or expect inner conflict.—Edna Lister, The New Messianic Message, September 7, 1962.

You may not set aside the high principles of honor, loyalty, and integrity to pander to personal desires of the little self. To settle the conflict between the little self and your great soul, you must conquer the self-satisfactions and self-indulgences, the opinions and prejudices.—Edna Lister, True Thought Forms Your Ideals and Desires, September 9, 1962.

Inner conflict is a denial of the Power moving through you.—Edna Lister, August 5, 1963.

Conflicts between self and soul over the positive and negative sides of a virtue create headaches. The trick is to let soul-consciousness direct and control, not self-consciousness.—Edna Lister, Love, Your Radar, November 17, 1963.

Every power in the universe backs the one who will stand and know without any inner conflict, letting Power do the work.—Edna Lister, January 28, 1964.

Do not be double-minded! You cannot say, "God is with me always," and say, "I AM lonely," in the next breath.—Edna Lister, September 3, 1964.

You notice burdens only when you have inner conflict.—Edna Lister, December 14, 1964.

The command, "Peace! Be still," will quell the raging sea of conflict between head and heart.—Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, October 25, 1966.

To heal means to become sound or whole, to promote, to produce soundness and to maintain health or wholeness. Healing means to free from grief, troubles, evil, to make up differences, to reconcile conflicts, to free from defeat, pain or disease.—Edna Lister, All Healing Comes from Beauty of the Soul, May 16, 1967.

Remaining silent, while others talk idly, makes you an ambassador of Light with no conflict.—Edna Lister, May 23, 1968.

Unless you fill your aura with Light, cross vibrations from all over may pummel you. Breathe deeply to inflate your universal aura within its magnetic wall; fill a magnetic aura until it includes your car, bus, office, house, street, etc. Light rays go forth through you to repulse evil, and you are safe unless you poke your fingers through.—Edna Lister, Wings of Glory, June 22, 1969.

Do not identify conflicts, which are sins against your identity. Either you believe that Light is all curative, or you don’t. You cannot be healed if you are conflict-conscious.—Edna Lister, December 18, 1970.

You identify with the conflict when you want to hang onto it, which is self-indulgence. God needs no information about it, and you need nothing but the Light — let it illumine you.—Edna Lister, December 18, 1970.

Cross vibrations create conflicts, because they are selfish expressions of self-will, which emanate from everyone.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1924-1971.

You may not have an inner conflict about what you want to do, but the subconscious does not give up without a fight.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1924-1971.

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Treatments for Conquering Inner Conflict

You can avoid entertaining inner conflict by asking yourself, Who is getting up this morning, I AM or little me?—Edna Lister, June 15, 1953.

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, you make a law, saying, "I can’t ascend unless I give up smoking." Immediately it starts a violent chain reaction: Desire increases, the nerves react throughout the body until it prowls, restless and miserable, and you find yourself, cigarette in hand, with no memory of having lighted it. Habit lights the cigarette, a perfect example of subconscious mind putting one over on conscious mind.

You must 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 is ascending to be free! I AM putting you in training pants and cutting off your little curls!"—Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, July 15, 1956.

Putting on the whole armor of God ends all inner conflict (see Ephesians 6:10-20).—Edna Lister, God Is Safe and Dependable, June 5, 1960.

You cannot afford inner conflicts about doing what you want to do. The subconscious does not give up. At the first sign of self-blame, stop, move up in consciousness and say, "This is right. This is good. This is God’s way for me. I AM doing God’s perfect work for me now, His way, according to His will." Get rid of an old pattern with new ideas and statements.—Edna Lister, January 24, 1963.

Declare force lifted from hearts and minds, then from affairs and business. First, hold the individual using force "out here" before you (arms held out with hands uplifted). Feel that you lift them.

Declare, "Father, let all conflict, inner and outer, be lifted from the mind and heart of Name." For his affairs, say the statement again, using the words, "Name’s affairs, personal and business." "Personal" means relationships as family, and "business" means partnerships, etc.—Edna Lister, April 24, 1963.

You open the door to inner conflict unless you declare, "It is good. It is Yours, Father." Lift and declare it good. Do not claim any outer problem as yours. "This is good! Let Light possess it."—Edna Lister, December 1, 1963.

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New Testament on Inner Conflict

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.—Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13.

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.—Matthew 12:25.

He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.—James 1:6-7.

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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 conflict: Latin conflictus, "collision."

Inner conflicts are soul taints.


Two souls, alas! dwell in my breast; the one struggles to separate itself from the other. The one clings with persevering fondness to the world with organs like cramps of steel; the other lifts itself energetically from the mist to the realms of an exalted ancestry.—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. "Faust," The Complete Works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Volume 10, Anna Swanwick, translator. New York: P.F. Collier and Son, 1839, 24.

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.

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