The Master, the Fifth Sacred Degree

By Linda Mihalic

A master is a man who rules, governs or directs either men or business. A lord; a ruler; one who has supreme dominion; one who has possession, and the power of controlling or using at pleasure; a man eminently or perfectly skilled in any occupation, art or science. We say, a man is master of his subject. Mastery is to be master of one’s self, to have the command or control of one’s own passions.Webster’s American Dictionary

The world defines a master as a person with exceptional skill at a certain pursuit, a person who has complete control of a situation, a worker or craftsman fully qualified to practice his trade and to train others in it, a highly regarded teacher or leader whose religion or philosophy is accepted by followers.—Oxford English Dictionary

“Silence is a hallmark of Mastery—I dare, I do, and I remain silent.”—Edna Lister

The Master’s initiation is Crucifixion of personal or selfish will, and lifting personal desires to mate them, making will and desire into effective tools for God’s use. In the process, will and desire become one with wisdom and love, and you open the I AM consciousness of Oversoul.

"His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler [master] over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."—Matthew 25:23. To followers of the Via Christa, the soul is the master of the self, never the self as master over another. A Master never claims victim status. A woman thus skilled may also be a Master.

Edna Lister on the Master Degree

If you have an enemy, that one is your master; one whom you hate is your master. You must obtain mastery, which is freedom over hate and negative thoughts.—Edna Lister, January 16, 1933.

You cannot be a Master until you have lifted the fellow who has despitefully used you. You must face yourself now, where you are standing. Shall you cling to your old petty resentments and self-pity, or climb to glorious freedom, which reaches to eternity?—Edna Lister, January 16, 1933.

Be a master of life, a conqueror, lifting the less-than-good to a cloud continent of Light, and creating perfection. You are gods making, not gods in the making, and now learning to create perfectly according to the laws of being and of doing.—Edna Lister, January 24, 1933.

Obedience to laws, keeping your vows of silence, developing and expressing the virtues leads to mastery.—Edna Lister, How to Pray, May 16, 1935.

Grasp each offense as an opportunity to become like the Master.—Edna Lister, You Are Your Brother’s Keeper, November 3, 1935.

The Master Degree rules the throat center, which overlies the thyroid gland, and is the great "I, me, my" center. As you ascend your consciousness, the Power coming through often gets stuck here, creating hoarseness in the voice and much "I, me, my." Self shows as great difficulty with the "little me." You must be a Master of all responsibility, and your tests here are on false humility.—Edna Lister, The Nervous System, February 8, 1936.

The fifth cycle of life (ages twenty-eight to thirty-five) is the mastery stage; at this time, you must master self or the world will master you. You have freedom of expression to choose what you want, and you are ready to conquer or to become settled and stodgy in your ideas. You must gather the experience you need to achieve your desires.—Edna Lister, The Secret of the "49," September 21, 1936.

To be a Master of all wisdom is to be so sure of truth, God’s laws and principles, that instantly you can stand against anything, anywhere — unmovable, inevitable, supreme, above all doubt, fears, or pettiness.—Edna Lister, Lenten Preparation, February 6, 1937.

As a Mystic, you may pray in the Outer and the Inner Court of the Temple, but may enter the Holy of Holies only through complete mastery. To approach mastery at times is not enough. You must always hold to the great goal.—Edna Lister, The Divine Scale of Twelve, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, February 18, 1937.

The Master seeks "The Attainment" of self conquering, which opens the spiritual gifts of the seer and prophet. To do this, the Master practices the Crucifixion of the self so that the soul may rule.—Edna Lister, Illumination and Realization, September 25, 1937.

No matter what happens on the outside, remember that it will give you greater ability to overlook all darkness. To overlook it means to overcome it, and Mastery consists of overlooking and overcoming. Let the past be overpassed. When you overpass a test, you do not talk about it. That is the law. You may say, "Let the dead past bury its dead," but do not bury the soul of anything. Scatter the ashes to the four winds, and that is a good burial.—Edna Lister, June 10, 1938.

Mastery of self is emancipation of soul to hold your place as a creator. To live by soul is to be and to act as a creator in all truth and responsibility. To be fully responsible means to be obedient to all divine laws. Full obedience will finally bring you to full expression of Godlike qualities, faculties and powers, and so lead to all "added things." A Master permits no lukewarmness or indifference.—Edna Lister, November 14, 1938.

Become like the Master, not only thinking about him, but following him all the way. To become a Master, you must redeem all the darkness that your little self has misspent, which we call paying past spiritual debts. You must assume all responsibility for all past actions, know that the place you occupy is one that you, yourself have chosen and so never blame anyone for anything that happens, always sending Light to lift and overcome disharmony. You must accept your place in life as your own kingdom and become fully responsible for lifting it. You must follow Jesus, the Master, making a ladder of your cross, ascending ever higher while still on earth.—Edna Lister, January 2, 1939.

To be compassionate is the prayer of the Master.—Edna Lister, February 7, 1939.

Never let go of the vision or goal, never back down from the ground gained, but stand unmoved before friend or foe, balanced, poised, and untouched. Hold your head high as a Master of Law should, yet pour out only love on all. Permit no resentments, no element within that could fight. Others will always try to get past your armor of love illegally and unlawfully. However, they cannot if it is pure love—they can but try. You are entering a world of jealousy and envy. You cannot change it. You can only change yourself to be so filled with love that love changes whatever you touch and adds it to your power. This is what "making your enemy your footstool" means. You will be called on to work out your pride, arrogance and intolerance of self-will, rebellion and resentment. During this trial, stand, love and praise much. Even a trace of such taint in you will be less than perfect expression.

This is your reward for complete surrender of all things less, for your former unbelief—to be a Master of Law and not know it, to be perfect and not know it, to be an angel and not know it, to be beautiful and not know it. Know only this—"Of myself, I am nothing. The indwelling Father, He does the work." Know only Shekinah glory as your goal, your honor and where you stand. Know yourself as only an instrument and a voice, through which God speaks, unconscious of self. You can follow the Master all the way. Let nothing that happens on earth stop you.—Edna Lister, February 2, 1940.

What is your idea of self-mastery? Is it controlling self or conquering self by sacrifice and lifting?—Edna Lister, February 14, 1941.

Gain the insight the Master had while he walked earth. Pray directly with the Father. Become one with heaven, and give your life in selfless sacrificial service.—Edna Lister, November 6, 1941.

If anyone wants the last word, give them the first word. Say yes or no, or, "It must be as you say." This is mastery, wise silence and golden speech.—Edna Lister, December 4, 1941.

Speak in understanding to all. No one is required to understand you, for you climb the steep way of the Masters, yet you are called on to understand all others.—Edna Lister, December 20, 1943.

Step by step is the Master’s Way. Hour by hour living, loving, lifting, serving and knowing. Spending hours in the golden silence waiting upon the Voice of God.—Edna Lister, October 26, 1944.

Seven Degrees to transformation progress from self awareness to soul consciousness: The first three degrees, the Neophyte, Disciple, and Adept all practice varying degrees of self-control. The Mystic stands at the center point of balance, the fulcrum between self and soul. As a Mystic, you commune directly with God, needing no other intervening agency, creed or dogma. The final three degrees, the Master, Priest and Christos all deal with soul conquering through absolute responsibility, service and surrender of the self to the soul. You work on all seven degrees always.—Edna Lister, April 13, 1945.

Man is his own master. When you obey the dictum, "Know thyself," then you know God. To "Know thyself" is to know the soul, which is all virtue.—Edna Lister, May 5, 1945.

Corruption leads to death; therefore, the Master must burn away stubborn pride.—Edna Lister, March 6, 1951.

To attain the Master’s Degree requires not seeing a point of blame in anyone.– Edna Lister, November 27, 1951.

A Master of responsibility lives by the ten Commandments and the nine Beatitudes, all law. You master nothing unless you balance the principles of love and wisdom in your life. Your greatest steps up come when you surrender self to God, which is how you master it. Once you have laid down enough of the load of self, cast off the ballast, you are light enough to travel the straight Path of the Masters, which leads due north or upward. Thus, you leave the long, slow spiral of Ascension behind. To attain Mastery, you must turn imagination upward forever. You cannot master the higher degrees unless you keep your upward-turned mystic eye stayed on perfection.—Edna Lister, Seven Degrees in the Great Pyramid, November 30, 1954.

Under Mastery, which is conquering, you ask, "Who is taking me where and why?" Here you begin giving up idle words to cleanse the subconscious.—Edna Lister, An Ambassador of Love, July 5, 1956.

A true Master is one who is quickest to assume responsibility for lifting.—Edna Lister, The Brain, Your Instrument of Power, September 24, 1957.

The Master begins to speak the creative Word of command and responsibility at the throat center. As a Master, you face full Crucifixion, where the self-will crucifies you until you conquer.—Edna Lister, Conquering Space, October 15, 1957.

At the fifth Degree of the Master, you must use some faculties through soul-conquering, not self-control. Sacrifice of self is the keynote of this degree of the seer and prophet. You cannot continue in soul-conquering without a knowing feeling. This is spiritual seeing and hearing. Finally you reach the point where you are free to speak. Some speak as prophets, but if they use force, they fall back to lesser degrees.—Edna Lister, May 8, 1958.

The Master’s law is instant acceptance, not acceptance after making excuses. "I accept this, Father. I lift this because it is mine to lift."—Edna Lister, October 12, 1958.

Mastery is following Jesus the Christ through the Gates of Light as a mediator, conquering self through soul.—Edna Lister, A Charted Heaven, October 21, 1958.

When a Master becomes proud or self-conscious about how far she has climbed, she sinks to the Neophyte Degree. Egotism sends her down the "greased pole" of self-consciousness.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

Crucifixion is the Master’s initiation. The Master lays selfish will on the crossbar of the Master’s cross and assumes full responsibility for lifting.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

The Master learns honor and polishing ethics and morals. Mastery abides by the fifth law of expression, to accept responsibility. On this degree, you begin a thousand burnt offerings, a thousand days of perfection and surrender of your emotional-mental leftovers to the Light.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

Being a Master is the only goal spoken of with pride. When you are self-conscious of how far you have climbed, you destroy your progress.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

The Master Degree begins at the throat, the I-me-my center, the point of final crossing out of self. Here you begin to conquer the little self, not just control it. Consecrated mastery opens the three windows of the soul at the brow, so you see, hear and speak without self.—Edna Lister, The Kabbalistic Four Worlds, May 26, 1959.

Law is as unchanging as principle and you may not divorce it from its principle. You cannot subtract principle from law. For instance, God cannot set aside law to satisfy your grief or other emotions. The only way to master a situation is by mastering your emotions. Then you understand yet remain emotionally undisturbed.—Edna Lister, God as Personality and Principle, June 9, 1959.

Mastery is the fifth Buddhist path, which is cultivation of an impersonal attitude toward life, "a right livelihood." You cultivate an impersonal attitude by lifting the petty self and its emotional hooks that urge you to take offense. Thus, you find and hold a new relationship to God and man. Adjusting to harmony is simply good management of your life through faith.

"I AM good" is the Master’s key word. "I AM good" declares your identity with God. Good is the Father’s name on earth and the name of every life spark, atom, molecule and cell on earth. "I am good" lets God use you because it recalls you to your Oversoul.

The fifth great power of being is becoming too heavy to lift, or to move. A Master does this by exhaling, as in saying, "I AM good." Use the fifth degree of breath to gain the absolute ability to be unmoved by any darkness, to condense substance, to lower a vibration. Using the law of gravitation, you then have the power to precipitate a body from the invisible.—Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, June 23, 1959.

You must train yourself constantly until you master Resurrection and Ascension, and all else will follow. When you pamper self with fear and material appetites, you keep yourself from achieving. To give up self is an instantaneous act. Emulate the prodigal son, who gave up and went home. You can do anything instantly.—Edna Lister, March 21, 1960.

Many souls refuse to continue ascending because they begin to recognize how difficult becoming a Master of all responsibility really is.—Edna Lister, Is it Right to Ask for Myself? June 14, 1960.

Law is not a matter of part-time thinking or service. Law is forever the foundation upon which all rests and upon which you make all progress. You make no progress without obedience to law, not only the great principles but to small everyday rules, especially concerning your attitudes toward others.

Nodding and saying "yes" when someone gives you a new law or a new interpretation of an old law is easy enough. To abide by that law day and night is another thing. You must thoroughly ponder law and set it in the mind to have complete control of your life. When something on the outer makes you less than loving or compassionate, it is your master. Admitting that anything on the outer can master you is unattractive and distasteful. All the laws you receive are to make you masterful and to give us mastery over ourselves first, then the outer. To refuse to allow another to move you into a false attitude is a primary way to ascend. A false attitude is anything that causes you to forget your relationship with God. You must maintain the balance of perfect poise always, allowing nothing to move you from your rod of Power, your axis of balance.—Edna Lister, June 27, 1960.

You must earn the Via Christa by service and obedience to law. You earn the right to ascend through mastery of self to live by soul. You suffer as long as you lay upon the crossbar of will but will not give up self.—Edna Lister, The Destiny of America, October 11, 1960.

To accept and to think, to be gracious and willing — these are the traits of Mastery.—Edna Lister, April 20, 1962.

Think of mastery and be content with your creative tools. Be constant in directing your vision and in expressing your gratitude.—Edna Lister, November 16, 1962.

Effort that was a slow process in the lower degrees becomes an instantaneous act under Mastery and the higher degrees. You become an open channel when you open the floodgates of Light and Power.—Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.

Everybody is his own master. Everybody is the sum of his own thoughts and emotions, and must conquer self, all doubts and fears. Excuses will not do. Have compassion on those who cannot get up, but do not wallow with them. Stay up in the Light and reach outside with arms of compassion. Hold onto the Master and give as the Power does the work. Eventually each will come through.—Edna Lister, July 21, 1963.

The first step in Mastery is to surrender everything below it to become the servant of all the Power.—Edna Lister, First Wheel of Life, the Zodiacal Path, June 10, 1969.

Mastery means to conquer self, to surrender to God’s Power completely until we become an ambassador of the Light. Surrender completely, go to God in devotion under prayer, and conquer self until you have no desire to protest. "Agree with thine adversary, quickly" is mastery and crucifixion of the will, where you want your own way.—Edna Lister, The Mental Body, July 1, 1969.

The Master surrenders to be used by God’s Power. Mind your own business as you walk the Path of Destiny, and become the Master of your life because you have accepted your role of surrender to be the servant of all the Power, to be used by the Power. Mediums and Adepts use the Power. Yet the ascending soul must instead open the door to let the Power do the work. As an individual, you really cannot do anything.—Edna Lister, The First Full Descent of the Oversoul, June 8, 1971.

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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 master: Old English mægester one having control or authority, from Latin magister chief, head, director, teacher. In the academic sense (from Medieval Latin magister), originally a degree conveying authority to teach in the universities.

The Master is the fifth initiatory Degree of Ascension. From Neophyte to Christos, an initiatory degree is a step or stage in a process, in an ascending or descending scale, a relative condition or state of being. The degrees are initiations by temptations on every law, to test our selflessness, devotional attitudes and soul expressions toward God and man. No equality in status exists, for heaven is a place of degrees.

Sardis: The Master’s Church

"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."—Revelation 3:1-6.


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 of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

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