Personality is the pattern of collective character, behavioral, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person, the assemblage of qualities that makes a person what he is, as distinct from other persons, distinctive personal or individual character, especially when of a marked or notable kind.The Oxford English Dictionary

“Soul is God-given and eternal, the base upon which you build ever greater character, which endures. Personality is temporal, acquired through the experience of a lifetime.”—Linda Mihalic

God is both divine principle and personality. Certain principles, such as Wisdom, Love and the Logos are absolute; millions of other principles are relative. While we may consider the Father, Mother (Holy Spirit), and Son each to be aspects of the pattern for absolute personality, from humanity’s viewpoint, all other personalities are relative to the absolute principles of which they are formed. Personality is how God the One expresses as the many.

Personality is the indwelling living soul’s personalized outer expression of its relative divine nature. God speaks as personality through personality to personality. Individual personality is what the world sees of soul, the synthesis of emotional experience and developed intellect. Studying personality is difficult because both it and our comprehension of it are subjective in nature. Principle, on the other hand, is objective, not subject to individual interpretation.

You lose your earthly identity in the glory of God’s Power when you finally conquer on the Christos Degree. The world is afraid to surrender self, fearing that it means loss of identity. The masses fear they will lose identity if they live by love rather than by the little self. Yet we must consciously identify with our Source, with God and Christ, nothing lesser.

The Light is yours. You are the Light. The Light is One. Personality is your soul expressing. Soul’s essential nature does not change, but your individual personality can. As a personality you must express your soul identity, which expresses the great individuality called the Oversoul.

Edna Lister on Personality

Soul expresses as personality shining through the eyes, the windows of the soul. What shines from the eyes is personality or the soul within. No self dims the shining eyes of an ascending soul. God adds and multiplies. However, the world subtracts and divides. Personality is what the world feels or senses that you really are. Personality radiates from you and others register the report that you are either noble or ignoble, attractive or unattractive. Christ consciousness adds to and multiplies personality to make it shine as the "plus" of personality. You become "personality plus" only when you transcend self-expression, what the world calls personality, and immerse yourself in the personality of Christ consciousness.—Edna Lister, Personality Plus, February 20, 1933.

The first step to great illumination is to give up outer possession of personality. This is insisting that others do it your way or that they be as you desire them to be.—Edna Lister, February 1, 1936.

Personality is like a subtle perfume, permeating everything you say and do. If the person is coarse and crude, it will be a stench.—Edna Lister, February 22, 1936.

Personality is the Father of Wisdom who plans, and the Mother of Love who sustains all that they create.—Edna Lister, March 12, 1938.

God, the One Personality, absolutely expresses as the Father of Wisdom, the Mother of Love and the Son of Selflessness, or Father, Son and Holy Breath.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

God speaks as personality through personality to personality.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

God, the manifold Creator, relatively expresses as and through all living souls. Relative personality is the outer personalized expression of the indwelling living soul, which is the individualized expression of God. Relative personality, which is what the world sees of soul, is the complete synthesis of emotional experience and intellectual development.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

You must learn, above all, not to overpower others with your personality.—Edna Lister, December 6, 1941.

From a self-expression as personality into soul-identity with the Source of all life is your goal as you walk the Way of the Christ.—Edna Lister, Five Important Steps in Ascension, 1945.

Mysticism deals with God as personality, the personality of God as man.—Edna Lister, April 13, 1945.

The Elect are the Elect because they do elect to return to God by recognizing their responsibility for everything their personality or name has ever touched.—Edna Lister, April 18, 1945.

You are responsible for every word you speak, and must sift the sparks of personality from the law you quote, hourly. Stop the instant you deviate from law and let personality creep in. Quoting law is right but it is not a universal law unless it applies to the world, so you must be sure you quote only impersonal laws. When it is personal for you, you are free to do it your way, but this is difficult, for it must not become opinion or prejudice.—Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

We worship God as both personality and principle, which satisfies both the need to "understand" intellectually, while encompassing personality, which we adore, and principle, which is the absolute framework of the universe. We worship the Light, which contains all principles. Edna Lister, The Keys of the Kingdom, September 1, 1945.

The Holy Ghost is the Father and Mother combined, expressing as the personality of the Son, and through the Holy Ghost as principle.—Edna Lister, The Glory of the Holy Ghost, July 7, 1946.

A Disciple knows that God is not only a state of consciousness, but a personality. God is the Source of All That Is.—Edna Lister, The Three Phases of Life Through Faith, April 20, 1947.

Prayer is a communion from the personality of heart to the Heart of Personality.—Edna Lister, Jesus’ Prayer of the Ages, April 27, 1947.

It is best that you like pure justice, without personality in it, that takes fact upon fact to pin it up and look at it. Truth is just facts and has nothing to do with personalities.—Edna Lister, October 20, 1947.

You may legally criticize darkness, but not personality.—Edna Lister, December 5, 1947.

Defend principle only by standing in love. You never need to defend personality.—Edna Lister, August 10, 1949.

Personality is the expression of the soul essence you show the world. Individuality is the soul; personality is a reflection of the soul. Your expression of soul as personality may be hope-less or hope-full, but your expression must be founded on hope.—Edna Lister, Promises Fulfilled, September 24, 1950.

Soul carries personality.—Edna Lister, July 19, 1951.

The abyss between God’s Mind and the mind of man is an immutable principle. God as personality bridges this abyss.—Edna Lister, August 2, 1951.

The intellectual approach worships God as principle. The devotional approach worships God as personality.—Edna Lister, March 31, 1952.

Principle has never been dark or evil, has never misused itself. It is from everlasting to everlasting, and you cannot move the foundation. Only a personality can misuse principle or express evil. When a personality pours Light on principle, it becomes clean again.—Edna Lister, May 24, 1954.

Personality is what the world sees of the soul. The closer you get to God, the more radiant your personality, until it is a vivid glow.—Edna Lister, June 18, 1954.

Worship of God as personality is a necessity. To believe differently drains all romance from life eternal and religion.—Edna Lister, June 22, 1954.

Self expression shows as personality. Soul expression not only shows as personality, but the world feels it. Self confidence impresses no one because they can see through it. Soul confidence shows, and inspires the world. Living by self dulls the personality, while living by soul makes it shine! Self confidence is based in worldly influence, but soul confidence places its trust in unfailing principle, which never falters. Soul has personality, which you can see as the Light within shining from the eyes. No self dims the eyes of an ascending soul.—Edna Lister, I Ascend, July 11, 1954.

When you enter the realm of God’s personality, you must take personal responsibility for all. You earn your ascension by being responsible for your place and service, and ascend just as high on the inner as you earn here. Jesus, as the Messiah, gave us all the law and instruction we need to ascend to the Father.—Edna Lister, Jesus, the Son of God, November 21, 1954.

The New Testament contains the keys to every possible combination of personality characteristics and every situation that could arise on earth. Law covers every contingency.—Edna Lister, The Bread of Life, August 7, 1955.

Five approaches apply to everything in the Bible: Psychology, metaphysics, science, philosophy and mysticism. You need them all to form a balanced whole. Psychology deals with personality relationships. Metaphysics includes statements of truth modified from primary principles. Scientific law, from our viewpoint, deals with control of atomic power based on the principle of nonresistance. Jesus taught a perfected philosophy of principle and personality. Mysticism deals with the personality behind principle. For instance, Jesus mentions his Father as personality ten times in one chapter. The Bible is all about personality and principle.—Edna Lister, The Bread of Life, August 7, 1955.

Personality is the Mother of Love. Principle is the Father of Wisdom. Universal personality is carried in Light, color and tone, and when it takes on form, it is individual personality.—Edna Lister, June 18, 1956.

God is both personality and principle. You must be obedient to principle, but you worship personality.—Edna Lister, October 16, 1956.

No one can take anything from anyone, permanently. You can lay it on the altar in sacrifice, for God to use as an instrument to release Power. To give no thought to that which another has taken from you, to hold temporarily, allows justice to work its beauties. Handle all debts as though owed to God or the law, the debtor paying his debts at the right time, without personality entering. To think that a person owes you puts it under loss and delay.—Edna Lister, October 16, 1956.

Some believe in God as a remote intellectual concept, a Supreme Being, a guiding principle. Others believe in a Father, kindly or stern, giving or withholding, who does or does not answer their prayers, and they are never sure why. These conceptions of God are only half the equation. As you grow, your view of God expands, and you seek to know more about God. God is both principle and personality. God as principle is your state of being, no matter how you see yourself. God as personality eternally sees you as you are.—Edna Lister, As God Sees Me, June 8, 1958.

God gives freedom of choice to all personality, whether creature or creator.—Edna Lister, As I See the World, June 15, 1958.

Instead of being distracted from personality by personalities, love the personality the Master revealed. He is the great ensample of personality that we are predestined to look, think and act like.—Edna Lister, Doing Without Thought of Reward, November 9, 1958.

We study God as both personality and principle. Personality is the outer expression of the indwelling living soul, the individualized expression of God. Personality is what the world sees of soul. Principle is the absolute, unchangeable, undeviating, immutable foundation upon which all universes are based and established.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

Evil is a conscious choice against the Light. Evil cannot exist without a base of individual personality and mind.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

God gives the living soul the power of conscious direction and control of Mind, Power and Substance through choice. The First Begotten Son had to develop a personality to carry the glory of his expression of Mind, Substance and Power. We follow Jesus the Christ as the Begotten Son of God because we must worship, adore and revere the personality of God, the Three-as-One.—Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.

God is both personality and principle. We have nothing on the outer that does not exist at the Source of All. If God had no personality at the Source, we could have no personality here. "I saw a great white throne and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away."—Revelation 20:11. This passage describes God as a great Father who had form, though it was not physical form as we know it. It does not mention the Mother because she is hidden. Jesus called her the "Queen of the South" (Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31, misinterpreted as the Queen of Sheba). Jesus mentioned his Father sixteen times in one chapter of Mark, which is the basis for worshiping the Father as principle under philosophy. Principle comes under the Father’s Wisdom but we cannot understand it without applying personality under the Mother’s Love.—Edna Lister, God as Personality and Principle, June 9, 1959.

I AM is a universal name that represents God as personality. When you express the Father-Mother aspects of God as Wisdom and Love on earth, your personality expresses principle. The Oversoul I AM of Christed consciousness tunes into the Source of all Power and Light now. To say "I AM" invokes a name of God, all God’s qualities, attributes and actions.

How you use "I am" either exalts God, or defames and degrades His creations. "I am ill. I am angry. I am hurt. I am tired" are your creations. God creates no weakness, negativity, tiredness or illness. You create your own life. The declarations, "I am. I can. I do," take you to the Source of All Light. "I AM a creator. I can create. I do create." These declarations will lift you from the "I feel sorry for me" stage.—Edna Lister, I Am the Way, October 4, 1959.

The three Emanations contain the potentials of personality.—Edna Lister, Three Covenants Between God and Man, December 15, 1959.

"The light of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light."—Matthew 6:22. Look beyond the mask of outer personality and see the Light.—Edna Lister, Heaven as a State of Consciousness and as a Place, June 16, 1959.

God’s purpose for creation has not been well understood. The infinity of space is filled with what we call principle of being or God. The Emanations are principles: Mind, Substance and Power. There is no place in the universe where principle is not. I reach out my hand and hold a handful of principle, yet is it any good to me as a handful of principle?

Only personality can act upon principle. The purpose of creation is to express the qualities of this principle of being. Personality gives us a vehicle so we may have the opportunity to express and learn the different lessons personality can produce in the way of relationships.—Edna Lister, Hear, Hearken, Heed and Obey, November 8, 1959.

All your difficulties in life spring from your relationship to God and to man through personality.—Edna Lister, September 12, 1960.

The scientific approach to God as principle is different from the devotional approach to God as personality. Mystics and scientists get their visions from the same source, yet the scientist grasps the concept but sees no picture. The devotional approach sees a vast panoramic vision, and how to bring forth the formula. When you combine both personality and principle, you cannot fail.—Edna Lister, Know That God Takes Charge, June 11, 1961.

If personality and emotions fog your mental equipment, your thinking is unclear.—Edna Lister, November 18, 1963.

Everything has its degree of personality, from rocks to snowflakes, though personality expresses as affinity at that level, separate life sparks, positive and negative, different yet the same.—Edna Lister, November 18, 1963.

Each interprets a lesson according to his personality type and level of comprehension.—Edna Lister, The Sword, Your Flaming Scepter of Power, April 19, 1964.

We worship the Source of All Light, the One God, and adore Jesus as part of God. We believe in personality and may be devoted to personality, but do not worship personality.—Edna Lister, New Lives for Old, May 1, 1966.

We call soul-expression "personality." Soul’s essence cannot change, but personality can. There must be that Oversoul contact between personality and identity to express soul identity, which is the great individuality.—Edna Lister, October 18, 1966.

Reputation is a construct built by self, by a person who does a certain thing because it is the political thing to do to meet with approval of the mediocre masses. Such people play to the crowd who, in turn, put stickers of approval on them. We build reputation on the world’s opinions and prejudices, by seeking to please. Character is different; it is an expression of your Godlike qualities and attributes, not because it pays dividends. Character is the result of much life experience showing in the form. Self-expression uses power.

Character is an expression of soul used by power. Reputation is the personality that the world sees, that which you earn from pleasing your world. When people say, "You are so wonderful," beware.—Edna Lister, Character Analysis, May 14, 1968.

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God as Personality Expressing Through Creation

God as Absolute Personality
The Father of Wisdom, thinking and planning
The Mother of Love, nourishing and sustaining
The Logos, Son of Selflessness, directing and controlling

Desired to express by using the Supreme Principles of
Mind, Substance and Power

as personalized
Wisdom, Love and Selflessness

through creation of the personalities of the
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as the

Rulers of lower Circles and Spheres,
who then created by radiating the lesser Principles of Creation:
Light, Color and Tone
Number, Form and Expression

to become the relative principles of
Desire, Will and Action

in all individualized expressions of the Godhead
as Sons and Daughters made in His image and likeness,
illumined and sustained, guided and lifted
by the Three that form the outermost point of the River of Life:
The Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit and Holy Breath

The Father-Mother as One through the Holy Ghost
The Universal Christ Consciousness or Christ Principle as the Holy Spirit
The Christ Life within humanity as the Holy Breath

– Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

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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 personality: Latin personalis = from persona = actor’s mask, role, person; from Greek προσωποποιία = prosopopeia from πρόσωπον = prósōpon = face, mask, role; possibly from Etruscan phersu = mask

Personality is an abstract principle.

Personality is a law of being.

Personality is a law of doing, the way you interact with others based on the character you have developed.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2023.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV). Public Domain.

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

Merriam-WebsterDictionary, s.v. “person.”

Merriam-WebsterDictionary. s.v. “prosopopoeia.”

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