Reality is actual being or existence of any thing; truth; fact; in distinction from mere appearance. Something intrinsically important, not merely a matter of show. That which may exist of itself, or which has a full and absolute being of itself, and is not considered as a part of any thing else. Real is actually being or existing; not fictitious or imaginary. True; genuine; not artificial, counterfeit or factitious; not affected; not assumed. Relating to things, not to persons; not personal. To realize is to bring into being or to act. To impress on the mind as a reality; to believe, consider or treat as real. To bring home to one’s own case or experience; to consider as one’s own; to feel in all its force. To bring into actual existence and possession; to render tangible or effective.Oxford English Dictionary

“To perceive the reality beyond appearances is simple and easy—just look with the eyes of your soul.”—Edna Lister

Metaphysics is basically the study of the fundamental nature of reality. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.Oxford English Dictionary

It is said that the name metaphysics was given to the science by Aristotle or his followers, who considered the science of natural bodies, physics, as the first in the order of studies, and the science of mind or intelligence to be the second. Metaphysics is the science of the principles and causes of all things existing; hence, the science of mind or intelligence. This science comprehends ontology, or the science which treats of the nature, essence, and qualities or attributes of being; cosmology, the science of the world, which treats of the nature and laws of matter and of motion; anthroposophy, which treats of the power of man, and the motions by which life is produced; psychology, which treats of the intellectual soul; pneumatology, or the science of spirits or angels, etc. Metaphysical theology, called by Leibnitz and others theodicy, treats of the existence of God, his essence and attributes. These divisions of the science of metaphysics which prevailed in the ancient schools, are now not much regarded. The natural division of things that exist is into body and mind, things material and immaterial. The former belong to physics, and the latter to the science of metaphysics.Webster’s American Dictionary

Edna Lister on Reality

Divine truth separates illusion from reality and truth from fiction.—Edna Lister, January 3, 1936.

Heaven is a place in consciousness, and so is Hell. Hell is not meant to make you suffer, but to experience missing lessons. Your torment is self-inflicted and self-imposed. While you must always accept, you must also remain divinely discontented with the place you occupy in consciousness. In reality, you have only heaven in different degrees of elevation and/or consciousness.—Edna Lister, June 19, 1938.

Love opens your eyes to what surrounds you, but hate blinds you to reality.—Edna Lister, Illumination Through Perception, June 26, 1938.

God planted His seed of Light within you, and it grows and works until it becomes what it really is.—Edna Lister, July 6, 1941.

The idea of "power over the enemy," has always led to mistaken ideas. Through the centuries, people have imagined that this was power over something outside the self. The only real enemy is inside your consciousness, the self. When you have no real affinity for darkness, you may walk as a lamb among wolves, safely in the fold of divine protection.—Edna Lister, March 8, 1942.

God cannot forgive the blasphemy of speaking against the Holy Ghost, for it is a terrible misuse of the absolute principle of the Word, a perversion of reality. The Father can extend the scepter in mercy for many sins, but you must pay the debt for misusing principle and earn your way back to God.—Edna Lister, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, June 11, 1944.

Reality operates under the law of reciprocity, of cause and effect.—Edna Lister, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, June 11, 1944.

To perceive the reality beyond appearances is simple and easy — just look with the eyes of your soul.—Edna Lister, July 9, 1944.

Ignore the outer appearance, but have faith in the inner reality of the good.—Edna Lister, Inspiration for Living, March 11, 1945.

In accordance with Jewish law and the laws of the unseen reality, Jesus began his ministry after he reached thirty years of age, the age for beginning to teach the law. Between ages one through ten, you obey the ten commandments on the physical level. From ages eleven through twenty, you obey the law on the mental level. Between ages twenty-one through thirty, you learn to obey the law on the spiritual level.—Edna Lister, April 15, 1945.

First, a concept exists in the Mind of God. That concept then becomes an idea in man’s mind. Then a man exercises his imagination, and thought faculties. When man speaks the Word, the form takes shape. If the vibration dies down, the form is never realized.—Edna Lister, March 25, 1945.

"I don’t understand" is the first glimmer of realization that intellectual knowledge may not be enough to answer life’s questions. With this awakening, you become a mental searcher, examining everything around you.—Edna Lister, January 20, 1946.

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."—Genesis 1:14-19. By the end of the fourth day of creation, God had hidden the supernal eternal Light with the mists of matter, veiling the ultimate reality.—Edna Lister, March 22, 1946.

"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom."—Luke 12:32. You need not accept substitutes from the world when God will give you what is real.—Edna Lister, The Kingdom, December 15, 1946.

Self’s stubbornness and rebellion divorce you from true oneness with God. You then find yourself outside the reality of truth, rejected by God. You forever stand at a spiritual crossroads with a new choice to make every hour.—Edna Lister, Training the Will, April 13, 1947.

Most people will say, "You must face the facts," rather than facing the Light of eternity. Earthly facts are merely the truth of appearances. The truth of reality is right before you, staring you in the face. All you must say is, "This is good. Let there be Light!"—Edna Lister, April 20, 1947.

God wants His sons and daughters to be healed. That’s a fact, but you choose which facts of life you want to live by, appearances or reality. The facts of eternity are not the facts of outer appearances. Take your "facts of life" from the real facts of eternity—Edna Lister, April 20, 1947.

You must surrender your self to your soul, and never again allow self to rule you. The gift of your sacrifice of self returns as soul vision to see the truth of reality.—Edna Lister, May 18, 1947.

Wisdom is the great foundation principle of reality.—Edna Lister, October 15, 1951.

A great difference lies between knowing something to be true and comprehending that reality.—Edna Lister, October 28, 1951.

Behind the veil of outer appearance lies reality. The body, as it is, operates on the truth of appearances. Yet you can ascend in consciousness, into the truth of reality, where every cell is alight with energy and atomic substance.—Edna Lister, November 18, 1951.

All the agnostics and atheists already dwell in the love of God without knowing or realizing it.—Edna Lister, December 7, 1952.

The proud creed of self love posing as realism preaches, "I AM a realist. There’s no such thing as a miracle. They’re just unreal, illusions." Yet your goal is to ascend to soul love in the realm of the miraculous.—Edna Lister, December 7, 1952.

Proud of being "realistic," the "realist" tears faith apart until nothing remains.—Edna Lister, November 22, 1953.

Jesus taught that the invisible world is real, but most people must see it to believe.—Edna Lister, May 23, 1954.

Do you really mean it when you say, “Thy Will Thy Way”? or do you mean “My Will my way”?—Edna Lister February 11, 1955.

Realization is the recognition that God is the only being worthy of your reverence, and you do so through the Christ message Jesus preached as His Son. The reverence you owe God is a fear mingled with respect and esteem; veneration. Noah Webster said, "The fear acceptable to God, is a filial fear, an awful reverence of the divine nature, proceeding from a just esteem of his perfections, which produces in us an inclination to his service and an unwillingness to offend him." Bow the knees of your heart before and to God only. Remain upright before man.—Edna Lister, June 26, 1956.

Lok through the truth of appearances into the truth of reality. If you can still react to fear and dread, you are unable to stand and know the truth, so you have not yet earned the right to have God put the words on your lips. Do better!—Edna Lister, February 20, 1957.

The third law of order is continuity of purpose. You need this to define your actions on a given path. How would you know where you were going without such continuity? It is a valuable ideal for planning. Hold it firmly in mind at all times for best realization. It is a high law, and a good one for you to follow.—Edna Lister, April 30, 1959.

You must realize and remain consciously aware that Light not only prepares the way, but it consumes everything not like itself.—Edna Lister, May 24, 1959.

You must realize that your expression of what you are is only as great as your desire and it always shall be so? The only realm you can open is one equal to the level of your desire. This is Law.—Edna Lister, May 16, 1960.

You must work your way out of and up from the realization of how much time you have wasted gets you down.—Edna Lister, January 3, 1961.

You must back your spoken Word with a burning desire, a vivid imagination and acting as if you had it without question. Every wish is finally and eventually fulfilled. You must keep the emotions, mental life and imagination lifted. The greatness of desire, thinking, and imagination determines the difference between an adept manipulation matter (a demonstration) and a God-given miracle. Under the process of a demonstration come delays and failures. God shortens time for a miracle. We have the truth of appearance and the truth of reality. Some people deny the apearance because they do not understand the difference between the truth of appearance and the truth of reality. Our love of God demands that we accept the truth of appearance yet instantly lift it. Do not waste time, lift it as high as you can. Move into the Light and say, “Let the Light possess me.” As you work with the truth and make statements, the appetitive soul is more eager to be free; it is part of the soul, and at last it will be one.—Edna Lister, March 29, 1962.

in reality every reaching up, every thought of the Source is a gain, a beautiful, pure, wonderful gain.—Edna Lister, September 27, 1963.

When you realize a need, Light touches the need. Give that second of time necessary to meet the need with the words, “Let there be Light,” which is time enough.—Edna Lister, April 25, 1966.

The first steps in ascension include severa; realizations: Fist, knowing who you are and where you are going. Realizing that you are one with God. Realizing and accepting your responsibility to lift everything and everyone into the Light.—Edna Lister, May 8, 1969.

The subconscious mind translates heavenly truths and reality into earth language because that’s all it knows.—Edna Lister, January 8, 1970.

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Treatments to Clarify Your Perception of Reality

“I realize that even yesterday’s best is not good enough for today.”—Edna Lister, December 6, 1963.

Back of all appearance stands the changeless reality. That reality is God, Mind, Spirit, Principle or Substance. Reality is the Mind that thinks and plans. Reality is the Power that works and achieves. Reality is the Substance that becomes. Reality is the Law that governs and controls. The Mind of reality is perfect. The Power of reality is perfect. The Substance of reality is perfect. The Law of reality is perfect. My body or any part is God’s perfect idea. It is made by His perfect Power. It is formed of His perfect Substance, Light. It is governed by His perfect law. The Divine Idea, the Divine Power, the Divine Substance and the Divine Law and order are now established in me and I am complete in Him.—Edna Lister, October 30, 1969

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
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 metaphysics: Ancient Greek (ta) meta = after, (ta) phusika = the works = after the physics, the title of Aristotle’s treatise on first principles (so called because it followed his work on physics).

Etymology of reality: "quality of being real, objective reality," Medieval Latin realitatem.

Etymology of real: "actually existing, having physical existence (not imaginary)," Latin res.

Reality is an absolute principle.


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers, 2022

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Edition 2 volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Webster’s American Dictionary, 1828.

Related Topic

Appearance vs.Reality.