Simplicity is the state or property of being simple; freedom from complexity or intricacy; freedom from artificial ornament; plainness, as of dress, style, or the like; artlessness of mind or conduct; unaffectedness; sincerity; absence of parade or pretense; ignorance arising from lack either of education or of intelligence; especially, lack of common sense; foolishness; childishness; also, an act of folly; a foolish mistake.Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

Simplicity of spirit is single-mindedness, which enables you to detect, recognize and observe the law of truth that lies beneath and within all ideas, events and personalities on earth, no matter how it is presented. Simplicity, with the Eye of God and Sincerity, forms the third lesser trinity of the 33 Via Christa Degrees, under the keynote of Balance.

Edna Lister on Simplicity

Simplicity illustrates your ability to accept; you may be as simple a little child in years or in receptivity. We value simplicity as the ability to make something easy to do, or to open the way.–Edna Lister, The Simplicity of Faith, April 4, 1937

Often the Master spoke of our being unable to see with our eyes, hear with our ears and our failure to remember. To see and hear, to perceive, understand and remember requires simplicity of spirit. True simplicity of spirit is single-mindedness, which enables you to detect, recognize and observe the law of truth that lies beneath and within all ideas, events, and personalities on earth, no matter how it is presented.
  Wisdom is given to the simple. You must resolve to become as simple as our Lord and Master was simple, to speak truth with unaffected soul-consciousness, not knowing you are speaking, because you are simply a creator-servant being used by the Power. Simplicity of expression comes from selflessness. Mastery is full soul expression, letting our Light so shine that you glorify your Father. You can gain mastery in no other way.–Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941

Freedom is the greatest jewel of all, and you may gain it only by simplicity of spirit, for the world’s complexities bring you only bondage. Simplicity is freedom, which never misses an opportunity. To live simply, by the honor and faith of God, will bring you the joy of the Master.–Edna Lister, Jewels of the Soul, March 29, 1942

When you are utterly devoted to your Father, so obedient to principle, your imagination becomes pure. Be simple as a little child in accepting this. You cannot enter the kingdom of glory except through simplicity.–Edna Lister, From Light to Form as a Creator, August 2, 1949

Glory makes it easy to forget self and love only, to see only beauty; this is being "simple minded" to darkness.–Edna Lister, Rewards for Service, July 15, 1951

Simplicity of soul does not see or feel any wrongness in another’s speech or action, whether individuals or governments.–Edna Lister, Seeing the Salvation of God, November 22, 1953

One great challenge is to ignore darkness. Curses draw the world’s evil together for you to lift. You may discern evil, but do not “recognize” it. Simple souls move through disaster and troubles unharmed, untouched, untouchable.–Edna Lister, Seeing the Salvation of God, November 22, 1953

Never ask why, but simply follow the Via Christa to become an instrument of all God’s Power.–Edna Lister, I Ascend, July 11, 1954

“Blessed are the poor” is best understood in the sense of being simple-minded about God, not unduly complex. When you love God completely, you are simple-minded.–Edna Lister, Seven Degrees in the Great Pyramid, November 30, 1954

The world has so many complicated creeds, dogmas, and man-made interpretations that only confusion results. Jesus’ teachings were simple. He taught simplicity as a life expression and selflessness as outstanding qualities.–Edna Lister, The Lord Has Need of Thee, March 25, 1956

You must have a simple faith, compounded of honor, loyalty and joy, to make your way easy and open for others to do and to follow.–Edna Lister, The Comforter, August 19, 1956.

Inflexible interpretation of law according to principle sets the face in rigid lines. Jesus modified eternal truth to simple symbols like the grain of the field, birds, trees and flowers. One who lives by these simple laws has a mobile, joyous expression.–Edna Lister, As the World Sees Me, June 22, 1958

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”–Matthew 6:22. An eye that is single means oneness in heart, mind and purpose, a single I. The “single eye” is keeping your eye on the mark, seeking first the kingdom of heaven. Simplicity is the gift of the single I; it is protection, light and glory.–Edna Lister, Brainwashing, Inc., October 19, 1958

When God is first in your life, finding your way along the path is simple. You walk in the Light as Light.–Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, November 4, 1958

The gift of simplicity in “If thine eye be single” in heart, mind and purpose is protection, Light and glory.–Edna Lister, Doing Without Thought of Reward, November 9, 1958

“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.“”–John 3:3. A rebirth breaks the shackles of the subconscious with its old ideas, opinions and prejudices. You must be reborn in consciousness to master the “little self.” A rebirth makes you childlike in the simplicity of your acceptance. “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”–Mark 10:15.–Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, June 23, 1959

As a candidate for ascension, you prepare for full conquering by developing and maintaining a childlike attitude of simplicity and sincerity.–Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.=

Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”–Mark 10:15. Simplicity, being as a little child, includes industry, honesty and faithfulness. Redeem time with no waste, and use what you have first. Earn to receive, and make every day a day of judgment. Judge every day every night by reviewing the day to see if you’ve left any holes of ungraciousness, sharp words, indifference, etc. Before you go out at night, raise your hands and praise the Father, asking that the Shekinah glory pours in to fill the empty places.–Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 20, 1959

The Christed humility of Ascension enfolds us in a simplicity of all-powerful Godlike expression.–Edna Lister, The Miracle of the Centurion’s Servant Healed, November 8, 1970

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Stories That Illustrate Simplicity

Children: At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Therefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.–Matthew 18:1-10

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.–Mark 10:13-16

Ravens and Lilies: And [Jesus] said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.–Luke 12:22-32

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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 simplicity: Latin, simplex, means “simple or single,” from semper, meaning “always.”

Simplicity is a Via Christa Degree.


Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.–Thomas a Kempis

In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, seek simplicity and distrust it.–Alfred North Whitehead


Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. Wm. D. Whitney and B.E. Smith, eds. and compilers. New York: The Century Co., 1896.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

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

Kempis, Thomas à. Simplicity. Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers. Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, compiler. New York: W. B. Ketcham, 1895, p. 545.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "Simplicity," The Prose Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Volume 2 of 2. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1886, 329.

Whitehead, Alfred North. Simplicity. The Concept of Nature. The Tarner Lectures Delivered in Trinity College, 1919. London: Cambridge University Press, 1920.

Related Topic

Jewels of the Soul:Edna Lister, Palm Sunday, March 29, 1942