Soul is the spiritual, rational and immortal substance in man, which distinguishes him from brutes; that part of man which enables him to think and reason, and which renders him a subject of moral government. The immortality of the soul is a fundamental article of the Christian system. Such is the nature of the human soul that it must have a God, an object of supreme affection. Soul is the understanding; the intellectual principle; the eyes of our soul then only begin to see when our bodily eyes are closing. Soul is the vital principle: Spirit; essence: Life; animation principle.Webster’s American Dictionary

In modern useage the soul is the animating and vital principle in human beings, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial being; the spiritual nature of human beings, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.Oxford English Dictionary

The soul, often called the living soul, is our individuated ground of being. The soul is a portion of the divine Mind, which God condenses as life sparks of Substance and animates (Power) by breathing it into a physical form as a vehicle of expression, what we call an individual embodied soul.

For functioning at all levels of reality, soul is apportioned into three phases, corresponding to facets of mind encased in soul substance (embodied soul): the Oversoul (super-conscious mind) is half of a living soul, the portion never embodied in physical form, which remains in the Presence of God and is our fullness of being and the voice of conscience.

The other half of the living soul is divided into two portions, expressing through the conscious and subconscious phases of mind. The rational soul (conscious mind) is the embodied consciousness that we call an individual soul. The appetitive soul (subconscious mind), encased in the life sparks of physical form, is the soul’s functional supervisor of the body metabolism.

Plato divided the soul into three parts: the epithymetikon (ἐπιθυμητικόν) or appetite, as in desire or craving; the logistikon (λογιστικόν) or reason, and the thymoeides (θυμοειδές) or spirit.

Jewish mysticism also recognizes three essential parts of the soul: Nephesch (animal soul) is the appetitive soul. Ruach (spirit as mind) is the consciously embodied individual soul. Neschamah (soul, intuition) is the Oversoul.

Sigmund Freud adopted his concepts of the id, ego and superego directly from Plato, doing violence to the true meaning of Plato’s nomenclature of the soul. The field of psychology is most accurately named the "study of the soul," not of the sexuality or animal nature of man.

Edna Lister on the Soul

The soul self retains a memory impression of every experience it has had in every form it has inhabited.—Edna Lister, February 1, 1933.

The soul is a composite of worldly subconscious mind, conscious and super-conscious mind. Your consciousness is an overlapping of all phases of mind, from which you cannot extract soul and still have psychological completeness.—Edna Lister, Psychology’s Relation to Metaphysics, September 24, 1934.

You cannot weigh, taste or see mind and soul, save in consequences following one another under law. They remain potential values until you validate them through the material body.—Edna Lister, God as Government, January 6, 1935.

You must exercise your physical body to be alive, alert, glorious and free in movement. Without exercise in the physical world, Spirit and soul cannot be free within you. The exercise of mind is the second step. Your brain cells are a receiving set, with which you may physically hear, mentally listen and spiritually know.—Edna Lister, God as Government, January 6, 1935.

Soul uses the faculty of apperception, emotion and the pictures of imagination. The body uses the five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling.—Edna Lister, Paradise, January 11, 1935.

Knowledge is Light; ignorance is darkness. Knowledge leads to development or growth of the soul. To learn is the necessity of every noble soul. To teach is also the impulse of every noble soul, which is a form of giving.—Edna Lister, The Fourth Degree, April 6, 1935.

A temple is a holy place dedicated to the living God. Every soul is a temple of the living God. You cannot mar or hurt your temple of the soul. It is perfect. You can abuse your own life, but may not abuse soul or you lose mind, identity, and life. The soul is God’s own. Life is an outer expression. Soul is forever.—Edna Lister, The Temple of the Soul, June 19, 1935.

You must choose between self expression and soul expression.—Edna Lister, Be-Attitudes, October 10, 1935.

The soul is eternal.—Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, December 15, 1935.

Being has three forms: God, the soul and the thing, which include the relationships among Spirit, substance and the material world.—Edna Lister, Philosophy, January 27, 1936.

Soul-satisfaction always leaves burning desire in its place, self-satisfaction only leaves more "wants."—Edna Lister, February 8, 1936.

The soul has been gathering sensations since it came into existence. You retain the energy of these sensations, which you call memory when you bring them into objective consciousness.—Edna Lister, Reason and Intuition, October 3, 1938.

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."—Matthew 5:25-26. This verse covers all problems with the self. The appetitive soul of self is the adversary, rational soul is the judge, and Oversoul is the officer. Self casts you into prison. Soul lifts you into Light.—Edna Lister, Vows, January 7, 1940.

Relative personality is the outer personalized expression of the indwelling living soul, the individualized expression of God. God speaks as personality, through personality, to personality. Personality is what the world sees of soul, the complete synthesis of emotional experience and intellectual development.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

The living soul is Mind as Substance condensed into physical form as a vehicle of expression. God created every living soul to become the servant of all Power. God did not create living souls to use Power.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

God endows each living soul with all the Godhead’s capacities. You may use cosmic universal Mind infinitely for thinking and planning, directing and controlling. You may call on inherent, potential Power and active, kinetic energy. You may draw on an open account of perfect and complete Substance, accessible at any moment for all needs.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

Half the living soul forms the Oversoul, which is called the super-conscious mind. Half the living soul descends for the long pilgrimage through matter and is further divided into portions. These soul portions are not separate souls, but different functions of the one living soul that dwells within the physical sheath called the body. The descended living soul’s portions take care of all phases of your life on earth: One portion consists of the life sparks thrown off to ascend through evolution. You use these life sparks to build the physical body. Another soul-portion forms the mind encased within these life sparks. Psychology calls this the subconscious mind. Another portion becomes the embodied soul, called the conscious mind in psychology.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

Mastery is full soul expression, letting your Light so shine that you glorify your Father.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

All living souls must travel upward on the pathway of sacrifice and responsibility while conquering the little self.—Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

When your soul is determined to become supreme, you will not make mistakes, but will make the most of every hour.—Edna Lister, July 9, 1945.

The great soul is the one who can stand and be used by all Power and Light. The greater the use, the greater the soul.—Edna Lister, July 21, 1945.

A selfish soul is an unhealthy soul.—Edna Lister, September 19, 1945.

The soul is the essence of Light stepped down in degrees.—Edna Lister, May 26, 1947.

Live by soul above the body, yet controlling it, and the soul is the servant of God not self.—Edna Lister, October 30, 1947.

You can easily determine whether self or soul is the motive of your activity. Self is always on the getting, taking, hating side, while soul gives and loves, which is letting.—Edna Lister, Getting or Letting, Self or Soul, June 27, 1948.

The soul is perfect as the individualized manifestation in the image and likeness of God.—Edna Lister, How to Relate Mind and Power, June 22, 1952.

When you find soul identity with God, you comprehend the necessity of applying law to your life and you begin to become law.—Edna Lister, Success Through Prayer, July 7, 1953.

The body is a tool of the soul, a "temple of the living God." Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1956, 1976.

God endows each soul with all qualities and attributes of the Godhead, with every glory and beauty. Plato told a story, a fantasy to express the nearly inexpressible. In the beginning, each soul traveled down a long corridor to a room of Light filled with tapers. Some took just one, others a handful, and some were too eager to leave or too lazy to take one at all. A few took the time to weave many tapers into a torch and became "torch bearers." Some souls come into the world with no consciousness of the Light or of God, yet limitless potential Power exists for us to learn about and draw upon.—Edna Lister, The Greater You, February 5, 1956.

Your soul is already a part of God. Your job is to ascend the "self" that you have fused with your soul at this point. You must exchange self-confidence for soul-confidence, and grow from "seeing to believe" through ascension into "believing to see."—Edna Lister, I Ascend, April 8, 1956.

The coronation of a soul is called the Christing.—Edna Lister, Our Royal Birthright, April 29, 1956.

An undernourished soul is always "tired" and "aches all over."—Edna Lister, Resting UP, August 19, 1956.

Mind condensed the one Light, endowed it with a conscious identity and brought it forth with all the faculties of the living soul. Soul is a secondary rate of vibration due to its condensation from primary Light. Identity is the individual manifestation of soul which becomes you. Spirit is like unto the whole or a part of God, a part of original substance. Spirit is a primary rate of vibration, universal substance with only one power, and all qualities are uncondensed. So soul is given a conscious rate of control over universal Spirit. Thus miracles are formed, not of that Spirit which dwells in man, but of spiritual substance. Declare and say, "Let," and spiritual substance becomes that which soul or mind decrees. Oversoul is that part of you that remains on the inner when you descend into form.—Edna Lister, The Bond of Spirit, October 6, 1957.

The personal aura is not soul or Spirit, but the rate of vibration of soul fills the aura.—Edna Lister, The Bond of Spirit, October 6, 1957.

Soul is the bondsman of spirit. But spirit is not bonded to your creations. Spiritual substance is in the bond to soul to pay the soul’s debts. When you misuse the Holy Breath, you create dark clouds. You are responsible for redeeming the Holy Breath you misuse. You are in bond to God, and someone must pay the debt when you abscond with His Mind, Power and Substance. Spirit pays the bond. Soul pays the debt.—Edna Lister, The Bond of Spirit, October 6, 1957.

Spirit is universal principle and substance, which soul appropriates. Soul is the term used to denote the individual identity of a descended creator god.—Edna Lister, December 18, 1957.

Integration of the soul is the most important work we do. The subconscious must point out what you are missing out here. It calls back your words to you, warns you, tells you what to do, and registers what your actions are doing to the other person. Those who love you register projections from your subconscious mind.—Edna Lister, May 7, 1959.

"Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one."—1 John 5:5-8. Spirit is Light. Water is energy. Blood is part of the physical mass. Oversoul is pure spirit. Rational soul occupies the body’s water through the lymph system. Appetitive soul occupies the blood. The appetitive soul suffers the tortures of giving up control. When you keep His commandments in joy, they are not grievances and you no longer suffer.—Edna Lister, Your Contact With Cosmic Power, October 8, 1961.

The soul is forever seeking to lift that which you have buried in the little self, to bring it back home.—Edna Lister, April 13, 1964.

The appetitive soul is meant to take care of the physical body and automatic actions. The conscious rational soul takes over faculties and oversees the appetitive soul. Oversoul remains above to o’ershadow.—Edna Lister, June 7, 1965.

An inner compulsion within the soul drives it to seek a Source greater than itself.—Edna Lister, Secrets of the Soul, November 10, 1968.

The soul can be satisfied only by being in contact with its source.—Edna Lister, July 9, 1969.

Soul substance is also in each inanimate thing.—Edna Lister, November 17, 1969.

Soul is Spirit and Light as overall Substance, impregnated with divine Mind. It contains the full Magna Carta of God, active and ready to be brought forth and used. Thus, the soul has been impregnated with the Mind of God.—Edna Lister, November 24, 1970.

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Macrobius on the Soul

“The ancient Philosophers regarded the soul of man as having had its origin in Heaven. That was,” Macrobius says, “a settled opinion among them all; and they held it to be the only true wisdom, for the soul, while united with the body, to look ever toward its source, and strive to return to the place whence it came. Among the fixed stars it dwelt, until, seduced by the desire of animating a body, it descended to be imprisoned in matter. Thenceforward it has no other resource than recollection, and is ever attracted to toward its birth-place and home. The means of return are to be sought for in itself. To re-ascend to its source, it must do and suffer in the body.”

“The sphere or Heaven of the fixed stars was that Holy Region, and those Elysian Fields, that were the native domicile of souls, and the place to which they re-ascended, when they had recovered their primitive purity and simplicity. From that luminous region the soul set forth, when it journeyed toward the body, a destination which it did not reach until it had undergone three degradations, designated by the name of Deaths; and until it had passed through the several spheres and the elements. All souls remained in possession of Heaven and of happiness, so long as they were wise enough to avoid the contagion of the body, and to keep themselves from any contact with matter. But those who, from that lofty abode, where they were lapped in eternal light, have looked longingly toward the body, and toward that which we here below call life, but which is to the soul a real death; and who have conceived for it a secret desire — those souls, victims of their concupiscence, are attracted by degrees toward the inferior regions of the world, by the mere weight of thought and of that terrestrial desire. The soul, perfectly incorporeal, does not at once invest itself with the gross envelope of the body, but little by little, by successive and insensible alterations, and in proportion as it removes further and further from the simple and perfect substance in which it dwelt at first. It first surrounds itself with a body composed of the substance of the stars; and afterward, as it descends through the several spheres, with ethereal matter more and more gross, thus by degrees descending to an earthly body; and its number of degradations or deaths being the same as that of the spheres which it traverses.

“The Galaxy,” Macrobius says, “crosses the Zodiac in two opposite points, Cancer and Capricorn, the tropical points in the sun’s course, ordinarily called the Gates of the Sun. These two tropics, before his time, corresponded with those constellations, but in his day with Gemini and Sagittarius, in consequence of the precession of the equinoxes; but the signs of the Zodiac remained unchanged; and the Milky Way crossed at the signs Cancer and Capricorn, though not at those constellations.”

“Through these gates souls were supposed to descend to earth and re-ascend to Heaven. One,” Macrobius says, in his dream of Scipio, “was styled the Gate of Men; and the other, the Gate of the Gods. Cancer was the former, because souls descended by it to the earth; and Capricorn the latter, because by it they re-ascended to their seats of immortality, and became Gods. From the Milky Way, according to Pythagoras, diverged the route to the dominions of Pluto. Until they left the Galaxy, they were not deemed to have commenced to descend toward the terrestrial bodies. From that they departed, and to that they returned. Until they reached the sign Cancer, they had not left it, and were still Gods. When they reached Leo, they commenced their apprenticeship for their future condition; and when they were at Aquarius, the sign opposite Leo, they were furthest removed from human life.”

“The soul, descending from the celestial limits, where the Zodiac and Galaxy unite, loses its spherical shape, the shape of all Divine Nature, and is lengthened into a cone, as a point is lengthened into a line; and then, an indivisible monad before, it divides itself and becomes a duad — that is, unity becomes division, disturbance, and conflict. Then it begins to experience the disorder which reigns in matter, to which it unites itself, becoming, as it were, intoxicated by draughts of grosser matter, of which inebriation the cup of Bacchus, between Cancer and Leo, is a symbol. It is for them the cup of forgetfulness. They assemble, says Plato, in the fields of oblivion, to drink there the water of the river Ameles, which causes men to forget everything. This fiction is also found in Virgil. “If souls,” says Macrobius, “carried with them into the bodies they occupy all the knowledge which they had acquired of divine things, during their sojourn in the Heavens, men would not differ in opinion as to the Deity; but some of them forget more, and some less, of that which they had learned.”

The soul becomes dual in nature: Desire for an earth body and desire for God.

The Soul Powers, Virtues

The laws of the soul include this primary set, designed to clarify the right use of imagination, thinking and desires.

God gives each soul enough substance of Light, stored in his Oversoul Star, to fill all his molds of desire and to bring to pass all his needs promised him of God.

Each soul must release his soul substance by transforming it from invisible Light to a lower form of substance which can be seen, from storage in Oversoul Star to earth mold.

Your obedience to the fullness of God’s great Love is your true safeguard, success and dream fulfillment.

Love is the only true fulfillment of law. To you is given the power of right love. Use it.

To you is given power of right thinking. Use it.

You have the power of right seeing. Use it.

You have the full power of right hearing. Use it.

You have the power of right discrimination. Use it.

You have the power of right reason. Use it.

You have the power of right use of Light. So use.

You have all power over darkness. Use it.

You have the full power of all discretion. So use.

You have the power of right faith. Use it.

The right use of Power is letting. To "let" means to become unconquerable, fully invincible Law.—Edna Lister, 1945.

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New Testament on the Soul

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.—Matthew 10:28.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.—Matthew 11:29-30. [Take the Christos yoke upon you.]

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.—Matthew 22:37-39.

God decides each soul’s reward: To sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.—Mark 10:40.

Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.—Mark 12:29-31.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.—Luke 10:27-28.

In your patience possess ye your souls.—Luke 21:19.

The true Light … lighteth every soul coming into the world.—John 1:9.

Even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.—2 Corinthians 3:16. [When you turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away from your soul vision.]

Though though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.—2 Corinthians 4:16.

The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.—Hebrews 4:12.

Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.—James 1:21.

He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.—James 5:20.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.—1 Peter 1:7-9. [The end of your faith is the salvation of your soul.]

Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.—1 Peter 4:19.

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Old Testament on the Soul

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.—Genesis 2:7.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.—Exodus 30:11-16.

If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; and her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her. But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her. And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the Lord shall forgive her. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them. But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity. These are the statutes, which the Lord commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father’s house.—Numbers 30:2-16.

Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.—Job 12:9-10.

God speaketh once, yea twice, [yet man] perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, that he may withdraw man [from his] purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong [pain]: so that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones [that] were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: he shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. He looketh upon men, and [if any] say, I have sinned, and perverted [that which was] right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these [things] worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.—Job 33:14-30

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.—Psalm 19:7-9.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.—Psalm 24:3-4.

The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.—Psalm 34:22.

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.—Psalm 107:8-9.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.—Psalm 121:7.

When wisdom enters into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee—Proverbs 2:9-11.

Keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.—Proverbs 3:21-22.

Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.—Proverbs 6:32.

He that sins against me wrongs his own soul.—Proverbs 8:36.

The merciful man does good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubles his own flesh.—Proverbs 11:17.

There is that scatters, and yet increases; and there is that withholds more than is meet, but it tends to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that waters shall be watered also himself.—Proverbs 11:24-25.

The soul of the sluggard desires, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.—Proverbs 13:4.

A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.—Proverbs 18:7.

He that gets wisdom loves his own soul: he that keeps understanding shall find good.—Proverbs 19:8.

He that keeps the commandment keeps his own soul; but he that despises his ways shall die.—Proverbs 19:16.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.—Proverbs 22:22-23.

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.—Proverbs 22:24-25.

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.—Proverbs 23:13-14.

The full soul loathes an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.—Proverbs 27:7.

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.—Psalm 33:6.

All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.—Ecclesiastes 6:7.

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth … [before] the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken.—Ecclesiastes 12:1,6. [The silver cord binds soul to body; the golden bowl is the head, which holds the higher creative center, the seat of soul.]

The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.—1 Samuel 18:1.

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The Soul in Other Sacred Writings

Wisdom shall not enter into a malicious soul; nor dwell in the body that is subject to sin.—Wisdom of Solomon 1:4.

Beware of murmuring, which is unprofitable; and refrain from backbiting: for no word is so secret that it shall go for nought: and the mouth that lies slays the soul.—Wisdom of Solomon 1:11.

Insight on dying young: He pleased God, and was beloved of him, so that he was translated; speedily he was taken away, lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul. For the glamor of immorality obscures things that are honest; and the wandering of selfish desires undermines the simple mind. He, being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: For his soul pleased the Lord: therefore hastened He to take him away.—Wisdom of Solomon 4:10-14.

Wisdom is more moving than any motion: she passes and goes through all things by reason of her pureness, for she is the breath of the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty: therefore no defiled thing can fall into her. She is the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness. Being but One, she can do all things: and remaining in herself, she makes all things new: and in all ages entering into holy souls, she makes them friends of God, and prophets.—Wisdom of Solomon 7:24-27.

If you come to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for temptation.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 2:1.

Whatever is brought upon you, take cheerfully, and be patient when you are changed to a low estate; for gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable souls in the furnace of adversity.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 2:4-5.

At first, wisdom will walk with you by crooked ways, bring fear and dread upon you, and torment you with her discipline, until she may trust your soul, and try you by her laws. Then will she return you to the straight way, and comfort you, and shew you her secrets; if you go wrong, she will forsake you, and give you over to your own ruin.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 4:17-19.

Observe opportunity, and beware of evil; be not ashamed when it concerns your soul, for there is a shame that brings sin, and a shame which is glory and grace.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 4:20-21.

Nothing is more wicked than a covetous man: for he puts his own soul on sale.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 10:9.

When the ungodly curses Satan, he curses his own soul.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 21:27.

A whisperer defiles his own soul, and is hated wheresoever he dwells.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 21:28.

In every good work trust your own soul; for this is the keeping of the commandments.—Wisdom of Ben Sirach 32:23.

He who has been filled, in turn attains due perfection. Therefore, you must be in want while it is possible to fill you, and be full while it is possible for you to be in want, so that you may be able to fill yourselves the more. Hence, become full of the Spirit, but be in want of reason, for reason belongs to the soul; in turn, it is (of the nature of) soul.—The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

Without the soul, the body does not sin, just as the soul is not saved without the spirit. But if the soul without evil is saved, and the spirit is also saved, then the body becomes free from sin. For it is the spirit that raises the soul, but the body that kills it; that is, it is the soul which kills itself.—The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

It is about themselves that souls receive instruction, receiving it from the Father, turning again to Him.—The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

When Christ speaks, we receive a taste from our soul, and receive nourishment, receive growth. And our own resting-place is our soul.—The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

The Father assigned all souls their destinies. Each, then, is manifest, in order that through their own thought they might reach Him. For the place to which they send their thought, that place, their root, is what takes them up in all the heights, to the Father.—The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

Love your brother like your soul, guard him like the pupil of your eye.—Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

Wretched is the body that is dependent upon a body, and wretched is the soul that is dependent on these two.—Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul; woe to the soul that depends on the flesh.—Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

Glass decanters [souls] and earthenware jugs [bodies] are both made by means of fire. But if glass decanters break, they are done over, for they came into being through a breath. If earthenware jugs break, however, they are destroyed, for they came into being without breath.—Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

The soul and the spirit came into being from water and fire. The son of the bridal chamber came into being from water and fire and Light. The fire is the chrism, the Light is the fire. I am not referring to that fire which has no form, but to the other fire whose form is white, which is bright and beautiful, and which gives beauty.—Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

Adam’s soul came into being by means of a breath. The partner of his soul is the spirit. His mother is the thing that was given to him. His soul was taken from him and replaced by a spirit. When he was united to the spirit, he spoke incomprehensible words.—Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

If the disciple of God is sensible, he understands what discipleship is all about. The bodily forms will not deceive him, but he will look at the condition of the soul of each one and speak with him. There are many animals in the world which are in a human form. When he identifies them, to the swine he will throw acorns, to the cattle he will throw barley and chaff and grass, to the dogs he will throw bones. To the slaves he will give only the elementary lessons, to the children he will give the complete instruction.—Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

If you set your hope upon the world, and your god is this life; you are corrupting your soul.—Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7.

If someone sets his soul up high, then he will be exalted.—The Dialogue of the Savior, Codex III, 5.

The physicians of this world heal what belongs to the world. The physicians of souls, however, heal the heart.—Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles, Codex VI,1.

As the soul learns about her Light, as she goes about stripping off this world, while her true garment clothes her within; her bridal clothing is placed upon her in beauty of mind, not in pride of flesh.—Authoritative Teaching, Codex VI, 3.

The rational soul learns about God.—Authoritative Teaching, Codex VI, 3.

The rational soul labors with inquiring, enduring distress in the body, learning about the Inscrutable One.—Authoritative Teaching, Codex VI, 3.

If there is ignorance, and learning does not exist in the soul of man, (then) the incurable passions persist in it (the soul). And additional evil comes with them (the passions), in the form of an incurable sore. And the sore constantly gnaws at the soul, and through it the soul produces worms from the evil, and stinks. But God is not the cause of these things, since he sent to men knowledge and learning.—Asclepius 21-29, Codex VI, 8.

We do not see through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind that is between the two.—Gospel of Mary 5:11.

The Son of the Most High appeared in the perfection of His Father; and light dawned from the Word that was beforetime in Him; the Messiah is truly one; and He was known before the foundation of the world, that He might save souls for ever by the truth of His name: a new song arises from those who love Him.—Odes of Solomon 41:14-17.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of soul: Old English sawol, "spiritual and emotional part of a person, animate existence," from Proto Germanic saiwalo.

Soul is an abstract principle.
Soul is a law of being.


Man is his own star and the soul that can render an honest and perfect man commands all light, all influence, all fate.—John Fletcher, a playwright who co-authored with William Shakespeare


Fletcher, John. "An Honest Man’s Fortune," Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry. R. W. Emerson, ed. Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Co., 1880.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1981.

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

Webster, Noah. "Soul," Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

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