Soul Taints

A soul taint is a moral defect, a character flaw, considered as a stain or spot, an infecting touch, an influence, a tinge, spiritual contamination. A taint is missing the high mark in the calling of God through Christ Jesus. Soul taints are selfish treasures of darkness that the candidate for ascension must eradicate by the sacrifice of selfishness.

Taints include, but are not limited to accusations, aggressiveness, anger, arrogance, bad manners, bitterness, boredom, challenges, comparison, complaining, craving, defiance, demands, depression, disobedience, doubts, envy, excuses, expectations, false pride, fears, frustration, greed for power, guilt, habits (most that relate to physical gratification), idle words, inferiority, insolence, lack of awareness, possessiveness, rationalization, resentment, self-aggrandizement self-blame, self-desires, self-indulgence, self-justification, self-pity, self-righteousness, selfishness, sentimentality, shame, stubbornness treachery, unrighteous judgment, vanity, whining.

“Unless surrendered to God, a taint always becomes
the breeding ground for sin.” – Edna Lister

Taints often include vices: The world defines vice on a continuum ranging from "a slight personal failing; a foible, a flaw, an imperfection or a defect," to "a serious moral failing," to "wicked or evil conduct or habits; corruption," or "an evil, degrading, or immoral practice or habit."

Unless lifted and surrendered to God, a taint always becomes the breeding ground for sin. The world defines sin as a transgression of a religious or moral law, a deliberate disobedience to the known will of God, estrangement from God resulting from such disobedience, or something regarded as shameful, deplorable, or utterly wrong. A sin is any word, emotion, thought or act that can separate divine Mind, Substance and Power, thus creating mental confusion, illusion or delusion, diseased substance and denatured Power, or force.

Solomon's one thousand burnt offerings, described in 1 Kings 3, relate to sacrificing a thousand taints of the little self. To eliminate soul taints, you must voluntarily surrender them to the Light.

The Soul Taints

Arguing » Read it here »

Blame » Read it here »

Comparison » Read it here »

Depression » Read it here »

Despair » Read it here »

Disobedience » Read it here »

Doubt and fear » Read it here »

Envy » Read it here »

Guilt » Read it here »

Impatience and irritation » Read it here »

Indifference and lukewarmness » Read it here »

Ingratitude » Read it here »

Inner conflict » Read it here »

Intolerance » Read it here »

Jealousy » Read it here »

Judgmental » Read it here »

Offenses and insults » Read it here »

Opinions and prejudices » Read it here »

Pride and arrogance » Read it here »

Procrastination and laziness » Read it here »

Rebellion » Read it here »

Repudiation » Read it here »

Resentment » Read it here »

Self-exaltation » Read it here »

Self-love » Read it here »

Self-pity » Read it here »

Self-will » Read it here »

Shame » Read it here »

Spiritual darkness » Read it here »

Sympathy » Read it here »

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Edna Lister on Soul Taints

Remit your own sins by letting go of the taints that cause them. – Edna Lister, The High Call, January 2, 1935.

Do not drag an empty shell that could retard your growth or hamper your soul's expansion. – Edna Lister, September 6, 1938.

The lights may show up weaknesses that would cause you to lose face, place, and position. You must still further grow in strength of instant surrender, in which is no taint of willfulness, rebellion or resentment. Watch, therefore, all weak points. – Edna Lister, December 11, 1939.

When you become conscious of a soul taint but do nothing about it, you close the Gates of Light. – Edna Lister, April 13, 1942.

If a pin point's worth of self-pity or a self-excuse taint remains in the self, you cannot act or do perfectly. – Edna Lister, July 13, 1945.

Don't be surprised to discover that you have more taints at the bottom. The most subtle is the devilish will to hide. The only way to purify this cesspool is to bring it to the surface and scrape it clean. You will have arrived when you look up and say, "Here, Father, this is mine. Let Light cleanse it" with no consideration of self or personal response. – Edna Lister, July 14, 1945.

Law manifests whatever you decree according to the quality of your love; it may be pure or tainted with self. – Edna Lister, The Flaming Sword, July 29, 1951.

Taints cause you to become earthbound. For instance, belief that others "need" you, anchors you to earth. – Edna Lister, September 14, 1952.

Be steadfast in seeking to conquer self. It takes a heroic struggle to overcome the earth-taints of self. – Edna Lister, October 21, 1952.

Hold your lines of Light in unconquerable faith and a love magnificent and everlasting, and in it no taint of darkness nor tinge of adultery. – Edna Lister, February 15, 1953.

Sublimation cleanses your desire of taints. When you draw the life sparks from the physical, you may uncover taints, toxins that you must eliminate to increase vitality. Age has nothing to do with this. It is the secret of the fountain of youth. When you lift negatives from the self, you draw the life sparks in and slough heavy substance. – Edna Lister, July 13, 1953.

Every soul desire may leave a taint. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1954.

You cannot take your past home to God. Lift it. The taints of earth have brought you down before. Cleanse them. – Edna Lister, August 15, 1955.

Love cleanses every old picture, thought, or emotional conflict from the submerged "little me" — all the taints so treacherous to the soul. – Edna Lister, Eternal Youth, 1956.

Search your soul for any taint of earth. – Edna Lister, The Lord Has Need of Thee, March 25, 1956.

You must see with no hidden taints of self in the way, no opinions or prejudices. – Edna Lister, Rose-Colored Glasses, April 22, 1956.

We all have taints of earth. – Edna Lister, December 17, 1956.

What are you looking at, your taints or someone else's little black blots? – Edna Lister, September 30, 1957.

You can never free will from Wisdom, and personality can never touch Wisdom. You can taint emotions with earthiness. You always have the power of choice. – Edna Lister, October 7, 1957.

Do not feel too perfect yet. Just one day on earth may leave a soul taint. – Edna Lister, December 2, 1957.

"I don't understand" is a statement of idle words, a symbol of a closed mind. Taints of lack of understanding and saying, "I don't understand," means you have hidden something you do not want uncovered or to surrender. – Edna Lister, December 7, 1957.

You may ascend to the highest possible point your sacrifice of taints of self permits. – Edna Lister, December 14, 1957.

A personal hurt is always to the self, and fed by self-pity, blame, criticism and condemnation. If you have any of those taints, they will rise to the surface. – Edna Lister, December 16, 1957.

Leave no taint of your self on the surface of anyone's aura. – Edna Lister, December 18, 1957.

"I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." – Isaiah 45:3. The "hidden riches of secret places" refers to opening the subconscious "treasures of darkness," such as idle words, foolish gossip and fears that delay miracles. Count that day a loss when a treasure of darkness does not reveal itself as a subconscious taint emerging. You all have a chest of gold in the basement. You must turn on the Light to see it. Hoist your under-the-surface fears and doubts, criticisms and condemnations up into the Light and they become your greatest black pearls. These are your hidden riches. – Edna Lister, February 5, 1958.

When the last taints of earth fade from your mind, you will be free. When the last fear-dread of the mental life leaves, you will be free. You have taints of "What will happen if? What shall I do if?" Get rid of that dread taint. – Edna Lister, March 18, 1958.

When you are not joyous, you have a taint of resentment. – Edna Lister, September 17, 1958.

Power, finding a taint of self, acts exactly as a hurricane wind finding a crack in a wall and bursting the wall asunder. Light searches for slight cracks, taints left by the long reign of self in the past. – Edna Lister, October 24, 1958.

Life is a constant challenge, a constant trial by fire. It must be so to purify soul of earthly taints. – Edna Lister, Joy, Invincible Power, November 17, 1958.

If you have a fleeting thought of blame for anything or anyone before you pray, it taints your idea of "all," which dilutes and adulterates your prayer's power. You eventually get your miracles, minus the deductions of your taints — your miracles, less your deductions of selfishness. – Edna Lister, How Great Is Your All? January 1959.

Be aware of taint seeds in your subconscious. Set a guard to let the self get by with nothing. – Edna Lister, May 4, 1959.

When you have really conquered self and are not tainted, you hold and are not touched, hurt, bored or impatient. – Edna Lister, May 11, 1959.

The slightest self taint is a trap door through which you fall dead to that great point of comprehension, which was to have been your gift for conquering self. – Edna Lister, October 8, 1959.

Dig deep to fully uncover and scrape clean all detriments and taints of the past, for no matter how high and glorious your vision, no matter how great your desire for perfection, you are never stronger than the weakest of your self-taints. Always the taint will dig a ditch into which you must fall. – Edna Lister, October 16, 1959.

What seems so perfect down here becomes a taint as you ascend higher. – Edna Lister, Tomorrow Is Yours, December 13, 1959.

It is amazing how hard it is to eradicate the taints from physical cells. It is like a stubborn ink spot on the wall. To erase it, you rub a hole in the self, yet you must erase every trace from the mind and heart. – Edna Lister, December 17, 1959.

The slightest tinge of self takes you to the bottom. – Edna Lister, January 25, 1960.

You cry, "I can't do this alone. I need help," to your Guards. Just do what needs to be done. Taints of self fill you when you evade what you do not enjoy and leave it for another to complete. – Edna Lister, March 3, 1960.

Only through sacrifice of self, searching for taints, complete surrender and compassion, and chastisement of soul, can you hold a high point and move higher, for the soul itself may grow tainted by past delinquencies smudging it. – Edna Lister, July 7, 1960.

Taints veil the Light, and you stand in the dark searching your soul until you remember the secret is "Let there be Light." – Edna Lister, July 21, 1960.

Be sure to add the fatal words of repudiation, "Why, I didn't say that," to your list of taints. The question is not, "What did he say I said," but "What did he think I said," and you have no excuse to be ambiguous. – Edna Lister, October 14, 1960.

Pull up the taints embedded in the subconscious by the roots. If you love God enough and in complete acceptance, Light will fill the bleeding holes in the subconscious. The "little self" drops away, leaving you free, selfless, filled with the ecstasy that comes only with the lifting of ancient taints. – Edna Lister, October 14, 1960.

Lent is the time of sacrificing self in joy. Conduct a 40-day soul inventory beforehand, with the goal of becoming as perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. During Lent, completely give up self and all taints of self you uncovered in your inventory. – Edna Lister, January 12, 1961.

Self clings and is subtle, and you may not let it seek sympathy or understanding on the outside. A taint of self-justification or pride in your surrender closes the Gates of Light and you are left to wallow in blame and repressions of hate. – Edna Lister, January 12, 1961.

To forget self is the Path of Destiny. To deny that destiny with even a tinge of self, you fall back into the abyss where the path of fate travels. – Edna Lister, January 21, 1961.

Stand in Light so bright that any shadows of the past will be blots upon the Light, to be lifted. If not in the Light, past shadows add to the darkness of today's clouds. Review all laws for flaws in your present formula for living. Check and recheck the self for taints without wasting time, by standing in the Light, loving more, allowing the taints to show themselves, then lifting them and praising that they are erasing. – Edna Lister, August 10, 1961.

The reaction intensity of disharmony and suffering is according to the size and number of taints still existing in the soul. – Edna Lister, August 10, 1961.

You must be certain that you are not, by the slightest taint of selfishness, adulterating the least bit of love that uses you from the vast principle of Love. – Edna Lister, The Challenge of the Christ Power, January 1962.

Let nothing of earth taint or stain your soul. – Edna Lister, January 21, 1962.

Every atrophied nerve is a taint to lift. The last holdout point is at the Atlas vertebra. As you lift, it becomes Light. – Edna Lister, August 9, 1962.

Instantly lift the taints from the world mind that you walk through daily. While you have taints, you must lift. Taints trigger memory impressions buried in the subconscious mind. As you glance at it, say, "Here it is, Father. Please make it and all like it in the world into Light." You must pull it out by the roots. – Edna Lister, August 10, 1962.

No taints are acceptable. – Edna Lister, January 13, 1963.

Watch for taints, moment by moment. Instantly wipe them out as you see them. – Edna Lister, February 20, 1963.

Say, "Here I am, Father," and see only Light and devotion. The taints of emotion, imagination, thinking cannot touch your nerves then. Blame is the most subtle taint, for it sidesteps your responsibility. – Edna Lister, February 27, 1963.

Each knows his own taints and is responsible for cleansing them. – Edna Lister, December 19, 1963.

Listen carefully, for in the act of words, taint goes forth as delay. – Edna Lister, January 19, 1964.

You must purify the self to eradicate taints under the surface. If you have a taint of pride, self-pity, blame, a "holier than thou" attitude, self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement or self-exaltation, the taint shows on the face and betrays you if you do not clean it out. – Edna Lister, April 13, 1964.

A taint is missing the high mark in the calling of God through Christ Jesus. – Edna Lister, April 20, 1964.

The Gates of Light are heavy when you approach them with a pinpoint's worth of an earth taint. – Edna Lister, June 28, 1964.

The New Testament is a complete book of psychiatry — a must-read, especially the chapters on taints of earth, which tell you what not to do. – Edna Lister, Rejoice! God Reigns, July 5, 1964.

Solomon made a thousand burnt offerings to eliminate any buried taints, so his answer to prayer would not be diluted when it came. – Edna Lister, Love and Wisdom, October 4, 1964.

Taints of self dilute the Power that is using you. – Edna Lister, November 28, 1964.

The subconscious registers anything necessary to know from the world of things, reminders and warnings to lift, not blunder into included. When every last memory impression, called a taint of self, is lifted, the subconscious is free to work it was designed. – Edna Lister, January 13, 1965.

On each degree you repeat the 33 Degrees to clear away taints. – Edna Lister, October 24, 1966.

You can't straddle the abyss between our fate line and our Path of Destiny with one foot on each. Light blocks your Path of Destiny until you really cleanse subconscious taints. – Edna Lister, How Do You Collect Your Divine Inheritance? November 6, 1966.

The white Light of the Christ that you carry in your aura can be an offense to those who are not conscious of their taints. They see these taints in others, not themselves, but the Light shows them their guilt. – Edna Lister, Is Your Compassion Increasing? November 13, 1966.

Your soul is too lovely, precious and glorious to be tainted by termites in your basement or bats in your belfry. – Edna Lister, December 8, 1966.

You are responsible to use your faculties and clean up taints. You can't go home until you have cleaned up these taints. – Edna Lister, September 3, 1967.

If you feed your subconscious mind garbage, you will awaken with a heavy mind. Declare that Light goes forth to cover everything from the outside, and every possible taint from subconscious mind from the inside, to wipe it out. – Edna Lister, From Earthbound Slavery to Winged Glory, June 23, 1968.

Your taints can't exist when you consciously stand in the Light, which absorbs them. So don't say, "I must get rid of the taints and darkness." Ascend into your sun center of Light and the Light will do the work. Identify with God. Stand in the Light. – Edna Lister, November 21, 1968.

Each time you are promoted to a new set of 33 Degrees, any remaining taints emerge. – Edna Lister, The Mental Body and the Seven Lotus Centers, July 1, 1969.

Power moves through and taints float to surface, but don't think that the Power created the problems. – Edna Lister, August 7, 1969.

You can be devoted to God, yet still have taints in your heart. However, you cannot mistreat people or use idle words when you are completely devoted to God. – Edna Lister, Laws for Divine Living, February 19, 1970.

Taints block healing. First you must learn what your taints are. Taints are "treasures of darkness," which you must eradicate by sacrifice. – Edna Lister, May 8, 1970.

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Treatments for Soul Taints

When you must speak out for one against another, lift the offender to wipe the taint in their bodies lest disease strikes later. Lift his weak spot and treat it because blame and reviling can hit him there. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1954.

In the morning, make yourself a five-pointed star, and breathe yourself into your body with seven breaths. Declare, "Thank You, Father, for this magnificent night spent in Your Courts. Thank You for my instruction for service this day, for this day's perfect pattern and design. Use me constantly and let the Power move forth through me as needed. Let me catch every negative instantly to be made into Light. Let Your Light so shine through me, that all whom I contact are made Light! Glory, glory unto Thee, and thank You, Father, for full comprehension of all that transpired this night. Thank You for this new, shining day and for the strength, love, joy, faith, Light and enthusiasm to move through it as a cloud of glory on high, floating through the day within a sphere of Light. With You, all things are possible. I am Thine every moment of this glorious day, and miracle upon miracle shall take place all day long."

At night, go out on a cloud and kneel before your Father. Declare, "Here I am Father, Your glory slave. I lift every idle word, every worn out emotion, every past word, deed, picture and desire, every opinion and prejudice, all the lines of Light to everyone I contacted and thought about today. Let Thy Light move through them and cleanse them all; melt, dissolve and absorb all today's darkness. Surround me with Thy divine wall of fire. Release me from fear, grief, guilt, self-condemnation, prejudice, opinions and thoughts for the self. Stretch me and expand me to become Your perfect one, an angel of grace and beauty, flexibility and resilient strength. I love You, love You, love You. Let Your love use me to go forth to all I meet, to everyone in the world. I am Your responsible Daughter (Son) of Light. Use me to release Your Power needed now and always. I come to serve this night in all Your ways, to be instructed, to memorize what shall come tomorrow, what to do, and what to give. I set up this mind to register all You give me and return comprehending all. Thank You for all the answers and the discrimination to give them at the right time, in the right way and when to be silent. Thank You, Father, for today's experience. Let all the good be retained as pure gold and the dross and taint of earth, let it be burned and dissolved in Your fires. I enter the fires of God for purification. I am Thine, forever and ever." – Edna Lister, January 6, 1962.

Do not let one idle word get by without reaching and saying, "Let Light wipe out this taint and let it be wiped clean." Remember, "I did not mean it" is the greatest curse today. – Edna Lister, March 19, 1962.

Go into the past nightly to wipe soul records clean, but do not dwell upon it. If you feel tainted in any way, put the taint in the fire. – Edna Lister, April 23, 1962.

If you raise your hands and ask, with all your heart, to be possessed of Light, it washes away the taints. – Edna Lister, Shekinah Splendor, December 15, 1963.

In your treatment before going into the golden silence say, "Here I am, Father. Move in and erase every habit taint." – Edna Lister, April 13, 1964.

"I reach up with arms of Light and gather up all scattered soul substance of thoughts, words, deeds, actions, resentments, criticisms, idle words. I lift it up on a cloud altar; let it be consumed in a pillar of fire by the angel with the censer, and as it is consumed, let it draw in all the taints, and then be purified, refashioned, made into Light, and sent back to me as new creative soul substance." – Edna Lister, June 26, 1969.

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Every "It" Is a Soul Taint

How often people say, "This is it!" Every "it" has a root, and this declaration is almost equal to saying, "This is good!" For when you say, "This is it!" — meaning annoyance, frustration or irritation — you give "it" a name, claim "it" and give "it" a home in passing by, and from there "it" is lifted. All the "its" are little clouds besmirching, and while they float about, they nibble at the edges of the mind, even causing sleeplessness in their desire to be lifted into Light.

If darkness could be personified, it would be as a beggar begging to be changed into Light. Therefore, when one of these things hits the present, causing you to remember a lesson, it is "it!" — the vagrant, the thief of peace, the blot on honor is named and lifted and frees you from the past, cleans up an obstacle that either causes you to stumble or blocks the doorway to the next step.

Your decision to "let down" is God's cue to let you sink and so push open all these detrimental doors to the past. Letting down really goes to the root of all your present lifetime escape processes and attitudes. This has nothing to do with outright dishonesty, it is but a perfect example of how taints block the path to freedom ahead unless you scrape them from the records of life.

Back, back, back you must pursue the line in imagination until you lift every past cloud. As you wipe out each taint from the far past, one record of the Book of Life will be rewritten from above as though a human hand had changed it. You cannot do this by prayer and petition, but by honestly ascending into the Light and releasing Power over the past. This is the way true law works.

God throws out a line of Light when you are taking things too lightly, and hopes the bait attracts you up to what He is now able to do for you. Under your righteous acceptance of responsibility and having cleaned up any idea of blame for past ignorance or misdirection by others — for until you do this, God can do no more — He can lay Power upon your book of records and the pages will be wiped free of any taint and rewritten by angelic hands. Your Book of Life shall register perfection whenever you review it.

You must go forward, onward and upward, with no looking back except for cleansing and wiping pages white as snow. You may not lag behind or escape. This is it, for you have reached a point in ascension that in order to fulfill your prayers for illumination, for wisdom, for spiritual seeing and hearing, you must draw in all the little "its." Make a great adventurous mission into your childhood and put every instance you misled someone for any reason whatever on a cloud, in all its ramifications, meaning everyone connected with it, cleansing them and wiping it from the pages of the Book of Life.

This is not only "it" — this is good, for when you are pulled back by a thousand tiny clutching vines, it can be a heavy weight and cause untold delay. As you release one of these tiny clutching tendrils from the past, it shall clean the present from any limitations and remove all obstacles from your path until doors will open on the slightest knock. Doors that have been fast shut to the rest of the world shall be open to you. – Edna Lister, November 27, 1963.

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A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. – Galatians 5:9.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. – James 3:5-6.

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Old Testament on Soul Taints

Read Psalm 91 daily, for it shows you where your taints are. – Edna Lister, June 23, 1968.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. – Psalm 91.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
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.

Etymology of taint: Latin tingere, "to tinge, dye, moisten, soak."


“The moral guilt of an action varies inversely as the squares of its distances in time and space, social, psychological, physiological or topographical, from ourselves. Not so its moral merit: this loses no lustre through time and distance. Good is like gold, it will not rust or tarnish and it is rare, but there is some of it everywhere. Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.” – Samuel Butler, Judging the Dead


Butler, Samuel. "Judging the Dead," The Notebooks of Samuel Butler. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1917, 365-366.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

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

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

Related Topics

See Sacrifice

See Surrender