What Is Principle?

Edna Lister

What is principle? Principle is the absolute, universal, unchangeable, undeviating, immutable foundation upon which all universes are based and established, and under which they operate eternally.

We declare that God is both personality and principle, personality which sustains all its creations and principle which directs and controls all that is created. We declare that heaven is both a state of consciousness under the controlled action of divine Mind, and a place wherein personality lives, moves and has its being.

Psychology teaches us that we condition our lives through the use we make of our three creative tools — imagination, thinking and desire — and that only by changing the use of our creative tools can we recondition our lives.

To believe that we were created to use Mind, Power and Substance in demand-declarations conditions us to weakness, illness, lack and limitation. To declare the truth of our creation, and to believe it, creates perfection on every level: the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual is a must; therefore, we know and declare that God created us for Mind, Power and Substance to use.

Since the state of our consciousness has definitely caused our present condition, we must accept our full responsibility for our present state. And by picturing only that which we want to manifest in body and affairs, by thinking only positive, constructive thoughts of what we desire to express, then standing and knowing that divine Mind desires perfection for us far above all our desires, we let our new molds be filled until they condense and become visible. In gratitude we praise and move into a state of consciousness where we let the Power do the work.

Through the study of psychology, which is God's Mind operating as man, we establish our identity with our Source of life. Man cannot thoroughly understand his relationship to man until he first finds out what his original relationship to God was in the beginning, and still continues to be. All confusion in the world can be traced back to this loss of our original relationship to God, our only Source of life.

For the purpose of finding our identity and for understanding the action of God's Mind as man, we separate the Mind of God into five great categories or phases of expression of Mind. The outermost one is named psychology, next come metaphysics, then science, philosophy and lastly, mysticism. No one can see Mind operating, only the results of its work can be seen in the body and affairs. The result is determined by whether we use Mind or let the perfection of Mind and Power use us.

Remember that while we use these five phases as distinct, each from the other, they are forever the One and inseparable Mind, and are working and expressing as One. Since we have already acknowledged that we are created in the image and likeness of God, and because we know nothing comes from nothing, we must affirm our divine Source.

Psychology deals with the expression of Mind as man. It has unfolded for us its operation through created man on three distinct levels of consciousness. These three lesser phases of Mind as man form the sum total of man's personality.

We are one soul, dwelling in this outer form or sheath we call the physical body. But as Mind, it operates on three levels: the subconscious, the conscious, and the super-conscious mind of man.

In our scientific study of these five phases of creative Mind, we name in our study of mysticism these three as appetitive soul, rational soul and Oversoul, but they refer to the same thing; three functions of the One Mind as man.

Psychology deals with the study of the universal Mind of God as man, or the personality of God as the personality of man. Psychology deals with the study of the science of God's Mind as it functions through man in the three phases of subconscious, conscious and superconscious mind; so separated into these three phases of Mind to suit the needs and requirements for his expression on earth.

The study of academic psychology deals with the absolute and abstract laws governing Mind. The study of practical psychology deals with the concrete and relative secondary and primary laws governing the functioning of the subconscious mind in man.

Academic psychology deals with man's relationship to his Source. Practical psychology deals with man's relationship to man.

Psychology and metaphysics march hand in hand and must be studied together. Metaphysics deals with or pertains to that which we perceive with the Powers of Mind. Physics deals with that which we see and which can be proven in a laboratory by measurements with instruments. Metaphysics, through perception, finds the basis for existence and shows the individual his Source.

Physics shows and proves its outer and material expression. Metaphysics deals with the realm of Mind. Physics deals with the realms of the outer application of Mind. Metaphysics declares Spirit substance as of Being. Physics unfolds its operation into material appearance.

Metaphysics, or applied Mind Power, enables us to function as gods on the inner. Physics enables us to function and to become visible as an outer form. One begins with the inner Light on the inner levels, and brings it forth into outer expression, the other, as science, takes form in the outer and again resolves its component parts back into Light, from which it came forth.

Metaphysics deals with that realm which is just beyond our fingertips, invisible to the physical eye. It is the substance used by mathematics as the invisible dot which, when extended into a line, is the postulated invisible basis for all higher mathematical calculations.

Metaphysics investigates and studies the science of being. Metaphysics does not deviate from absolute principle but it does, by modifying and lowering the vibration of absolute principle, restate principle as primary law, into language that the finite mind can grasp and apply. It states principle in terms that each level of intelligence can understand.

Science: The scientific phase of Mind studies the exact nature of things and how they operate. In its operation, it is both visible and invisible. It is an exact science because it can measure the invisible with its new special instruments for measuring. Science has proven the truth of metaphysics for the student, who in the past had to postulate, assume and accept on faith alone.

Science studies knowledge for its own sake, without any thought of heavenly gains. Yet, the student knows that the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus' teachings are based on the most exact of scientific laws.

However, because of the mental and emotional disturbances in the student's life, it is difficult for some to prove these laws. When the followers of Jesus have stood firm without wavering, they have proven without any doubt that the formulas for healing given by Jesus were exact and scientific, thousands have had miracles by their use.

There is no complete ascension of the soul possible without the use of the scientific approach as a ladder between the outer psychology and metaphysics and the inner philosophy and mysticism.

Philosophy is the study of the three great principles of omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. Since the great prefix omni means "in all ways, in all places, and of all things," we realize that our metaphysical statement that God is everywhere evenly present has been modified from these three omni principles. It is a perfect example of how statements are modified.

So does philosophy postulate our Source of life for us, and only through the study of philosophy as the hidden wisdom religion of God, can we prove our metaphysics as the truth of scientific being. From philosophy comes our basic scientific definition of principle. Any discrepancies found in philosophy have come from man's mistaken interpretation of what he sees or hears and not from the principles governing philosophy itself.

Since philosophy deals with God as principle, individual study and experiences have given us positive, stable conclusions. And when we correctly follow in obedience all rules under philosophy, we shall have stable results.

Mysticism: Our last and fifth phase or category is altogether invisible and each one must apply his own set of rules for the opening of the mystic eye, the third eye of all mysteries. There are the general scientific rules of psychology and metaphysics for practice training in discipline and obedience that must be followed by every student.

There is no shortcut to mysticism. However, each student must adapt the practice of mysticism to suit his own time and space practice. Mysticism deals entirely with God as personality and man's relationship to it.

Mysticism deals with that which is mysterious and, because it is always veiled, vaguely stated, made obscure and hard to interpret, it is often misunderstood. This is a necessary precaution taken for the safety of the student, for it is through personality, only, that Power can be invoked.

The mysteries are so veiled as to protect the seeker after Power, making it nearly impossible for the student to release Power he has no ability to control. Only with complete comprehension of what released Power is capable of doing is it safe to invoke it.

The invisible Power is as great as the difference between the horse and buggy stage and a jet powered plane. The veil between the visible world and the invisible Source is fast being torn asunder. The unknown is becoming the known.

Science is already doing the greater works Jesus promised his followers would do. We have the potential ability, and the greater Power is ready and waiting to be invoked for our healing work now, if we let the Light do the work.

The real nature of God as personality can only be revealed to man through his study of mysticism. Principle tells us about God. Personality, as a Father opening all the doors of devotion for man, becomes a living, breathing, o'ershadowing Being of Light to follow upward in ascension of mind, heart, body and affairs gladly and joyously.

Jesus gave us this so-great gift, a comforting, understanding, a believable, acceptable Father who neither slumbers nor sleeps, but is ever present and available to hear our call.

The church gave us the first Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Metaphysics followed much later with the modern trinity of the Father, Mother and the Son.

Today we know that the Father-God Principle of Wisdom and the Mother-God principle of Love combine as One and become the Light from which all form is created. Today we know that original Light must contain all that is at the Source, so we form our new trinity of Mind, Power and Substance for our present day creations.

When we use our miracle words, "Let there be Light," Mind touches the master switch which sends Power into action, and Power must act upon Substance, causing it to fill our creative molds.

When we, the Christed ones, stand in unwavering faith, holding fast to our vivid imagination, allowing nothing to interfere with our burning desire, while breathing deeply and reaching for the stars, we cannot avoid the abundance, the lavishness of our miracles.

Our bodies and affairs follow a strong divine pattern as we conquer self, overcome all obstacles, and live by the Light of the soul, our divine identity of immortality established here and now.


Oh, Thou, the Source of all life, the glory of all souls, Thou who dost sustain Thy Creations with the Light and the glory of Thyself, hear us as we offer our devotion and give unto Thee our gratitude for all Thou hast ever done for us in the past when we were unconscious of our Source and when we knew not our identity with Thee.

Let this immortality of our souls show through. Let us ever be conscious that the Light is doing the work. "Not I, but my Father does the work, my Father works hitherto" and every desire of my heart for a miracle is now established and sustained by the Light of the Living God and shall become manifest.

Thank You, Fathers. Thank you, Lord. We hear, we heed, we obey and our lives shall be a glory unto Thee. Thank You, Father! Amen.

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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

This is an Edna Lister recording script used January 5, 1969.

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