The Via Christa: Via Christa Life: The Truth: Appearances vs. Reality

The Truth: Appearances Versus Reality

By Linda Mihalic

Appearance is “the act or an instance of coming into sight. The act or an instance of coming into public view. Outward aspect. Something that appears; a phenomenon. A superficial aspect; a semblance. Outward indications; circumstances.”—American Heritage Dictionary.

Reality is “The quality or state of being actual or true. One, such as a person, an entity, or an event, that is actual. The totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence. That which exists objectively and in fact.”—American Heritage Dictionary.

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”—John 8:32

The entire issue of appearance versus reality is one of perception and discernment. The truth of appearances is temporal, ephemeral, and often deceiving; however, the truth of reality is eternal and unalterable by anything because it is God. Eternal, universal truths never change but man's perception of them may. The materialists believe only in tangible forms of substance — what you can’t sense or measure does not exist, which eliminates the need for an invisible soul, or for God. Hedonism uses sophistry to persuade, to mentally manipulate man into believing that sensory pleasure is the greatest good. Thus, to the hedonist, man is a body whose every urge must be gratified to attain satisfaction. That describes no more than the so-called “life” of a one-celled paramecium or amoeba.

The Via Christa is the eternal Way to go home to God. As a pilgrim on the Via Christa you remember the truth that you are a soul who currently wears a physical body. You do not need to get or to keep freedom, for you already are as free as you think and believe you are. What you really need is to remember who and what you are, which will cause you to remember why you are here and what you are supposed to be doing. How do you do all this? Walk the Via Christa with Jesus, and by applying the universal laws of wisdom and love that he taught, and ascend to the perfection of soul that Edna Lister showed us how to do. Remember, our Lord also promised, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”—Luke 12:32. No one can sell you the keys to the kingdom, nor can you buy your way in save for the price of deliberately choosing to sacrifice the little self in favor of being a ruling soul. Will you slavishly, mindlessly serve self, or serve God in full soul consciousness?

A word of advice: Each soul’s experience is unique. Learning styles differ, and one style does not fit all. People learn in many ways, using their senses — visually, by seeing pictures, still or moving, by listening to stories, lectures or conversations, by reading the printed word, jumping to conclusion, or imagining a reason for what you see and hear. While watching visual media or listening to a speaker or teacher, you are constantly experiencing physical sensations and reacting to expressions, gestures, tones of voice, and the degree of noise in the room. In short, you are constantly processing far more information than what is being imparted to you by images or words, written or spoken.

Inherent in life on the Via Christa are such concepts as appearance versus reality, conscious awareness, attention to details, the golden silence, conquering self, idle words, illusions, self-delusions, and command of your emotions and thoughts. Each of these ideas is the basis for a particular kind of self-discipline that you must practice in ascending degrees to reach absolute mastery over the self.

A last word—while any discipline works best once it has become “automatic,” resting in that “nest,” or “going to sleep” in the technique will slow your ascension process into a stasis of self-congratulation on your past performance, just as Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt by looking back at the past. At best you will return to jumping to conclusions or plain old confusion.

Edna Lister said, “There is no easy way to conquer the self.” If there were, someone would have bottled and sold it by now. We offer no videos or animations on this site, and a minimum of diagrams and illustrations. Some people have found that reading this work aloud helps them, or listening to another reading it.

Edna Lister on the Truth of Appearances vs. the Truth of Reality

God is the reality.—Edna Lister, God as Consciousness Appears as Form, 1933.

Any conflict has its source in the subconscious, which is not a mind but a belief in two powers, God and self. This appearance of discord has no law of God, no life of God, no substance of God. Therefore, the appearance has no real Power to sustain or maintain itself. You lift instantly by knowing the truth under the principle of nonresistance. Then you are in no danger of first taking it into your consciousness, then later having to lift it out and up.—Edna Lister, God as Consciousness Appears as Form, 1933.

The spoken Word of "let" will open the vibration to pour forth.—Edna Lister, September 6, 1938.

“Feed my sheep.”—John 21:17. Use Light for all good for you and the Master’s sheep, whom you feed daily with the Light of your eyes and the joy of your heart.—Edna Lister, November 14, 1938.

Absolute darkness will appear as Light when you no longer fear that darkness will touch you. The Father cannot interfere with darkness while a person hides it within. Yet once he sends it afar as thought, word or action, God can change it into Light using you.—Edna Lister, September 10, 1939.

Light stirs up what you have outgrown and brings it to the surface for you to melt and dissolve it from your life into Light.—Edna Lister, November 1, 1939.

The first fundamental law of expression is to ignore the truth of appearances and to accept, surrender to, and declare the truth of reality, the secret of creation in Genesis, which is to declare, “Let there be Light,” and your creation good, “It is good and very good.” Discerning the truth of appearances versus the truth of reality is always an initiation.—Edna Lister, April 13, 1945.

Climb to the heart of Light to dress your creations in garments of Light. The more Light you add to your creations, the faster they manifest.—Edna Lister, April 14, 1947.

You are creating your own heaven right now. The kind of heaven, the constancy of its Light, depends on you.—Edna Lister, June 3, 1947.

If you can come down, you have not conquered. Move into your soul’s room of Light. Live and move by your Oversoul.—Edna Lister, June 20, 1947.

Do not contemplate evil, but always the Light. You may not descend into the valley of the shadows to see, consider or entertain evil.—Edna Lister, August 24, 1947.

Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan,” because he knew you can let darkness push you into the Light.—Edna Lister, December 18, 1952.

Each receives according to his faith. If you live by earth’s standards, the truth of appearance, and part-time by the full faith of God, your results will be indifferent.—Edna Lister, January 12, 1953.

"God is good" is the greatest statement of reality anyone on earth can make.—Edna Lister, June 23, 1953.

No matter what hits you, the answer is going up for more Light, the heavy stream of water to quench the blaze. No variation is possible, you go up in consciousness and say, “This is good to lift.”—Edna Lister, October 22, 1953.

Only a few can ride the clouds of glory seeing only reality without recognizing earth’s mud, quicksand, blows, kicks or scoldings. Declare, “This is good to lift now. I have no past. I am too busy planning my future.”—Edna Lister, October 25, 1953.

God consciousness is the cure for illusions.—Edna Lister, The Golden Silence, June 18, 1954.

Carry your torch of Light wherever you go.—Edna Lister, Go Preach the Gospel, July 22, 1956.

Get hot under the collar about God! “Move over, God! Here I come! I stand under the Light and say, ’It is good!’”—Edna Lister, April 4, 1957.

You cannot explain the truth or prove God for anyone. Lift their meanness. Look at them when they are cruel, and say, “You are perfect,” and, “This is good.”—Edna Lister, May 9, 1957.

The law says up or down, in or out. Ignore the appearance of darkness around you, and declare it good. “Not I, but the Power does the work.” The choice always lies with you.—Edna Lister, June 6, 1957.

Declare it good, no matter what! Stand still in the Light when you speak the Word, and wait on the Lord.—Edna Lister, July 4, 1957.

Do not ignore evil, but lift it with a scooping motion of your hands. Put a platform of Light under everybody who speaks tearing down words.—Edna Lister, December 15, 1957.

When you declare the evil is good, God moves in.—Edna Lister, January 21, 1958.

Nothing is too small to declare good, and you receive twenty times the credit in answers. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.—Edna Lister, September 4, 1958.

“I accept that this is good” is the only perfect way to create less inadvertent force. You are more aware of your negligence, wallowing, and recognize the need to climb.—Edna Lister, September 4, 1958.

No matter the situation, stand with arms crossed and say, “This is Light. This is good. This is God expressing.” Nothing can appear on earth that God cannot turn to good.—Edna Lister, September 4, 1958.

Acceptance means “to consent to receive, atonement, to agree to the terms of.” God’s terms are “This is good.”—Edna Lister, October 9, 1958.

“Good” calls God’s name on the atoms of any object and they ascend and respond to that term “good” and turn back into Light.—Edna Lister, October 30, 1958.

Declare it good for all to see Light and the reason for another person’s actions. If you call them good, no matter how faulty they are, you release enough Light for all to see to lift. Calling it good and very good makes the life sparks respond to God.—Edna Lister, March 31, 1959.

You have it half conquered when you grasp the idea of perfect evil. There can be a perfect evil, perfect crime, etc. We are lifting perfect evil into perfect good. The hook of perfection turns evil into good. This is why we say that evil is good. All is good and perfect now.—Edna Lister, May 18, 1959.

Love God with your all. Don’t just struggle toward the Light and do your “best.”—Edna Lister, October 15, 1959.

No matter what others do, declare them good and stick ’em on a cloud.—Edna Lister, October 22, 1959.

Instantly reach up and release Light when you see evil. God explodes a “bomb” of Light over it the moment you declare it good, no matter how it looks.—Edna Lister, February 4, 1960.

“This is good” is the keynote of an ascensding consciousness. If you must persuade yourself of this, you are in the mud. Declare, “I will arise, go to my Father’s house and remain there.”—Edna Lister, March 21, 1960.

Whatever comes, declare, “This is the best thing that ever happened to me.” If you don’t declare it good constantly, you may as well be cursing God. If you fight little self, you are fighting God.—Edna Lister, March 21, 1960.

Light washes the self clean with your first avowal, “I will be whole! I will lift self.” If you look back, self is ruling you again. Reach up and say, “More Light! Let it in! This is good! More Light! More Light!” Don’t be wishy-washy about what is real.—Edna Lister, March 22, 1960.

Girding your loins with truth means to apply Wisdom, Love and Selflessness, the Emanations that are the foundation abstract principles of being.—Edna Lister, June 6, 1960.

Declare everything “good,” look up, remain high and pay no attention to it.—Edna Lister, March 21, 1961.

Rejoice and be glad under all conditions, for your declaration, “This is good,” must be born under the spirit of praise and devotion to God.—Edna Lister, December 13, 1962.

At the first sign of self-blame, stop, move up in consciousness and say, “This is right. This is good. Truth is God’s way for me. I am doing God’s perfect work for me now, His way, according to His will.” Thus, you erase old patterns with new ideas and statements.—Edna Lister, January 24, 1963.

Declare, “It is working together for good,” and it will be, according to your faith and desire.—Edna Lister, The Rebirth, June 9, 1963.

Reality is subject to universal expansion, personality is subject to infinite diversification, and both are capable of virtually unlimited divine coordination and eternal stabilization. This is the premise of law, the Source of truth for your unlimited capacities, the foundation from which anyone can do anything.—Edna Lister, Personality, Energy and Pattern, October 27, 1964.

Pay no attention to evil or the appearance of the not good. Just declare everything good!—Edna Lister, March 4, 1966.

You are free to choose to declare everything is Light and to ignore darkness. Though the appearance seems dark, even a comment that it looks dark will lower the vibration.—Edna Lister, August 1, 1966.

It’s always your choice of what to believe: the truth of earth’s appearances or the reality of God’s truth.—Edna Lister, Undated papers.

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New Testament on the Truth of Appearances vs. the Truth of Reality

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.—John 7:24.

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Old Testament on the Truth of Appearances vs. the Truth of Reality

The Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his [Saul’s] stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart [reality].—1 Samuel 16:7.

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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

Discerning the truth of appearances versus the truth of reality is an initiation.

Statement of Absolute Truth

Back of all appearance stands the changeless reality. That reality is God, Mind, Spirit, principle or Substance. Reality is the Mind that thinks and plans. Reality is the Power that works and achieves, and the Substance that becomes. Reality is the law that governs and controls. The Mind of reality is perfect. The Power of reality is perfect. The Substance of reality is perfect. The law of reality is perfect.—Thomas Parker Boyd

Lift Not the Painted Veil

Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,—behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it—he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley


American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016; ISBN 9780544454453.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

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

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. “Lift Not the Painted Veil.” The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Volume 2 of 2. Thomas Hutchinson, Editor, Oxford Edition, 1914.

Related Topics

See God as Consciousness Appears as Form

See Illusion

See Reality