The Body, Your Personal Law of Being

The body is "the physical or material frame or structure of man, the whole material organism viewed as an organic entity; the physical and mortal aspect of a person as opposed to the soul or spirit."

The body expresses your personal law of being, rooted in the principle of substance. The body is your relative expression of the principle of form; thus, the body is a law of doing.

The Neophyte's Vow: "I vow to make my body a fitting dwelling place for my soul." You are not your body. You are a soul, who has a body. If you follow your soul's desire, you will take your body along.

You build the body not only with air, water, food exercise and rest, but with every thought, emotion, choice, word and action. In other words, the body expresses every "I," "me" and "my" statement you speak. You wear your thoughts and emotions in your outer form.

Edna Lister's Sermons and Lectures on the Body
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Edna Lister on the Body

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." – Matthew 6:22. You may also read this law: "If therefore thine I be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." – Edna Lister, Life as Light, February 23, 1936.

Removing the "beam" in your eye is better than to try to pluck the "mote" from your brother's eye. To care for this law means health of body and soul, Light on the path, and peace in your heart. – Edna Lister, August 7, 1938.

Your complaints about seating conditions reconstruct a bum back, for the subconscious rebuilds the body's old condition. – Edna Lister, May 30, 1940.

Conscious living and seeing are only a matter of raising the body and glands' vibration high enough. This must be a slow process, for it takes time to create a delicately poised, perfect body. – Edna Lister, September 8, 1944.

Your body, to be used as a possible instrument, must ever burn with zeal. – Edna Lister, September 11, 1944.

Misusing the law for self always causes terrible wear and tear on the body. – Edna Lister, November 2, 1944.

Come up out of your body and let in the Light. Stiffness or pain results when you have shut out Light. – Edna Lister, July 4, 1945.

[Someone complained that her arms were too hairy.] You do not have a problem outside, external to you. You have a problem inside. You are not hairy outside, but inside. Be happy and joyous about the body you built. If you see a beautiful body elsewhere, say, “That is the type of body I am building in the next incarnation.” You have only started to conquer your self-pity. Do not hide it or hug it to yourself. God cannot do anything until you do something about your self, until you clean house first.

People too often let ridicule stop them. The most spiritual person can have the greatest pride. A jungle creature attitude causes pride — as in a pride of lions. Pride is one of the worst hangovers, and purely an emotional thing. If you are self-conscious about it, you have not worked it out. Do not waste any thought or time on self-pity. Be thankful for such a beautiful body. Anything I have is mine. I earned it. I can change it only by earning something different. Nothing is impossible to God. Your desire to cover up and hide is still there, but your Oversoul causes you to confess.

There is no great nor small when it comes to missing the details. To neglect a detail is the greatest weakness in your chain of life. This weakness becomes your greatest strength when you conquer it. The greatest inhibition, a hidden thing, becomes the crowning glory of your strength. The body is yours to rebuild as you will when you eradicate the fear of something harmful to you. God will not reward you with harm for your great sacrifices of the self. Act as if you have it, and it will become so speedily. – Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

The law of the consuming fire of Mother Love will either burn out the dross and consume all darkness, or burn out the body. Letting and lifting will consume the dross completely to purify and fully ascend the body and soul. – Edna Lister, July 25, 1945.

Just make up your mind, then take your body with you. – Edna Lister, August 8, 1945.

You are no good to God in a poor body, which results from misusing soul substance. – Edna Lister, November 6, 1946.

The body essence is a spiritual substance, the sum of your thoughts today. – Edna Lister, November 6, 1946.

You have no excuse for moving down into the body. – Edna Lister, June 17, 1947.

Self-pity and grief deplete the body until old age creeps in. – Edna Lister, July 14, 1947.

Rest from above. Let your muscles and nerves "let go," but remain high in consciousness. – Edna Lister, August 17, 1947.

Rise above your body and command it when it aches and pains. – Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

Your body will grow properly when you know your exact point of physical balance. Stand with your spine in a straight line, squarely on the balls and heels of your feet. Bend and straighten your knees several times daily to align your hips. Extend your elbows straight out from your sides to straighten your shoulders. – Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

You shall gain that high fine point of soul consciousness, so that you will never again descend into your body. This is the goal of your work. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1947.

An ascended body allows the Light to move in and raise the vibration of the physical cells. This is the process of ascension. You are here to explode the atom for the energy you use. When you have exploded all the atomic substance in your body, just raise your hands and the atomic substance of the third breath, moves in and energizes you. – Edna Lister, June 17, 1949.

Anyone can rebuild his body because the Power of the living God can recreate substance and reform it into perfect shape. Breathing the almighty Power of the Holy Breath is the basis for healing. Make a five-pointed star of your body and rest for five minutes before meals. After working, declare, "The Power of God revitalizes me and I can work another eight hours." Do not go to bed to pray. When you want to go to bed and cover your head, gird your loins for greater strength instead. – Edna Lister, August 4, 1949.

Fasting causes catabolism, tearing down cells, and sets up a body clamor for something to work on. Power cannot move through a weakened body. Fast for 16 to 18 hours at a time, but only once or twice a week.

When you eat or drink, just a drop on the end of the tongue stimulates the maxillary glands, which spray your food for the thyroid gland's action. Then the salivary glands induct it and spray it for the stomach. Digestion begins with the first drop on the tongue and causes the correct working of the liver, gall bladder and all digestive organs. Take time to masticate or the thyroid becomes inactive and impairs spiritual seeing and hearing.

Every process of living, metabolism and sublimation begins at the tip of the tongue. The thyroid reacts on the gonads to affect the pineal and pituitary as the fluids trigger a response that ascends the spinal column. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Sweets excite all lower emotional centers and drag you down when you are trying to ascend; they also create toxic by-products. – Edna Lister, August 15, 1949.

Each must eventually choose to ascend his body to gain long life. – Edna Lister, August 6, 1950.

The body and its functioning depend entirely on the principles of doing, and you can understand it according to the categories of metaphysics and psychology. – Edna Lister, Atomic Energy and Creative Mind, September 30, 1952.

Declaring any ailment "good" overcomes, sets aside all medical law, and causes the great miracle you desire. Declaring it good and standing in faith means that medical law cannot affect the body. What a doctor says does not mean a thing. – Edna Lister, May 28, 1953.

You sometimes lock yourself in your body at night when you are tired. Avoid this. – Edna Lister, June 23, 1953.

If you must speak for one against another, lift the offender to wipe the taint from his body, and treat his weak spot, because blame and reviling can cause disease later. – Edna Lister, December 13, 1954.

Your body is the chalice of the Almighty, and this is lost wisdom. – Edna Lister, Heavenly Manna, August 14, 1955.

God created you according to a divine pattern. It is possible for every cell of your body to inhale and exhale Light and love, but you must live in perfection to do it. – Edna Lister, November 20, 1955.

You tend to descend into the body with pain. This is exactly when to move up in consciousness and say, "Move in, Father. I am Thine. Possess me, and use me!" – Edna Lister, March 4, 1956.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for." – Hebrews 1:11 — thus, faith is the substance of your perfect body. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1956.

You have no reason to be rabid about diet. To diet every day is best. Hold, in the main, to constancy with no mental-emotional dependence on special foods. – Edna Lister, April 4, 1957.

Recreate your body by living in the Light; your health potential is a perfect body. Act as if you already have it. – Edna Lister, December 30, 1957.

Lift your consciousness, not the physical body. – Edna Lister, January 21, 1958.

If you descend in consciousness, you fall into the body. – Edna Lister, February 4, 1958.

Weeding out subconscious habits and taints rebuilds the body. – Edna Lister, October 24, 1958.

Man's resistance "kills" him. Resistance causes your body to push 14.7 lb. psi. No wonder people are tired at night. – Edna Lister, October 30, 1958.

Don't go to God while talking about your body. – Edna Lister, May 14, 1959.

Do not dangle half in and half out of your body. – Edna Lister, Transfiguration, Resurrection and Ascension, May 19, 1959.

At night you crawl into your body to sleep on the idea of getting some rest. Instead, set the subconscious like a clock and put your body on a cloud, upheld by angels of fire. – Edna Lister, February 23, 1960.

A hedonist adores, pampers and worships his physical equipment. – Edna Lister, February 23, 1960.

Be God-conscious, not body-conscious! The only legal statements to describe physical limitations are "I am good, and getting better." – Edna Lister, March 21, 1960.

You don't heal the body by dwelling on it. – Edna Lister, March 21, 1960.

When a soul has no "coin of the realm" in ascension credits, the body must pay. – Edna Lister, June 27, 1960.

Change your thoughts, pictures, emotions, and the body can do nothing but respond. – Edna Lister, December 29, 1960.

You leaven your body with what you think you hide from the soul. Thus, you create excuses to be ill and weak. – Edna Lister, December 29, 1960.

Indulging or pampering the self with too much rest debilitates the body. You must learn to balance the outflow with the inflow of energy, holding them in balance. – Edna Lister, June 9, 1961.

Diet consists of metabolism (the ability to build perfection), anabolism (gathering the good from the physical and spiritual sustenance) and catabolism (tearing down the old). God provides food for the birds, but He does not put it in their nests or mouths. You must do something about it. You must do your part.

Some metaphysical correspondence explains every organ and system in the physical. For instance, one who argues affects his liver, and anger affects the spleen. – Edna Lister, August 9, 1962.

The first orientation skill is for the mind to dominate the hands, no matter what the body is doing. Never let the subconscious mind get away with directing the hands. Orient yourself to the cardinal points, to direct your mind north and orient your soul, no matter which direction you face. – Edna Lister, January 10, 1963.

The body cannot ascend and live without adding rarified soul substance from above. – Edna Lister, March 18, 1965.

Metabolism functions on kinetic power generated through chemical changes such as breathing and digestion. Pain is an unequal distribution of power among the body systems and cells. – Edna Lister, February 12, 1966.

The world rests itself to death because most people are too rest-conscious. Make your mind and thinking Light-conscious. You need more Light and enough deep, refreshing sleep, not "rest." – Edna Lister, April 7, 1966.

Your goal is to fill your outer body with Light so that the Father can enfold you, with no separation. – Edna Lister, April 25, 1966.

The life of God forms everything out here, including your body. – Edna Lister, May 26, 1967.

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A Declaration for the Body

You tend to descend into the body with pain. This is exactly when to move up in consciousness and say, "Move in, Father. I am Thine. Possess me, and use me!" – Edna Lister, March 4, 1956.

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New Testament on the Body

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23.

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. – Luke 11:34-36.

Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? – Matthew 6:25.

Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. – Luke 12:22-23.

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? – Matthew 6:27.

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.

Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. – Luke 12:4-5.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41.

Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. – Mark 14:38.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. – John 3:6.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. – John 6:63.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be – Romans 8:5-7.

That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? – 1 Corinthians 15:36-54.

We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. – 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. – James 2:26.

If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. – James 3:2.

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.

Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. – 1 Peter 2:11.

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. – 1 Peter 4:1-2.

Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. – 1 Peter 4:5-6.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. – 1 John 2:15-17.

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Old Testament on the Body

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. – Genesis 9:3-6.

Bris: The Covenant: This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. – Genesis 17:10-14.

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. – Proverbs 18:8 and Proverbs 26:22.

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The Body 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.

All flesh consorts according to kind, and a man will cleave to his like. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 13:16.

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.

Cease loving the flesh and being afraid of sufferings; you have yet to be abused and accused unjustly, to be shut up in prison, condemned unlawfully, crucified without reason, and buried by the evil one. – The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

When the Word came by means of fleshly form, nothing blocked his course, because incorruptibility is irresistible; he spoke new things, still speaking about what is in the heart of the Father, having brought forth the flawless Word. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

The visible members which are dead [the physical body] shall not be saved, for (only) the living members which exist within them [the spiritual body] would arise. – Treatise on the Resurrection, Codex I, 4.

We are drawn to heaven by Christ, like beams by the sun, not being restrained by anything. This is the spiritual resurrection which swallows up the psychic in the same way as the fleshly. – Treatise on the Resurrection, Codex I, 4.

He who has recognized the world has found the body, but he who has found the body is superior to the world. – 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.

Fear not the flesh nor love it. If you fear it, it will gain mastery over you. If you love it, it will swallow and paralyze you. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

Marriage in the world is a mystery; how much more is the spiritual marriage a true mystery. It is not fleshly, but pure. It belongs not to desire, but to the will. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

Visible bodies survive by devouring creatures similar to them with the result that the bodies change. That which changes will decay and perish, and has no hope of life from then on, since that body is bestial. So just as the body of the beasts perishes, so also will these formations perish. [This typifies "You are what you eat."] – Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7.

Some, who although having wings, rush upon the visible things that are far from the truth. For the fire, which guides them, will give them an illusion of truth, will shine on them with a perishable beauty, and it will imprison them in a dark sweetness and captivate them with fragrant pleasure. And it has fettered them with its chains and bound all their limbs with the bitterness of the bondage of lust for those visible things that will decay and change and swerve by impulse. They are attracted downwards; as they are killed, they are assimilated to all the beasts of the perishable realm. – Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7. [This "fire" is not the high Light, but the creative fire, which being rooted and grounded in desire, seduces the body to attend to the "truth of appearances" first. Thus is the human will suborned and eventually corrupted to serve the dubious pleasures of the physical.]

Things visible among men will dissolve – for the vessel of their flesh will dissolve, and when it is brought to naught it will come to be among visible things, among things that are seen; then the fire which they see gives them pain on account of love for the faith they formerly possessed. They will be gathered back to that which is visible. – Thomas the Contender, Codex II, 7. [This "fire" is not the high Light, but the creative fire, which being rooted and grounded in desire, seduces the body to attend to the "truth of appearances" first. Thus is the human will suborned and eventually corrupted to serve the dubious pleasures of the physical.]

The lamp of the body is the mind. As long as the things inside you are set in order, your body is luminous. – The Dialogue of the Savior, Codex III, 5:2.

If one does not understand how the body, which he bears, came into existence, he will perish with it. – The Dialogue of the Savior, Codex III, 5.

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 labors with inquiring, enduring distress in the body, learning about the Inscrutable One. – Authoritative Teaching, Codex VI, 3.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister

Etymology of body: Middle English bodi, from Old English bodig trunk, chest.

The body expresses a law of being.

The body expresses a law of doing.


The body being only the covering of the soul, at its dissolution we shall discover the secrets of nature — the darkness shall be dispelled, and our souls irradiated with light and glory; a glory without a shadow, a glory that shall surround us; and from whence we shall look down, and see day and night beneath us: and as now we cannot lift up our eyes towards the sun without dazzling, what shall we do when we behold the divine light in its illustrious original? – Seneca, as quoted by Allibone, 7

'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners. – William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 1, Scene 3

The human body is the best picture of the human soul. – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred. – Walt Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric


Shakespeare, William. "Othello," Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Act 1, Scene 3. W.J. Craig, editor. London: Oxford University Press, 1914; New York: 2000 [accessed February 21, 2017].

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).

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

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass, "I Sing the Body Electric," no. 19. David McKay, editor. Philadelphia: 1900; 1999 [accessed February 21, 2017].

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Philosophical Investigations, Part II. G. E. M. Anscombe, translator. G.E.M. Anscombe and R. Rhees, editors. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1953, 178.

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