Death, a Law of Doing

Death is "the act or fact of dying; the end or termination of life, the final cessation of the vital functions; the state of being dead." Death is strictly a phenomenon of the material universe.

So long as the immortal soul inhabits the body, as its vehicle in the material world, that body remains "alive." When the soul leaves that earthly vehicle, the body dies, having lost its animating vitality.

The soul is immortal —
the body is not

In contemplating death or in grieving for a loved one, we must remember that since the soul is immortal, only the body can die. At the moment of death, which we call transition, the soul, which is the repository of consciousness, transitions from one state of consciousness to another.

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days." – Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

Death is also defined as "the want or loss of spiritual life; the being or becoming spiritually dead." Every cessation of consciousness into "sleep" is a "little death." Every metaphorical death in consciousness shortens the length of an earth life for the embodied soul, as do curses and dark thoughts.

The physical reasons for death are always rooted in the metaphysical. While death may seem a mystery on the physical level, we may clearly understand death metaphysically.

Only that which is bound in time and space can die. The soul is immortal and lives beyond time or space.

Edna Lister on Death

The best way to prepare for a future life is to be kind, live one day at a time, and do the very best that you can do each day. – Edna Lister, March 12, 1938.

We believe in the purifying process of sorrow, and that death is but a manifestation of eternal life. – Edna Lister, March 12, 1938.

To inflate the little self is a death of truth indeed. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1939.

Not one prayer shall be lost, nor one hour's devotion shall go astray. They are all written in the Book of Life from which all Creation stems. – Edna Lister, June 18, 1942.

Praise vitalizes any dying thing, whether a deadened or disabled cell, a crystallized intellect, or paralyzed business. – Edna Lister, September 29, 1942.

Death is more than the final transition from physical life. To turn your life around is a death of your old ways of being, and brings a new incarnation. Thus, you may be reborn endlessly, and without leaving the body. – Edna Lister, August 28, 1944.

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." – Hebrews 13:8. Life is deathless, ageless and abiding, the same yesterday, today and forever, and we are life embodied. – Edna Lister, January 8, 1945.

Everyone who dies to the old sees the main objective and main darkness of his life. – Edna Lister, May 19, 1947.

A live wire kills because it has too much life for a body to take, and needs a stepdown transformer. God needs you as the stepdown transformer of His Power of life. – Edna Lister, June 7, 1951.

You must lift the fear of death, which is a concoction of evil, from earth. – Edna Lister, June 17, 1954.

Anyone who has taken a life deliberately and with malice has lost the right to live among men. – Edna Lister, July 6, 1954.

Death takes a holiday as you speak the Word. – Edna Lister, Seven Degrees in the Great Pyramid, November 30, 1954.

Pride, resentment and intolerance cause deathly travail. Someone who loves enough must breathe life back into them. – Edna Lister, December 20, 1956.

You can pour out life as a challenge to darkness and bring back to life what was thought dead. You can bring the dead to life. Ask for real miracles. – Edna Lister, March 6, 1958.

Stop cutting off life immortal by false "if" and "but" statements. – Edna Lister, March 18, 1958.

Death is the highest love vibration. Only love can change a form or coax a soul from the body. – Edna Lister, October 23, 1958.

The mystery of death reveals that what we call physical death is a life-vibration raised so high that the physical cells, molecules and atoms cannot stand the strain, burst, and so free the embodied soul. The death ray is the lowest degree of the Emanation of Love. Death of the little self, of old imagination, thinking and desire, is the lowest degree of initiation under the love ray. – Edna Lister, What Is Symbolism? October 6, 1959.

Look into the face of death, declare it good, no matter what, and you will be giving God your all. – Edna Lister, October 15, 1959.

Old age means to let go of alertness and vitality, letting go of the goal, living from day to day as the world sees it. To be alive and alert, you must go higher. It is a definite choice between life and death: Vigilance and steadfastness every moment are major keynotes of life. – Edna Lister, February 23, 1960.

Little self is "dead wrong" and leads to weakness and death. Soul is Light, "alive right." – Edna Lister, What Is Your Measure of Power? June 12, 1960.

There is no separation at death of the physical body, for life goes on forever with a closer than ever companionship. – Edna Lister, November 29, 1962.

Your loved ones who have passed over before you help to prepare your place as you near the time of joining them after your passing, death of the physical. – Edna Lister, May 15, 1963.

All those who hate Me love death. – Proverbs 8:36. If you are not for life, you are against it. Life never leaves you alone. – Edna Lister, Before the Beginning, I Am, November 3, 1963.

Lukewarmness and indifference send you halfway down to cold death. Death is no life in your form. – Edna Lister, Before the Beginning, I Am, November 3, 1963.

You cannot have sufficient life unless you breathe deeply. The less you breathe, the more atoms collapse, so you have pain, illness, old age and death. – Edna Lister, What Is a Messiah? December 13, 1964.

What we call death is only transition, moving from one form and level to another. The word "death" has various meanings: Death is the loss of the use of faculties, the loss of the outer body and equipment, loss of identity, loss to a person of the outer image and likeness of God. The first death is when you descend from the Light. The second death is loss of identity. – Edna Lister, May 9, 1966.

"When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full‑grown, brings forth death." – James 1:15. Each is tempted and enticed by his own desires. – Edna Lister, Am I Strong to Endure, December 18, 1966.

Disintegration is a great factor in miracles. If God grants a miracle when the death ray is predominating, it could wear a body out by vibrating through it, causing the slow dissolution of cohesion between the life sparks. – Edna Lister, May 12, 1967.

When the evil remaining on earth is concentrated to be lifted, it draws the angel of death. We must have a death vibration of disintegration to lift and cleanse or nothing here would disintegrate. God does not instigate fires, for example, but the death ray takes the victims of one out with as little agony as possible.

In any holocaust or disaster, the reward is past telling for the good souls who lose their bodies. The height of the vibration when they go out is tremendous, and the violence of such a death awakens the desire body brain cells; Christ's Legions take them to the right teachers at once. For example, the young men whom they take out in war attend the right classes for their lessons, and the Father may shortcut their needed incarnations from ten to two. When they return to earth, they receive great rewards for their sacrifice. – Edna Lister, May 15, 1967.

Without a death vibration of disintegration to lift and cleanse, nothing here would disintegrate. – Edna Lister, May 15, 1967.

The world says, "Speak no ill of the dead," which means not to condemn a person after his or her transit, which is usually a revenge attitude, caused by the subconscious usurping the conscious mind's role. It can build a black cloud of misused soul substance to gather over the one who condemns, a cloud that he must then lift to be absorbed in Light. The law is to see the deceased in the Light of God, forgiven by God. You use your own soul substance to form the mold when you condemn another, and can drag him from his ascension path. To lift is like focusing a camera and snapping a picture — you never look again, just declare it perfect and good. – Edna Lister, March 16, 1968.

To go across feeling that God has cheated you creates "unfinished business." – Edna Lister, November 7, 1968.

When you kill truth, you kill yourself. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1924-1971.

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New Testament on Death

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. – Matthew 7:13-14.

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 10:39.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 16:25.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. – Mark 8:35.

Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. – Luke 9:24.

Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. – Luke 17:32-33.

God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. – John 3:16.

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. – John 3:36.

He who hears [the Christ's] word and believes in Him who sent him has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. – John 5:24.

The hour is coming ill which all who are in the graves will hear the Son of Man's voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. – John 5:28.

As the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom he will. – John 5:21.

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.

If anyone keeps [Christ's] word, he shall never see death. – John 8:51.

For those who die in service to their country: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. – John 15:13.

The wages of sin are death. – Romans 6:23.

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made us free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:2.

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, nor indeed can be. – Romans 8:6‑7.

Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ. Romans 8:38‑39.

All things are yours: whether the world or life or death, or things present or things to come – all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. – 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.

If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. – 1 Corinthians 15:16-22.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. – 1 Corinthians 15:26-31.

But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, 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? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:35-57.

When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full‑grown, brings forth death. – James 1:15.

He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. James 5:20.

If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and Christ will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. – 1 John 5:16.

Those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. – Revelation 17:8.

The dead are judged according to their works, by the things which are written in the books of Life. – Revelation 20:12.

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Old Testament on Death

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days. – Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. – Proverbs 11:19.

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. – Proverbs 13:14.

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. – Proverbs 14:27.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. – Proverbs 18:21.

Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. – Proverbs 21:6.

I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. – Ezekiel 18:32.

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways. – Ezekiel 33:11.

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction. – Hosea 13:14.

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Death in Other Sacred Writings

God created all things, that they might have their being: The generations of the world were healthful; there is no poison of destruction in them, nor was the kingdom of death upon the earth: for righteousness is immortal. – Wisdom of Solomon 1:14-15.

All men have one entrance into life, and the like going out. – Wisdom of Solomon 7:6.

Prosperity and adversity, life and death, poverty and riches, come of the Lord. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 11:14.

It is an easy thing unto the Lord in the day of death to reward a man according to his ways. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 11:26.

Judge none blessed before his death: for a man shall be known in his children. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 11:28.

Let nothing hinder thee to pay your vow in due time, and defer not until death to be justified. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 18:22.

Envy and wrath shorten the life, and carefulness brings age before the time. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 30:24.

Four manner of things appear: good and evil, life and death: but the tongue rules over them continually. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 37:18.

When you examine death, it will teach you election. None of those who fear death will be saved; for the kingdom belongs to those who put themselves [their self] to death. Make yourself like the son of the Holy Spirit! – The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

If you consider how long the world existed before you, and how long it will exist after you, you will find that your life is one single day, and your sufferings one single hour. – The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

In time, Unity will perfect the spaces. Within Unity each will attain himself; within knowledge, he will purify himself from multiplicity into Unity, consuming matter within himself like fire, and darkness by Light, death by Life. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

They do not go down to Hades, nor have they envy nor groaning nor death within them, but (rather) they rest in Him who is at rest, not striving nor being twisted around the truth. But they themselves are the truth; and the Father is within them, and they are in the Father, being perfect, being undivided in the truly good one, being in no way deficient in anything, but they are set at rest, refreshed in the Spirit. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

The Son of God was Son of Man; he embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the wholeness might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being." Treatise on the Resurrection, Codex I, 4.

The Savior swallowed up death, for he put aside the world which is perishing. He transformed himself into an imperishability and raised himself up, having swallowed the visible by the invisible, and he gave us the way of our immortality. – Treatise on the Resurrection, Codex I, 4.

If we are manifest in this world wearing him, we are his beams, and we are embraced by him until our setting, our death in this life. – Treatise on the Resurrection, Codex I, 4.

Where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death. – Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

Take heed of the Living One while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see Him and be unable to do so. – Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

He who has believed in the truth has found life, and is in danger of dying, for he is alive. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

Christ voluntarily laid down his life from the very day the world came into being. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left are brothers of one another, inseparable. Because of this neither are the good Good, nor evil Evil, nor is life Life, nor death Death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

When Eve was still with Adam, death did not exist. When she was separated from him, death came into being. If he enters again and attains his former self, death will be no more. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber. Indeed, those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated. Thus Eve separated from Adam because it was not in the bridal chamber that she united with him. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

By perfecting the water of baptism, Jesus emptied it of death. Thus we do go down into the water, but we do not go down into death, in order that we may not be poured out into the spirit of the world. When that spirit blows, it brings the winter. When the Holy Spirit breathes, the summer comes. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

Ignorance is the mother of all evil. Ignorance will result in death, because those who come from ignorance neither were nor are nor shall be. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

This world is a corpse-eater. All the things eaten in it themselves die also. Truth is a life-eater. Therefore no one nourished by truth will die. – 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.

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.

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

Edna Lister

Etymology of death: Middle English deeth, from Old English death, dheu-, dead, to die.

Death is a relative and concrete law of doing.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. – John Donne, 1572-1631, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

Death Be Not Proud
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and souls delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
John Donne, 1572-1631, Holy Sonnets, 10

All Is Well
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
… I am waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be
as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting
when we meet again!
Henry Scott Holland, 1847-1918

Crossing the Bar
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson


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.

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