Degree and Kind, a Law of Being and of Doing

A degree is "a step or stage in a process, especially in an ascending or descending scale, a relative condition or state of being, the relative intensity, extent, measure, or amount of a quality, attribute, or action." Kind means "implanted by nature, innate, inherent, naturally pertaining to, or associated with, a person or thing, proper, appropriate, fitting, belonging to one by right of birth, descent, or inheritance, lawful, rightful."

The law of degree and kind explains why all people do not have the same talents, skills, ability and intelligent comprehension. All souls are created with the equal right to become, but the equality ends with their choice in what kind to become and to what degree.

The law of degree and kind is rooted in the principle of nonresistance; it is an abstract principle, a law of being, and a law of doing. In 350 B.C., Aristotle wrote of the law of degree and kind in Nicomachean Ethics.

11. That the fortunes of descendants and of all a man's friends should not affect his happiness at all seems a very unfriendly doctrine, and one opposed to the opinions men hold; but since the events that happen are numerous and admit of all sorts of difference, and some come more near to us and others less so, it seems a long — nay, an infinite — task to discuss each in detail; a general outline will perhaps suffice. If, then, as some of a man's own misadventures have a certain weight and influence on life while others are, as it were, lighter, so too there are differences among the misadventures of our friends taken as a whole, and it makes a difference whether the various suffering befall the living or the dead (much more even than whether lawless and terrible deeds are presupposed in a tragedy or done on the stage), this difference also must be taken into account; or rather, perhaps, the fact that doubt is felt whether the dead share in any good or evil. For it seems, from these considerations, that even if anything whether good or evil penetrates to them, it must be something weak and negligible, either in itself or for them, or if not, at least it must be such in degree and kind as not to make happy those who are not happy nor to take away their blessedness from those who are. The good or bad fortunes of friends, then, seem to have some effects on the dead, but effects of such a kind and degree as neither to make the happy unhappy nor to produce any other change of the kind.

12. These questions having been definitely answered, let us consider whether happiness is among the things that are praised or rather among the things that are prized; for clearly it is not to be placed among potentialities. Everything that is praised seems to be praised because it is of a certain kind and is related somehow to something else; for we praise the just or brave man and in general both the good man and virtue itself because of the actions and functions involved, and we praise the strong man, the good runner, and so on, because he is of a certain kind and is related in a certain way to something good and important. This is clear also from the praises of the gods; for it seems absurd that the gods should be referred to our standard, but this is done because praise involves a reference, to something else. But if if praise is for things such as we have described, clearly what applies to the best things is not praise, but something greater and better, as is indeed obvious; for what we do to the gods and the most godlike of men is to call them blessed and happy. And so too with good things; no one praises happiness as he does justice, but rather calls it blessed, as being something more divine and better.

Eudoxus also seems to have been right in his method of advocating the supremacy of pleasure; he thought that the fact that, though a good, it is not praised indicated it to be better than the things that are praised, and that this is what God and the good are; for by reference to these all other things are judged. Praise is appropriate to virtue, for as a result of virtue men tend to do noble deeds, but encomia are bestowed on acts, whether of the body or of the soul. But perhaps nicety in these matters is more proper to those who have made a study of encomia; to us it is clear from what has been said that happiness is among the things that are prized and perfect. It seems to be so also from the fact that it is a first principle; for it is for the sake of this that we all do all that we do, and the first principle and cause of goods is, we claim, something prized and divine.

Edna Lister on Degree and Kind

Everything is good according to its degree and kind. – Edna Lister, January 28, 1933.

Your good, your "added things" come in due season according to the degree and kind of your desires. – Edna Lister, August 25, 1938.

God is omnipresent, ubiquitous and all-pervading as the Mother of Love. God is everywhere evenly present and available as the Mind that thinks and plans, as the Power that moves and energizes and as the Substance of which He forms all creation, according to degree and kind. – Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

Everybody is living after their degree and kind. – Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

"I, if I am lifted up, will draw all people to me." – John 12:32. Your ascension creates a vacuum and you are responsible for the suction action that attracts all of a similar degree and kind. – Edna Lister, September 19, 1945.

Everyone is always right, after their degree and kind. – Edna Lister, March 19, 1951.

Every individual has an aura according to his degree and kind. – Edna Lister, May 28, 1953.

A mother's love lifts according to her degree and kind. Remember, every stage, every degree, every class uses the Mother Love of God, which is credited to the individual, from the lowest to the highest, as their 100 percent ability to love. When one gives his "all" where he is, that is 100 percent. – Edna Lister, Every Mother's Domain, May 8, 1955.

Idle words betray you, but they cannot change by themselves. They follow a certain vibration and have no way of knowing that you do not mean them. They go out there, busy creating, gathering after their degree and kind, while you go on fooling yourself with more self excuses. Let's stop such nonsense. Let's be responsible and make certain that our words do follow the meditation of our hearts. – Edna Lister, Miracles or Demonstration? September 4, 1955.

Watch your words, for they will create after their degree and kind. – Edna Lister, June 12, 1958.

Each soul receives truth according to his degree and kind. – Edna Lister, A Charted Heaven, October 21, 1958.

Law is that which is derived from principle to govern, regulate and control the action of creators, man, for example, and there are varying degrees of law. Christed ones have an advanced set of laws for their use to suit their degree and kind. Mosaic law was derived from principle to govern man on the outer. The law that humanity recognizes as its own comes from a deeper set of principles, which yet remain undiscovered. – Edna Lister, March 12, 1959.

Every effort you make is like a vibration on one keynote that accumulates after its degree and kind. It returns to you as goals fulfilled, new security, new increases, new friends, new beauty, new illumination in your life. – Edna Lister, Realization, May 3, 1959.

All life exists according to its degree and kind: A rose can be no other kind of flower, but it can grow in degree from bud to full-blown. – Edna Lister, August 24, 1959.

You can relate to your fellow man only according to his degree and kind. Every individual is good where he is now. Instantly lift any thought to the contrary to a cloud continent of Light. – Edna Lister, Three Covenants Between God and Man, December 15, 1959.

The size of the portion of heart you give to love, devotion and seeking, determines how much you appropriate. Love expands that portion devoted to desire, so that the amount you appropriate depends on the degree and kind of your desire, its size and heat. Nothing limits your appropriation of Mind, Substance and Power, save the eagerness of your prayers. – Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, June 18, 1961.

When you curse God, He lets it go forth to draw unto itself all its degree and kind. When you pray, your curses are drawn in on the wings of your prayer to be lifted. Just as the curse attracts its degree and kind as it circles earth, so do the wings of prayer lift your debts to be consumed. – Edna Lister, June 7, 1962.

Thinking is a creative tool. Negative thinking creates after its own degree and kind. – Edna Lister, November 16, 1962.

Even the tiniest curse collects after its degree and kind as it goes forth. – Edna Lister, February 17, 1963.

Every word that is uttered creates after its own degree and kind. God's first Word was "Let there be Light," then He thought a form, declared it good, and that is still the law. – Edna Lister, This Is Good, Let There Be Light, November 27, 1964.

Every word you utter collects others of its degree and kind. One sentence goes around the earth five and a half times before it's even finished. This is why we declare things good. "This is good and very good." Lister, This Is Good, Let There Be Light, November 27, 1964.

You have only blessings and curses, and must eat every word you utter. Say, "It is good. Let the Light move through and heal," and according to the degree and kind of your desire, the work is done. – Edna Lister, This Is Good, Let There Be Light, November 27, 1964.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil of its degree and kind. – Edna Lister, January 4, 1965.

When you place those for whom you pray in Light, according to their degree and kind, you release them from your forcing and demands that they ascend with you. Your responsibility is to lift them all on a cloud of golden Light, according to their degree and kind. To see them in a shaft of fire with a bubble of Light around them, frees you and releases them. – Edna Lister, February 21, 1965.

God shall fulfill every promise according to your degree and kind of steadfastness with "no shadow of turning." – Edna Lister, October 27, 1966.

Every grade of substance is "solid" after its degree and kind. – Edna Lister, November 1, 1966.

Everyone is good after his own degree and kind and lives up to his degree where he is. – Edna Lister, January 11, 1968.

God establishes an altar wherever someone has prayed, according to the degree and kind of consciousness and faithfulness. – Edna Lister, May 5, 1968.

All religions are perfect after their degree and kind, no matter where you find them. – Edna Lister, Spread of Religion Through the Tribes of Israel, November 5, 1968.

Every word spoken creates after its degree and kind. To remain high in consciousness on this, remember to say, "The Christ Spirit speaks as me." – Edna Lister, August 7, 1969.

You are doing a perfect work after your degree and kind. If that is your soul-satisfying degree, remain there. If you don't want to go higher, God will let you stay where you are. It is always up to you. – Edna Lister, August 7, 1969.

We teach the deity of Christ and follow him. We believe that God can recreate us in His image and likeness if we stand, hold and believe in the Light. You can do anything according to the degree and kind of your desire to live there and "follow thou me." – Edna Lister, August 7, 1969.

There is Light on every level, according to degree and kind. – Edna Lister, Faith Complete Now, November 15, 1970.

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

Edna Lister

Etymology of degree: Vulgar Latin degradus: Latin de- "not" + Latin gradus, step.

Etymology of kind: Old English gecynd, race, offspring, kind.

Degree and kind is an absolute principle.

Degree and kind is an abstract principle.

Degree and kind is a law of being.

Degree and kind is a law of doing.

Recommended Reading

Psalms 120 to 134 are called Songs of Degrees. A Song of Degrees is a song of steps, a title given to each of these fifteen psalms, 120-134 inclusive. The probable origin of this name is the circumstance that these psalms came to be sung by the people on the ascents or goings up to Jerusalem to attend the three great festivals (Deuteronomy 16:16). They were well fitted for being sung by the way from their peculiar form, and from the sentiments they express. "They are characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by epanaphora [i.e, repetition], and by their epigrammatic style...More than half of them are cheerful, and all of them hopeful." They are sometimes called "Pilgrim Songs." Four of them were written by David, one (127) by Solomon, and the rest are anonymous. – M. G. Easton


Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics,, Book I, 11-12. W.D. Ross, translator. New York: Random House, 1941.

Easton, M.G. Illustrated Bible Dictionary, "Song of Degrees". 3rd edition. Thomas Nelson, 1897.

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).

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