Understanding, a Mental and Soul Faculty

To understand means "To have just and adequate ideas of; to comprehend; to know; as, to understand a proposition or a declaration. To have the same ideas as the person who speaks, or the ideas which a person intends to communicate. To receive or have the ideas expressed or intended to be conveyed in a writing or book; to know the meaning. To know the meaning or signs, or of anything intended to convey ideas; as, to understand a nod, a wink, or a motion. To suppose to mean. To know by experience. To know by instinct. To interpret, at least mentally. know another's meaning. To hold in opinion with conviction. To mean without expressing. To know what is not expressed. To learn; to be informed."

Understanding is "the faculty of the human mind by which it apprehends the real state of things presented to it, or by which it receives or comprehends the ideas which others express and intend to communicate. The understanding is called also the intellectual faculty. It is the faculty whereby we are enabled to apprehend the objects of knowledge, generals or particulars, absent or present, and to judge of their truth or falsehood, good or evil. Knowledge; exact comprehension. Right understanding consists in the perception of the visible or probably agreement or disagreement of ideas. Intelligence between two or more persons; agreement of minds; union of sentiments."

Understanding is a result of integrated mental faculties, the insight gained by applying the mental faculties. You gain understanding by always standing under the Light. Understanding is a soul virtue and a spiritual faculty.

Edna Lister on Understanding

Companionship involves being with someone to whom you may give understanding and empathy, as well as to receive it. – Edna Lister, Your Royal Birth, November 30, 1931.

While you are still a "child in understanding," you constantly think of what you must do, and how you will do it. God has all the answers you need. If God is your consciousness, then the right answers are always there. – Edna Lister, Imagination, February 22, 1934.

He who commands Power without the requisite and corresponding understanding runs the very real risk of destroying himself. – Edna Lister, Control Over Outer Forces and Powers, December 1, 1934.

Understanding is inevitable when you stand in the Light. – Edna Lister, Problems, December 5, 1934.

The Light from above is the light of understanding. – Edna Lister, Understanding, January 23, 1935.

Faith is a principle to which understanding is the key. – Edna Lister, The Blood of the Lamb, February 15, 1935.

When Jesus opened his disciples' understanding, the truth of the Scripture that he taught them set the world afire, and it is still flaming today. – Edna Lister, Real Christianity, February 20, 1935.

The tenets of truth are hard to understand because the world's glamour draws your attention away from what is important. – Edna Lister, Real Christianity, March 31, 1935.

Faith is a principle to which understanding is the key.

As you grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ, you begin to understand that measureless gift of the Christ mind. – Edna Lister, Growing Up In Christ, May 12, 1935.

Love is a combination of understanding, compassion and gratitude. – Edna Lister, Love Never Faileth, May 30, 1937.

Complaining when things go wrong is useless. Adversity comes to make you strong and to help you overcome your lack of understanding. – Edna Lister, The Pillar of Fire, June 11, 1937.

The symbolism of the gift of tongues is an opening of the inner vision for full knowing and understanding. – Edna Lister, Pentecost and the Holy Ghost, June 5, 1938.

You move from perception into understanding, which is standing in the Light. From there, you receive illumination. Love opens your eyes to what surrounds you, but hate blinds you to reality. – Edna Lister, Illumination Through Perception, June 26, 1938.

A defeat is nothing more than an experience that if you choose, can increase your spirit and courage. Defeat and delays are good. They broaden your perceptions, understanding and lead to illumination. – Edna Lister, Illumination Through Perception, June 26, 1938.

Let us understand one another, for of this is wisdom born. – Edna Lister, August 19, 1938.

Understanding opens your eyes and ears. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1938.

Pour out upon each other that love which has pure understanding as its source and strength. Ask not for understanding, but give it to all. – Edna Lister, January 13, 1939.

Love creates peace above all misunderstanding. – Edna Lister, February 3, 1939.

To be understanding is the prayer of the Father. – Edna Lister, February 7, 1939.

Understanding is to stand under higher Light; it blinds the eyes briefly, but lifts another veil of illusion. – Edna Lister, February 9, 1939.

God does not ask that you understand, only that you obey and surrender to the golden Light. – Edna Lister, April 26, 1939.

By trial and error, you learn that you cannot use faith without the balance of love, compassion, and understanding. – Edna Lister, Love Is the Path to God, May 7, 1939.

To understand, you must stand under God's glory. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1939.

To understand is to know above and beyond the world's knowing. – Edna Lister, November 24, 1939.

You do not need to understand anyone else. Let God understand others. Aim always to understand Him, and release Light over all. – Edna Lister, December 11, 1940.

"I can't understand" is a closed mind reveling in its own ignorance; it has no understanding wherewith to give of understanding to another. – Edna Lister, January 21, 1941.

Truth seems an illusion to those who have no understanding. – Edna Lister, February 25, 1941.

In love, stand. Understand in love. – Edna Lister, October 8, 1941.

Always seek a deeper understanding, which wipes out all intolerance. – Edna Lister, January 22, 1942.

Man uses three phases of the one Mind, subconscious, conscious and super-conscious mind. Man's confusion arises from his lack of understanding of his relationship with God. – Edna Lister, Threefold Consciousness, March 15, 1942.

Each of you is a key on earth. Open your door, so that you may move forth in Light. As you do, you are perfect in Light. You must be perfect in love, in selflessness and in understanding. Sometimes your key will not turn. When your individual key becomes stuck, Christ opens the door with Light and Power. – Edna Lister, April 3, 1942.

"Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." – Ephesians 6:13. To stand, to withstand, requires that you understand. – Edna Lister, The Two-Edged Sword, April 19, 1942.

The gospel of peace, with which you shod your feet, is understanding. – Edna Lister, The Two-Edged Sword, April 19, 1942.

For every seeking and the release of a mystery of wisdom, even a small one, you must assume a corresponding higher and ever higher responsibility to become more nearly as perfect as your Father is perfect. If you do not desire to be perfect, and are seeking truth just to be wise, then someday you will find a gate barring your further progress. It is of wisdom to know. It is of love to understand. When wisdom is greater than love, knowing is much greater than understanding, and you lack compassion of mercy to cover others' transgressions. The desire to parade that knowing grows, wisely and unwisely.

Intolerance for others and their knowledge grows within heart and mind, even to an intellectual coldness that bars the way. Intellect is the gate barring the way onward, put there not by the Father but by the seeker of greater wisdom who does not give enough of love in payment for that wisdom. Wisdom is God's Bank. Forcing wisdom is robbing God's Bank, unless you have put in plenty of love deposits: Love for God, for neighbors, for humanity, for the ways of others, and love of self to lift it unto soul-responsibility. You must deposit many loves before you may lawfully withdraw wisdom.

Only love may court wisdom. You must woo it as you would a jealous lover, and it brooks no doubts or whys. To hold wisdom fast and to receive more, you must be constant in devotion, praise and in the joy of prayer. All these things are yours to do. It is best that you purchase love at the great price of the sacrifice of self. The full surrender of self is best, if you desire wisdom. Only by eliminating the self can you make room to receive true wisdom. You may not have it for the asking only, or for constant fevered seeking. Only love opens all doors, burns down all barriers, makes dark into Light and fulfills all law.

Therefore, to make your sacrifice to love and wisdom will give you full knowledge of your responsibility. To seek forever without responsibly lifting will deaden the delicate nerves and glands of head. Finally one can seek and tell repeatedly only that small portion of Wisdom yet retained, which he will finally give away in words, until only seeking and no wisdom remains. – Edna Lister, July 29, 1942.

God tests you on your balance of desires when you are living as you personally desire. You cannot understand your lessons unless the Father advances you above what you have earned. Understanding comes only from advance beyond your ability to reach at present, to a point to which you do not yet even aspire. This is the Father's way. Your "lights" [aura] determine your true point. – Edna Lister, November 2, 1942.

God has not told us to understand others but to love them, loose them, agree with them and seek the depths of His understanding and ways. Nor has He told us to demand understanding from a single soul on earth, but never to misunderstand them. – Edna Lister, December 16, 1942.

Speak in understanding to all. No one is required to understand you, for you climb the steep way of the Master, yet you are called on to understand all others. – Edna Lister, December 20, 1943.

You are called on to understand all others, not to judge them.

The flaming sword of Spirit gives you the power to comprehend God and to understand His people. When you comprehend God, you will understand man. – Edna Lister, Rewards for Service, June 11, 1944.

You have the privilege of ascending in this lifetime. To fan the flame of your desire to the point of white heat, stand under the flame from the Source. Patience and understanding are necessary, and the choice must be yours. You may make a sacrifice of love and return to God. Love is His gift to men, and He asks nothing in return. When you ask for love, you may return only love as selfless sacrificial service. Raise the torch of love — let it burn higher. Kneel at the Mercy Seat for prayer. Make your desire known and it shall be heard. – Edna Lister, August 3, 1944.

Understanding is untouchable, has never been touched by earth. Its glory is undimmed by misuse. – Edna Lister, August 22, 1944.

To repent requires the intestinal fortitude really to dig down into the little self, face what you see and not say, "I don't understand." To say, "I don't understand," expresses the self that you are working to dig from the appetitive soul. The treadmill of the wheel of fate consists of this. The "I can't" is the "I won't" that the subconscious mind presents. "I can't understand" is "I won't understand anything that doesn't pander to my self-love, to my idea of my already-present perfection." Do not say, "I can't understand." Instead, say, "I do understand that I am a child and beginning anew, knowing nothing each day."

I do understand that my little self, the subconscious mind of appetitive soul, the life sparks of which have come up through evolution, has hidden traits of all animal life, all racial consciousness and memories of all evil of the past. It holds hidden inclinations of the opposite of every virtue. These must rise into the Light and I must sublimate them again into my rational soul. I do understand that everyone has these traits. The perfection of the Oversoul mind that was in Christ Jesus cannot lose or leave behind even a single negative thing. I must dig and dig until I have dug it all out and lifted it.

When you do this, you must face yourself. You may not say, "I can't understand" to anything on earth because this is an admission of hidden negative tendencies of the self, which will work out as experience before the world, people, groups, etc., unless you dig them out, until you accept the law. The Oversoul — the real you — does understand. Your desires, fervent and alive, keep the Gates of Light open for your ascension. All my life I have lifted self by asking myself what made me do, act, speak, react, think or imagine what I did.

Every word, every choice has a hidden reason plus a conscious one. Dig the self up, out and burn it in the fires of the soul. You do always understand. For when you do not, you are looking back and down into the hidden darkness of the little me, poor little imposed-on, misunderstood me. – Edna Lister, November 1, 1944.

Nothing can be hidden from the one who understands, meaning that once you have ascended, you see all below where you now stand. The higher the ascension, the more is opened to you. You just cannot avoid knowing if you ascend. – Edna Lister, December 28, 1944.

Your Guards can work it together for good when you acknowledge that you may have misunderstood. By your agreeing and adjusting, they can crosscut a way back to your original path. – Edna Lister, February 7, 1945.

When you can comprehend God, you will have no trouble understanding other people or life itself. – Edna Lister, The Great Challenge, February 18, 1945.

People go off the deep end when they please themselves by taking the attitude that others should understand them. By telling half-truths, they too often brand themselves as liars because, in fact, they have been deceitful before God. – Edna Lister, February 22, 1945.

Before you can comprehend God, you must understand yourself as human. – Edna Lister, Today's Challenge, April 8, 1945.

Today's aspiration must be to comprehend God and to understand man. – Edna Lister, Aspiration, May 6, 1945.

"I don't understand" or thinking that another does wrong, is opinion and prejudice. Everybody is living after his degree and kind. You do understand, so do not say, "I do not understand." That is a definite, dynamic illegal procedure. – Edna Lister, July 22, 1945.

You must be expert in understanding every situation in which you find yourself. The keynote of service is a deep, abiding understanding in which is no self. Never say, "I can't understand." Send out the Light of understanding and apply analysis to cover all others' frailties. Practicing understanding can cleanse anything. Say, "I do understand, and that one is on his path and doing what he can do now." – Edna Lister, August 11, 1945.

Nothing can be hidden from the one who understands.

Since we worship God as both personality and principle, we use the following arrangement, which satisfies our need to understand intellectually, while including personality, which we adore. Principle is the absolute framework of the universe. We worship the Light, which contains all principles. – Edna Lister, Six Creative Laws, December 1945.

Lifting means reaching to everyone who comes to you with arms of divine love, compassion and understanding. – Edna Lister, Six Creative Laws, December 1945.

"I don't understand" is the first glimmer of realization that intellectual knowledge may not be enough to answer life's questions. – Edna Lister, Quickening Spirit, January 20, 1946.

Ascension requires your understanding, willingness, and zeal. – Edna Lister, The Will Awakened to Truth, October 13, 1946.

To know that you are one with God is to comprehend, to understand unity. – Edna Lister, The Glorious Unity of Prayer, March 23, 1947.

Your keynotes of life are selfless sacrificial service, offered in a sweetly firmly final manner. Use them every hour in the day. Serve in love. Be understanding and compassionate, yet be firm. – Edna Lister, April 17, 1947.

All understanding and justice operate in you as you lift your consciousness to accept God's love. When love fills your heart, you learn to become and express it. – Edna Lister, Stepping Stones to Success, May 25, 1947.

Jesus' compassion was never softness, but perfect understanding of a soul's need and the willingness to help him help himself. – Edna Lister, Stepping Stones to Success, May 25, 1947.

Observation is the first law always, and instant acceptance, with no excuses. If you still have an impulse to say, "I don't understand. I was going to," you have no acceptance of responsibility. – Edna Lister, July 14, 1947.

You can understand only through comprehension, rising above the head and looking down through the faculties. Soul is then using the mental faculties, mind and brain cells. – Edna Lister, September 26, 1947.

Empathy begins with the desire to give another understanding. This most often means listening to the other fellow and hearing what he has to say and what he thinks, and to find out why he says and thinks as he does. – Edna Lister, October 8, 1947.

Reason is the intellectual faculty ordinarily employed in adapting thought or action to some end. Reason deals with the conscious application of abstract principles in a relative way to gain understanding. – Edna Lister, November 13, 1947.

Ascend into the Light first, and you will see and understand. – Edna Lister, December 9, 1947.

Love is an empathetic understanding, in which is no bondage. – Edna Lister, January 26, 1948.

Healing is based on understanding of humanity. – Edna Lister, June 3, 1948.

The basis of relativity is that no matter how straight a line is, it always ends as a circle. When you apply every scientific principle, understanding will balance you. – Edna Lister, July 1, 1948.

Understanding is possible only with sufficient knowledge of context.

The world must have someone who understands it and preaches divine law. The inventory period on law is from Pentecost to August 10. Take stock. Be fair in your evaluation of your understanding. You can start a negative vibration that knocks someone down, and it could take five incarnations to straighten out the repercussions. You, who understand, are fully responsible and can correct all negative vibrations. – Edna Lister, July 7, 1949.

Jesus taught the truths contained in the Sermon on the Mount 2,000 years ago, but mankind is just beginning to grasp the essence of his message. Many of his teachings remain too mystical yet for the masses to understand, let alone to live by them. – Edna Lister, Agree and Adjust, November 20, 1949.

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." – Proverbs 4:7. Unless you get understanding along with the wisdom, you will remain unable to learn your lessons going forward. Let go of the world and get God. – Edna Lister, And It Came to Pass, September 10, 1950.

The law, for aeons and eternities, is that once you leave your place, love can hold you at any outer point. So, down here, you earn your place through wisdom and understanding. – Edna Lister, September 18, 1950.

No brain is stronger than its weakest think. Understanding is the door to full comprehension. Understanding means "supporting, to stretch out, to stand under, intelligence, perception, imagination, humanity." – Edna Lister, October 3, 1950.

The Lord gave Satan power over everything Job had, and he lost family, lands, house and wealth. Job bore all the trials, but when Satan smote him with "sore boils from the sole of his foot to his crown," he could take no more. Job was "too good" to sit on boils, which represented his weakest points, so he sat in the ashes of self, the sign of healing. Understanding, compassion, and consideration for others' feelings all grow from the ashes of immolated self. – Edna Lister, Three Temptations on the Way, November 12, 1950.

You notice only behavior or tones of voice that you consciously recognize. When you conquer that same fault, you no longer condemn it in another but see them in compassion, understanding and love. It is a conquering to see what you need to conquer. Ascend on the need to lift, which is your second triumph. When you would voice criticism, bite your tongue. That creates your third triumph, which brings knowing and comprehension. Finally, love, compassion, brooding and tenderness fill you until you do not see or hear anything to criticize. This is full conquering. – Edna Lister, June 7, 1951.

The Sermon on the Mount covers every angle of human relationship and three stages of soul evolution. All stages of consciousness can understand Jesus' Sermon at some level. – Edna Lister, I Agree in Time, July 1, 1951.

Understanding is the door to full comprehension.

Jesus said, "Not I, but my Father does the work," which means that the "Power moving through me does the work." When you understand this, you truly follow the Master's Path. – Edna Lister, I AM THAT I AM, November 25, 1951.

Love has its own language of giving, understanding and compassion, and you must keep it flowing. You can always give the world compassion and understanding, knowing when and what to give through your intuition. – Edna Lister, Love Wins, October 18, 1953.

The heart represents the Promised Land of love, assimilation, understanding, and substance. – Edna Lister, Wearing Your Armor, November 15, 1953.

Jesus had to suffer all human trials or he could never have developed complete compassion and understanding. – Edna Lister, Seeing the Salvation of God, November 22, 1953.

When you see negativity in a person, you fail to accept Christ as the model of righteous judgment and fall into unrighteous judgment. Criticism is a contraction of consciousness. Ascending in love, understanding and compassion expands consciousness. When you descend in consciousness and criticize, you pay the other fellow's soul debts. – Edna Lister, March 29, 1954.

Soul freedom is freedom to ascend to comprehension, then compassion descends, bringing understanding. – Edna Lister, July 12, 1954.

Comprehend God's love, and that He means every word He says. As peace is above understanding, so is comprehension ten thousandfold greater than knowing. You must comprehend to reach divine, knowing love. – Edna Lister, Jesus, the Man of God, December 5, 1954.

To apprehend is to fully understand. "Apprehend" is a word poorly understood. To apprehend means "to grasp or to lay hold on," but also means to "know and to understand." – Edna Lister, Aspiration and Prayer, June 19, 1955.

You cannot understand faith that works miracles unless you also understand the promises that came before the miracles. Study the miracle stories in the Bible. For example, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." – Matthew 16:19. – Edna Lister, Heavenly Manna, August 14, 1955.

God has 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, understanding and complete surrender to do it. – Edna Lister, November 20, 1955.

Your finest confidence is your trust in God. Be unwaveringly confident, with a firm standing and understanding. What do you stand under? The Light and glory of God. – Edna Lister, What Confidence Is, December 11, 1955.

Your treasures in heaven include joy, faith, love, expectancy, devotion, compassion, understanding, and all soul qualities, which the world calls character. – Edna Lister, Your Treasures, January 15, 1956.

All your difficulties, misunderstandings, delays, and negligence come from a belief in God and. – Edna Lister, Your Treasures, January 15, 1956.

You cannot create a chart of "How to Do It" unless you know how not to do it. You must know and understand what has caused your past failures before you can outline success and how to do it. – Edna Lister, Let Me Keep Lent, February 12, 1956.

Your word must become form. Put all you comprehend of God into action as understanding for your fellow man, or you will confuse your relationship to life. – Edna Lister, Rose-colored Glasses, April 22, 1956.

If principle is misused, the one who understands law should say so in a firm voice, not authoritarian or opinionated, without imposing a personal interpretation of principle on another. Stick to principle only. If you descend to "I," you may only say, "I interpret it this way for me." Do not dictate, but say, "let." People argue only from opinion and prejudice. – Edna Lister, June 25, 1956.

To say, "I don't understand," is a statement of idle words, and a symbol of a closed mind. If you close your mind, it dies because your brain cells atrophy. Taints of lack of understanding and saying, "I don't understand" means you have hidden selfish traits and not wanted to uncover them or give them up. Lift all negative memories, people and all past negative statements to a cloud continent of Light, into a field of consuming fire. – Edna Lister, December 5, 1957.

People can truly understand you only when you have tapped the Light coming from the Source. When you speak from a merely intellectual consciousness, others cannot comprehend what you are teaching them. Yet when you tap the Source while completely surrendered to the Father, Light instantly comes through to lift their consciousness into the Light of understanding. – Edna Lister, January 9, 1958.

God told Solomon that his sacrifice gave him wisdom and understanding but through long years on earth, he had to learn how to apply this wisdom and understanding he had received as a gift. Understanding is love and he had to learn that this is so. He had to earn it to use it. Many people get a new metaphysical understanding, but never learn to use it, which is to apply what you know to what you do to reach success. – Edna Lister, January 20, 1958.

Knowledge, understanding, comprehension of another can come only through love's receptivity in interpretation. These lessons are not easy to learn. – Edna Lister, March 11, 1958.

Do not worry about whether you understand – just love God.

"Raise your own vibration before entering into an already set vibration. This calls for attention. Do not tear down another's construction." This law applies in many situations — entering business, home, office, etc. You raise your own vibration or consciousness to its level, which might be below yours, but you raise your consciousness to understanding.

This is agreeing with God and adjusting to man. Do not be critical in this, but recognize it for what it is and understand that you must declare it good. Do not tear down the other fellow's construction. He can learn from your example, so do not leave him with criticism or spiteful remarks. This is still his construction, not yours. – Edna Lister, March 18, 1958.

In your desire to understand life, you discover the laws that govern life. – Edna Lister, Immortality Now, March 30, 1958.

Whenever God instructs you to remove your shoes, it means to clear the blinding cover from your understanding. You are not ascending high enough unless you comprehend. – Edna Lister, Promises Given, May 4, 1958.

When you finally love enough, you no longer demonstrate or try to prove your love, but begin to ascend and expand in consciousness and understanding as a comprehension and knowing. You have now climbed from worshiping God to being God's partner — "Father, here I am. Use me." – Edna Lister, September 11, 1958.

The roots of self go deep and spread wide. You may desire greater understanding on earth, but you cannot find without going up in consciousness. – Edna Lister, November 3, 1958.

Look through the appearance into the soul, which is of the same substance in every degree, high and low. You must give each soul the same understanding, opportunity and consideration without regard to its dwelling or type of outer sheath. Inevitably, you will become ever more expert, compassionate and understanding. – Edna Lister, December 12, 1958.

There is no barrier to full comprehension. Do not worry about whether you understand. Just love God. – Edna Lister, December 18, 1958.

God's Wisdom is a compassion beyond understanding, apprehension or comprehension. It contains all elements needed to place the human consciousness on the path toward our ultimate good, God. – Edna Lister, January 25, 1959.

Be balanced in your understanding. Move to the center, the hub of the wheel, and know that Light will lift your debts as you lift the world. – Edna Lister, May 18, 1959.

True lifting cannot take place without true understanding. When you lift past lives, you can have full comprehension of the interplay of emotions that have led to the present. – Edna Lister, May 21, 1959.

Many degrees of understanding lead to the full faith of God. You can have an idea that something may happen, you can think it will happen, you can believe it may come to pass, or you can know as God knows. – Edna Lister, Manifestation, May 24, 1959.

Every soul experiences the law of action and reaction, called cause and effect. God apportions the reaction of law or the effect of a cause to each according to his intelligence and ability to understand law. Otherwise, you could not withstand the Power's reaction returning to you as force. Responsibility comes with knowing, so one who does not know or understand the law, releases little Power when he speaks. – Edna Lister, The Seven Last Words, June 7, 1959.

Fellowship is compassionate understanding of the other person. – Edna Lister, I Am the Way, October 4, 1959.

It takes a brisk understanding to stand unwavering before the Almighty until you receive the blessings you need through invincible joy and unconquerable faith. – Edna Lister, Behold, I Am With You Always, October 27, 1959.

“You interpret according to your present understanding of law and truth.”

A lack of comprehension of relationship is the cause of all the misunderstandings in the world. – Edna Lister, November 1, 1959.

We all grasp at truth while we are learning to become law. You must hold the new truth firmly enough while you need it, yet let the lesser truth go as your understanding grows. – Edna Lister, Follow Thou Me, November 29, 1959.

Aspiration is the soul's need for greatness, and opens the only way to understanding yearning, brooding Mother love, the sustaining, nourishing quality in the love of God, when you let it use you. Reconciliation means "to tie together, to make one, to bind as one," to find the relationship between God and man. You must reconcile your relationship to God and man to gain a common understanding. – Edna Lister, From Gethsemane to Ascension, May 8, 1960.

You cannot just unfold scripture verse by verse. The mysteries are hidden between the lines, far removed from any obvious mystical interpretation. You hear and interpret according to your present understanding of law and truth. This is a matter of degree and kind. – Edna Lister, Consider the Lilies, May 29, 1960.

You are innately able to understand agitators perfectly, for they have been laggards in the past and the release of Power is forcing them into divine activity against their selfish personal will and desires. Naturally they blame the source of the prodding and of the Light. The Light itself is the great rebuke for selfishness, greed, and blindness among those who refuse to see their own responsibility to life or to God. In no way may you blame them for their blindness, because the Light of God must shine through you into dark places to lift these children Home.

The vibration of healing goes through them into the world, attracting those of like nature, then lifts and heals. Let them spew the ugliness, since it must be lifted to free and release their frozen gains. Take nothing they say personally. You are but an instrument of Light and your acceptance and lifting shall pay big dividends, inner and outer. – Edna Lister, June 2, 1960.

Understanding is the insight you gain by applying the mental faculties. The quickest way to understand anything is to stand under the Light as you study the problem. – Edna Lister, Is it Right to Ask for Myself? June 14, 1960.

Your responsibility is threefold, to God, to others and to yourself, and you must understand all three phases. – Edna Lister, Steadfastness Through Vigilance, June 19, 1960.

To understand, you must stand under the Light. Understanding is the Light descending. – Edna Lister, Realization Through Praise, June 26, 1960.

Comprehension is the faculty of understanding, an all-inclusive power to grasp the Christed crowning from above. It is the good gift, the perfect gift. – Edna Lister, Miracles Through Comprehension, July 10, 1960.

The top is often hard to attain, but the bottom is easily achieved — one slip and there you are. When you conquer self completely, nothing limits what you can do or where you can go. When self is no more, you then have a peculiarly Godlike tenderness and understanding. To conquer where you are and to hold without forcing will bring to pass the next great step at the right time. – Edna Lister, August 31, 1960.

Edna Miriam's mother, Clara Lister, said, "I rejoice that I have found freedom and safety in my madness — freedom from loneliness and safety from being understood, for those who 'understand' us so often enslave something in us." – Edna Lister, January 6, 1961.

The instant you begin appropriating from God's almighty love, it expands your heart in understanding and you explode into growth. – Edna Lister, Nor Shadow of Turning, June 18, 1961.

Self clings and it is subtle. Never permit self to seek sympathy or understanding on the outside. It will be easy enough when you hold fast to the fact no self-justification is ever legal. Clamp your teeth on your tongue before speaking such. – Edna Lister, July 19, 1961.

“To understand, you must stand under the Light.”

Observation is a law with five component parts: Logic, reason, discernment, discrimination, and discretion, the five laws that equal understanding. You must apply each of these faculties simultaneously as a constant process in everything you do, and observation then becomes an instantaneous act. – Edna Lister, September 14, 1961.

To our finite minds, principle is that which contains all we need to know of the Creative Plan and law for universes. Principle remains perfect and unchanged, but what we need to know, what we can understand about the Plan and law is subject to change as we grow and mature. – Edna Lister, God's Magna Carta, October 29, 1961.

To comprehend means "to include, to take in, to grasp and to hold." Comprehension means to understand completely, a super-understanding, not from the surface of the mind as "I think," but as "I know." – Edna Lister, This One Thing I Comprehend, December 10, 1961.

You can accept the truth of appearance or the truth of reality. Some deny the truth of reality because they do not understand the difference between the truth of appearance and the truth of reality. Your love of God demands that you accept the truth of appearance, and instantly lift it without believing it. Do not waste time, lift it as high as you can. Enter the Light and declare, "Let the Light possess me." You strengthen what you repudiate. – Edna Lister, March 29, 1962.

Jesus teaches about relationships. First, your relationship to yourself, second, your relationship to your fellow man and understanding other people. The third phase is even more important, your relationship to God and God's to you. – Edna Lister, Identity, Your Hope of Glory, April 29, 1962.

Only the known and the unknown exist, and no one can take what you know from you. First, man must know himself to have identity as three in one — appetitive soul, rational soul and Oversoul must agree. Second, man must understand his relationship to others. Third, man must understand his relationship to God. This gives you your identity with God.

You must know the nature of man, the nature of God, the nature of man to man, and the nature of man to God. God gives, and man receives. You must know your Source of identity and the method of holding to that Source. The first chapter of John and the Epistle of James also speak of this. – Edna Lister, April 30, 1962.

Compassion can come only with and through understanding. Your compassion for men comes through your identity with God. Your compassion can never be greater than your comprehension of God. – Edna Lister, What Is Compassion? May 6, 1962.

The brain is our instrument of understanding, which links us to God. – Edna Lister, God as Personality and Principle, May 20, 1962.

Understanding is to stand under the Light — the power by which you develop discernment, logic, and comprehension. Understanding comes only through obedience to law. As an embodied soul, you are in your own grade, in your own musical chord, according to your own number and name, God-given in the beginning. You can interpret and apply the laws only according to your own great chord of life. Unless you reach into the pure Light and a higher octave of your chord, you can expect no higher illumination of any law.

Only by seeking higher understanding can you fully obey law, for nothing stands still. The vibration must either ascend or descend after "three days" — the time it takes to change a vibration from one rate to another. Getting understanding is a process involving obedience and forgiveness. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1962.

God gives wisdom in the measure of your obedience to law. Obedience and forgiveness gain understanding. When you ask, God gives a law. When you accept, you gain wisdom. Ask for wisdom first. Obey the wisdom given, no matter how hard it may be, then understanding comes. – Edna Lister, January 10, 1963.

Wisdom is useless unless it makes you climb an octave higher to understanding. – Edna Lister, January 10, 1963.

“The brain is your instrument of understanding.”

A great conquering is to "suffer fools gladly," which is an understanding born of knowledge of the world's frailties. – Edna Lister, March 3, 1963.

Only contemplation of greater ideas than you have known can increase your understanding, opening the spiritual vision and hearing. Comprehending all wisdom while leaving the practical, methodical daily details undone is no good. You need balance. – Edna Lister, May 6, 1963.

A mystery is just something you do not yet understand. Every little episode in life is a part of the great mystery of life. The real mystery is unfolding the meaning of law and applying it to your daily life. – Edna Lister, The Greater Mystery, Your Inner Vision, December 8, 1963.

When you understand your relationship to God, you understand your relationship to humanity. – Edna Lister, The Word, Your Magic Wand, April 12, 1964.

In Bible study, you can never segregate just a few verses and hope to understand the whole. You need to understand what occurred in the passages preceding and following the portion you are currently studying. – Edna Lister, Life, Your Glory and Splendor, April 26, 1964.

To be understanding, you must balance your love with wisdom. Love alone is overly soft, but wisdom alone can be too harsh. Solomon's wisdom balanced his love for true understanding. With an understanding heart you comprehend what you think you know.– Edna Lister, Love and Wisdom, October 4, 1964.

People's problems in understanding of the workings of divine justice are rooted in judging by earth ideas and opinions about justice. – Edna Lister, January 13, 1965.

Bringing universal objectivity and compassion to bear on mundane activity is difficult. You may not permit any subconscious reaction, but apply understanding to the outer. Call down Light while others stand in the Light, and God gives their answer. Declare, "I bring the Light." Inject no self or "me" into the situation. – Edna Lister, April 5, 1965.

Mentally, walk on grass in the morning, declaring that the magnetic currents are consuming and burning out all dross in your understanding. Understanding is to stand under the Light. To do so, your expression must be greater than just "good." It must be completely compassionate until nothing in you reacts.

You may use no criticism on another, even if his habits nauseate you. Do not demote the other fellow. Treat him more wonderfully and politely. Keep your emotions out of it. Sacrifice your outer reaction. They do not call on you to like that which is unlike God but you may not judge it unrighteously. Treat these confrontations as endurance tests to see if you will stay up in the Christ Light and lift the offender. – Edna Lister, June 25, 1965.

Empathy is a combination of imagination and the love of God that gives complete understanding of what others are going through. – Edna Lister, July 31, 1965.

Hold fast to the Light, and open your lips with an understanding heart. Keep your antennae up so that your words may be a comfort to the world. Love, and give understanding with a bracing, lifting loveliness and compassion, without sentimentality. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1966.

The period from age twenty-eight to thirty-five is the most difficult in life. The only way to meet this challenge is to conquer the self. You must raise self to soul — understand yourself but do not give in to the "little me." – Edna Lister, December 2, 1966.

The world doesn't understand "waiting upon the Lord" at anytime, for the last thing they want in their lives is the Lord. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1966.

The Christ Spirit is kind, tender, understanding and all giving. – Edna Lister, April 23, 1967.

The Bible serves as our original textbook on psychology, which deals with the mind of God as man. It is the science of regarding the soul, the mind of God as personality, as divided into parts or phases for purpose of analysis to aid us in understanding both God and our fellow man. – Edna Lister, All Healing Comes from Beauty of the Soul, May 16, 1967.

Ask that what you do not understand to be revealed to you. – Edna Lister, Comprehension and Nonresistance, June 25, 1967.

Wise silence opens the door for a higher compassionate understanding of others, and opens "instant knowing" in your relationships with your separate worlds of action, with each other and with your families. – Edna Lister, January 9, 1968.

Divine Mind governs your every desire. It has no alternative except to function, and it expresses at your level of understanding. – Edna Lister, March 6, 1968.

Expect your highest good, which is better than the human mind understands. – Edna Lister, March 20, 1968.

Never let experiences pass by without understanding why they have come, for the lessons they present underneath and behind the obvious. – Edna Lister, May 17, 1968.

To be truly observant, you must add to today's awareness all you know of the past, for success in life consists in your ability to make comparisons. Unless you integrate yesterday's experiences, you cannot meet today's needs in balance. If one episode leaves you confused, you consequently misunderstand what happens later. In the same way, you cannot understand the world today without knowing history. – Edna Lister, Faith, the Powerful Life, November 17, 1968.

You must pass through seven initiations of everyday living to penetrate the veils of illusion, and in each veils a higher state of understanding. – Edna Lister, The Mental Body and the Lotus Centers, July 1, 1969.

“A mystery is just something you do not yet understand.”

The process between garnering experience, understanding and comprehension is lengthy. When you accept your true status of responsibility and live by its highest vibration, always allowing the high vibration to absorb the lower ones, then you will never allow a low vibration to contaminate a high one — meaning no self-blame, no self-pity, no sense of guilt. – Edna Lister, October 29, 1969.

If you have not understood, say, "Thank You, Father. Let there be Light," until understanding comes. Believe to see. – Edna Lister, January 12, 1970.

When you have gained the understanding, you begin to acquire the comprehension to hold your gains. For it takes comprehension of law to hold what you have gained, otherwise law becomes vague and inapplicable. – Edna Lister, February 1, 1970.

Understanding is to know truth beyond the world's awareness. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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A Treatment to Increase Your Understanding

To strengthen your understanding, say, "I AM that good, I AM. I AM that joy I AM. I AM good and shall stand under the Light. I am obedient to all I see, hear or know. I now comprehend." – Edna Lister, Manifestation, May 24, 1959.

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Get Wisdom and Get Understanding

This Edna Lister healing meeting outline is dated February 15, 1934, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Proverbs 4:5-9, Matthew 11:30.

"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." – Proverbs 4:5-9.

No single musician can play a symphony alone. The conductor needs the entire orchestra. God could not enjoy the glory of Creation without having us to reflect His glory. Some things just go together, like a conductor and musicians. For example, even great wisdom does you little good unless you have understanding.

Hold up your prayer molds for God to fill now, for nothing is impossible to Him. Limitless Power is always waiting for you to release it.

Each soul is an expression of the one Mind, the one Substance, the one Power. Everything is composed of God's Mind, Substance and Power now. For example, you can combine butter, eggs, and flour to make a thousand recipes, good or bad, but the substance you use is always the same.

Love is always waiting to be released, to return Creation to God. Let God, let the one Power do the work.

"My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." – Matthew 11:30. Keep your eyes focused ahead to the future, and remain independent of the world.

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Control Over Outer Forces and Powers

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated December 1, 1934, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Mark 4:35-41.

"And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" – Mark 4:35-41.

The Master's rebuke to the tempest was, "Peace, be still," which illustrates power over the forces that can destroy. The situation remains dangerous until you can release enough Power and have the steadfast faith and understanding to direct and control the resulting disintegration.

Under the cyclic law of action and reaction, everyone is granted the opportunity to step up in consciousness and take higher initiations. Some fail while others pass quickly. Yet no one really loses, for all gain strength in love and Light, and another opportunity will be offered.

However, the one who commands Power without the requisite and corresponding understanding runs the very real risk of destroying himself. Also, one who takes credit for such a release of Power will create the reaction of a debt of force.

Your only full protection comes through "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." – Matthew 6:10. You must remain in complete obedience to God's commands to withhold or to give.

You may not let go for an instant or you force a debt to be paid to the law. Your faithfulness shall lead you to hear the Master say, "Today shalt thou sup with me in paradise."

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Learning to Be Great

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated January 20, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: John 13:1-17, 1 Peter 5:5-6.

"Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." – John 13:1-17.

"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time" – 1 Peter 5:5-6.

Jesus' disciples followed him faithfully. He had clear-seeing eyes for true soul vision. Save for Judas, James, John and Peter, the rest were often lukewarm.

The Master wanted to leave behind a symbol of his great love for them. Nothing could mean quite the same as washing their feet. It would stick in their minds as an indelible memory, to lead them to understanding.

To anoint anyone with oil, you must overcome any natural distaste, you must love the something or someone enough.

They would forever remember his attitude, and his words: "Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." – John 13:12-17.

A disciple is a servant of a master. As a disciple, you must hold an attitude of willingness, of service to the Master of Masters.

A child wants to help, needs to help, to be a grownup in God's service. Pride creates a great barrier. Peter asked the Master to wash his hands and his head.

No one can show you the way. You must do the rest for yourself, possibly even to betray a friend, like Peter did. You cannot assume willingness from self, yours or another's.

You must offer real service through understanding. The reward of humility is a happy, active, doing life.

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This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated January 23, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: 2 Kings 6:8-17, Proverbs 4:5-9.

"Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my Lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." – 2 Kings 6:8-17.

"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." – Proverbs 4:5-9.

Wisdom, Love and Selflessness crown you with the glory of God. Wisdom expresses the Father principle. Yet Wisdom alone is not enough. You must add the Mother Love of God, to gain understanding.

This text promises certain benefits when you do get understanding. If you "keep" understanding, she will preserve you. If you "exalt" her, she will promote you. If you "embrace" her, she will bring you to honor.

When you keep, exalt and embrace understanding, she will place an ornament of grace on your head, a crown of glory. The crown of glory is the high place for the soul, Jerusalem, the Light of your Oversoul star.

The Master commanded his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem, but to "wait for the promise of the Father," until they receive the Power of the Holy Spirit. Call upon the Christ, the Head Master, accepting no substitute.

St. John, writer of the Revelation, said that "no one in heaven or on earth" was worthy to open the book sealed with seven seals because no one was persistent enough. You must ask, seek, and knock. "Open in the name of Jesus the Christ" is your "Open sesame."

The Light from above is the Light of understanding. Only on the mountain peaks of soul consciousness do you hear the high call of Christ.

Throughout history, groups of people in desperate straits have prayed and decreed, "It shall not pass," and have found themselves safe. Leonidas, the Spartan king, withstood the Persian army against overwhelming odds. Britain repelled the Spanish Armada. Washington and his Continental Army endured the killing winter in Valley Forge.

No one outside these events ever knew what really happened. We now begin to touch that degree of Power that has been hidden for ages. Understanding means "standing under" the Light of God. Speak the Word in a mighty voice, not a whisper. Declare, "Come forth," and it will manifest. If you decree, "It shall come to pass," it will, exactly as you decree.

If you leave the heights and fall back in consciousness, you must arise and march to the heights once more. Looking forward, you are mindful (Mind-full). Looking back, you are mindless (Mind-less).

It is time to open your eyes to see the protection that surrounds you. Like Elisha's servant Gehazi, at Dothan, you can and will see the chariots of fire.

Elisha and Gehazi at Dothan

"Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." – 2 Kings 6:8-17.

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The Key: Understanding

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated April 12, 1942, The Consistory, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Job 32:8, Proverbs 4:5-9, Psalm 19:14.

"But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." – Job 32:8.

"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.' – Proverbs 4:5-9.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." – Psalm 19:14.

When God created man in His image and likeness, He included "a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding." This tells us where our understanding originates.

You receive wisdom from the words of God. Yet wisdom alone is not enough. The pearl of great price is compounded of Love and Wisdom in perfectly balanced expression. The only key to it is the key of understanding.

Three golden treasure chests are nested within each other; the innermost chest contains the pearl of great price. To open them, you need only one key.

A set of tiny teeth (bittings) in three places on one key fits the tumblers in all the locks. The first set is desire. The second set is faith. The third set is devotion.

The first chest contains desire, which can transform lukewarm indifference into a flaming glory at white heat.

The second chest contains faith unconquerable, which transforms faith in God into the faith of God. God always trusts you, but you must learn to trust yourself.

The third chest contains devotion. What does devotion mean? To stand under the Light always.

Now you have opened the three treasure chests, but you do not find the pearl. Instead you find layers of wrapping, like fine tissue paper, which you must pull off, thickness by thickness. You tire of unwrapping, tear at it and hunt for it.

This is where persistence pays its greatest dividend. Ask, seek and knock, and carry on until you conquer.

Lo! You find your pearl of glory, the ability to stand steadfastly poised to receive your reward.

"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." – Proverbs 4:5-9.

Awakening to Understanding

This Edna Lister Truth Temple sermon outline is dated October 27, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Acts 13:1-13.

"Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. Then Saul (who also is called Paul) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem." – Acts 13:1-13.

The five men mentioned here are prophets, teachers for the soul, Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen and Saul, who became Paul. The only method for expansion or ascension from self to soul expression is the straight and narrow way. The five men represent illumination, intuition, imagination, faith and understanding. "They ministered to the Lord" means that they rendered aid and served.

John represents mothering love, which descended from above through the five faculties, nourishing and sustaining their zeal, instructing them and keeping their lights bright and burning. This is the full awakening to truth, the descent of love into "soul" and ascending upward again.

Understanding is standing under the Light, and the crown of the head fully open. Faith, expressed through active works, becomes unconquerable. Constructive imagination enables one to fish on the right side of the boat. Intuition is perfect hearing and doing of the law, hearing the voice and knowing. Illumination is the light of unity or oneness of soul.

Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" Jesus answered, "He who is of the truth, recognizes the truth." Five prophets from five faculties operate through intellect. If you dwell on truth, you must become and be the truth. Knowing truth is not enough, you must become the truth. Becoming truth is becoming a "living ensample like unto Christ."

First it is flaming, burning love possessing all that you are. Second, it is vivid, thrilling, ecstatic imagination, and third, it is acting as if, and ministering unto mankind in service to the Lord.

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Stories That Illustrate Understanding

Getting Understanding: And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. – 1 Kings 3:1-14.

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New Testament on Understanding

Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. – Luke 8:10.

[Jesus] opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. – Luke 24:45.

Walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. – Ephesians 4:17-18.

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7.

We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. – 1 John 5:20.

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Old Testament on Understanding

There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. – Isaiah 11:1-4.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. – Proverbs 1:5-6.

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keeps the paths of judgment, and preserves the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom enters into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. – Proverbs 2:1-11.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. – Proverbs 3:3-5.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. – Proverbs 4:5-7.

In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding. – Proverbs 10:13.

He that is void of wisdom despises his neighbor: but a man of understanding holds his peace. – Proverbs 11:12.

A scorner seeks wisdom, and finds it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. – Proverbs 14:6-8.

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding. – Proverbs 14:29.

Wisdom rests in the heart of him that hath understanding. – Proverbs 14:33.

A man of understanding walks uprightly. – Proverbs 15:21.

He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding. – Proverbs 15:32.

Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it. – Proverbs 16:22.

Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. – Proberbs 17:24.

A man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. – Proverbs 17:27.

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeks and intermeddles with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. – Proverbs 18:1-2.

He that gets wisdom loves his own soul: he that keeps understanding shall find good. – Proverbs 19:8.

Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge. – Proverbs 19:25.

Man's goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way? – Proverbs 20:24.

There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord. – Proverbs 21:30.

Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. – Job 32:7-8.

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Wisdom's Invitation to Understanding

Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, to call passengers who go right on their ways: Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. – Proverbs 9.

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

Edna Lister

Etymology of understand: Old English understandan, "comprehend, grasp the idea of," probably literally to "stand in the midst of," from under + standan "to stand."

Understanding is an abstract principle rooted in the Wisdom Emanation.

Understanding is a soul virtue.

Understanding is a soul faculty.


Webster, Noah. "Understand," "Understanding," Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Recommended Reading

Steup, Matthias and Neta, Ram, "Epistemology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Summer 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

Related Topics

See Comprehension

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