The Seven Sacred Degrees of Initiation and Ascension

Everything in the universe (all matter, animate and inanimate in appearance as form) is a manifestation of Light in seven degrees. Life exists, bound in matter, from the basalt of the Canadian Shield (the oldest rock on earth, 4.5 billion to 540 million years old), to the roiling celestial furnace that is an O-type star, at 40,000 degrees kelvin, the hottest known.

God is the All That Is: Light, life, substance, power, and mind as consciousness in an infinitude of degrees, which we divide into seven for convenience’s sake: Neophyte, Disciple, Adept, Mystic, Master, Priest and Christos. Jesus of Nazareth came to earth to fulfill the laws that are the requirements for ascending through the Seven Sacred Degrees within a single life, to show us how to become Christed, the embodiment of the Christos Degree. He arrived on earth with his own perfect Design for Ascension, the pattern of which emerges clearly from the Gospel record of his experiences and life’s events.

When you read the Gospels carefully, with devotion, remaining open to the Light, you find ample evidence of the pattern for what you must be and do to ascend through the Seven Degrees completely. You live in and as the Seven Degrees; you do not just live by them. In other words, the Seven Sacred Degrees must be your whole being, not just your expression or the appearance of what you are. The great open secret is that the whole world lives the Seven Degrees also — without being aware of it.

These degrees form the basis of your challenges and initiation in daily life (even when you are unaware), under the guise of personal choice, commitment, action, acceptance, responsibility, service, and sublimation. The thirty-three Via Christa Degrees amplify some of the many facets of the Seven Sacred Degrees.

To “initiate” means to begin something new. Each degree is a step upward in the soul’s ascending progression, in the rise of consciousness, which is forever attracted to its Source. Life repeatedly tests you on these degrees. Cyclically, annually, you repeat the Seven Sacred Degrees of Initiation as you ascend the spiral path.

The Seven Sacred Degrees

Each of the Seven Sacred Degrees has its own required function and vow. [In this application we define function as “a mathematical correspondence that assigns exactly one element of one set to each element of the same or another set; a variable (such as a quality, trait, or measurement) that depends on and varies with another.”]

As a Neophyte, your function is self's acceptance of soul's authority. The Neophyte’s initiation is Rebirth, and the vow is: “I vow to make my body a fitting dwelling place for my soul.”
» Read it here »

As a Disciple, your function is self's surrender to all laws that govern the soul. The Disciple’s initiation is Baptism by Water, and the vow is: “I vow to surrender completely to be the servant of all Power.”
» Read it here »

As an Adept, your function is self's obedience to law. The Adept’s initiation is Baptism by Fire, and the vow is: “I vow to be selfless in my release of Power.”
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As a Mystic, your function is praise — praise for and offered to God the Creator, to commune with Him. The Mystic’s initiation is Transfiguration, and the vow is: “I vow to keep my silence shining and golden.”
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As a Master, your function is to speak the Word for Power's release, not to use idle words. The Master’s initiation is the Crucifixion of self, and the vow is: “I vow to be a master in all responsibility.”
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As a Priest (or Priestess), your function is to become the law you have learned. The Priest’s great initiation is the Resurrection of all good, and the vow is: “I vow to remain pure in heart, mind, and purpose.”
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As a Christos candidate, your function is to assume absolute responsibility. The Christos initiation is Ascension of soul as consciousness, and the vow is: “I make my supreme vow to surrender self completely.”
» Read it here »

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Edna Lister on the Seven Sacred Degrees

Every set of Seven Degrees has lesser degrees varying from four to twenty-four each. – Edna Lister, May 16, 1947.

The Seven Sacred Degrees, which you climb in ascending order, include the Neophyte, Disciple, Adept, Mystic, Master, Priest, and Christos. You can ascend to the major or primary Degrees only through one of the seven lesser degrees under each. For example, nothing prevents an illiterate Neophyte from living a Christos life of selfless service.

Just as earning a doctorate requires having passed all the lesser or preparatory course work, you take initiations in forty-nine degrees from Neophyte to reach Christos — seven times seven equals forty-nine. Simultaneously, you must pass 144 steps and cover other sets of degrees, which include the ten Commandments in thirty degrees, on the emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.

You take the final three Christos Degrees at night, while you are out-of-body, on the Sun. Events may happen to you for no apparent reason when you are taking the final three degrees. The minute it comes hard, remember “As above, so below.” Desire for perfection takes you through the final degrees when nothing else seems to work.

You cannot return to God until you have learned all your lessons. Initiation is right where you are now, and you always receive credit for the good you have done. You could take 144 steps in twenty-four hours under surrender; you could pass the Gates, take the first initiation and know the score.

God does not pay you to be a doormat. Sometimes you must accept being rejected by your family or a loved one. When you pray for emancipation, the wall of self breaks down at the right time. – Edna Lister, June 14, 1951.

Each Zodiacal Division contains a set of thirty-three degrees. You take thirty on the outer and three on the inner. The thirtieth degree includes eighteen stiff initiations for conquering self, which you take on earth in daily life. The thirty-three Via Christa Degrees cover life from birth to ascension of soul through conquering the self. Each of the Seven Sacred Degrees includes a lesser set of thirty-three.

In descending order, the Seven Sacred Degrees are the Christos of full Ascension, the Priest of full Resurrection, the Master of full Crucifixion where self’s will crucifies you until you conquer. The Mystic is the initiation of Transfiguration through prayer. The Adept undergoes Baptism by Fire. The Disciple begins controlling self and undergoes Baptism by Water, symbolizing the emotions as you begin to conquer self. The Neophyte experiences Rebirth.

In the three lower degrees you always face the danger of living by the three creature urges of the appetitive soul: eating, sleeping, and mating. The fourth degree provides the respiratory rate of balance among the three lower and three higher centers. Your deep breathing balances life for you.

In the first three degrees ascending, one is concerned with control of self and the control of power’s release. By the time you reach the fifth degree, you begin to understand the need to crucify self-centered will, to give up the selfish will to become the servant of all Power. Everyone crucifies self an inch at a time until he learns to conquer the self by soul ascension.

Complete resurrection from self to soul comes when you mate self-centered will and selfish desires to become one in soul ascension. First, desire flirts with will. They become engaged and travel where will directs. Then desire reawakens and gives the ring back to will because it dictates that they travel too hard and demanding a road.

Still, it is inevitable that you ascend. Your personal desire and will become engaged repeatedly until an illumination strikes like lightning, and you complete the first marriage of the Lamb. – Edna Lister, The Wheels of Ezekiel, December 17, 1957.

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Illumination and Realization

This Edna Lister lecture outline is dated September 25, 1937, Cleveland, Ohio.

You pass through Seven Sacred Degrees while on earth, or as you return to God as the ascending creator that you really are. Under spiritual illumination, your soul experiences realization of previous states of awareness that you enjoyed before you descended to earth. Plato called this anamnesis the soul’s recollection (Greek: αναμνησις recollection, reminiscence).

The Neophyte becomes aware of his need for the symbolic “Search” while standing in the outer court of the Temple, among the masses of earth.

The Disciple becomes aware of his need for spiritual “Illumination” while symbolically standing in the radiance shining through the curtains that veil the inner court.

The Adept becomes aware of his need to become the servant of all God’s “Power” while symbolically standing in the inner court.

The Mystic becomes aware of his soul’s need for the “Glory” of God while symbolically standing before the veils that hide the altar in the Holy of Holies.

The Master becomes aware of his need for the “Attainment” of the Cities of God, which requires developing the soul’s oracular powers of the seer and prophet.

The Priest becomes aware of his need for “Awareness” of the Kingdom of God, while symbolically kneeling before the altar in the Holy of Holies.

The Christos becomes aware of his need to attain the “Crown” of Ascension to the Throne Circle, as he communes with God before the Mercy Seat.

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The Pioneering Mystic (a)

This Edna Lister lecture outline is dated May 5, 1959, Cleveland, Ohio.

The Christos, the Priest, and the Master Degrees represent soul conquering as a spiritual mediator in service to Jesus Christ, Head of the Mystic Brotherhood. The Mystic Degree represents the respiratory rate of balance among the three lower and the three higher degrees, considered as representing the outer and the inner.

The three lower degrees include the Adept, the Disciple and the Neophyte, degrees that comprise self-control, while being a trance medium used by the White Brotherhood. The medium controls the self, operating on the lower degrees below the Gates of Light. He draws his information from the world wash (the outer collective unconscious mind), from the subconscious minds of those near him (and from his own) to make mundane predictions. Fervent prayer can and will set such lower-level predictions aside.

A mediator is a conqueror of the self, standing in the Abyss to Becoming while parting the veil between the inner and the outer worlds, respectively known as the truth of reality and the truth of appearances. The mediator draws information from above the Gates of Light (the inner), using his conscious and in some cases, his super-conscious mind. Thus, a mediator functions as a Mystic, who knows and accepts God, and who prays directly to God.

Altar in the Skies

By standing at the point of balance in the Abyss to Becoming between the lower and higher degrees, a Mystic can lower a high vibration into visibility, and raise a low vibration into invisibility. By lowering the vibration, a Mystic can enable others to spiritually see on his vibration. God will answer the fervent prayer of even an evil-doer, if he offers it from a high mystical state of consciousness.

All initiations are graded into these Seven Sacred Degrees. Each of the primary degrees includes seven sets of lesser subordinate degrees — seven sets of seven, making forty-nine degrees in all. For example, all forms of healing come under the Adept Degree. Thus, healing occurs within a spectrum of vibratory rates, ranging in both quality and quantity, from Neophyte to Christos.

You must undertake and complete specific work in earning the great degrees. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” – John 14:12. The Seven Degrees, listed in descending order below, each has a “greater work” (in ascending order) that you must do to earn that Degree of Ascension.

The Greater Works of the Seven Sacred Degrees

 Degree  Greater Work
 1 Christos  7 Ascension
 2 Priest  6 Resurrection
 3 Master  5 Crucifixion
 4 Mystic  4 Transfiguration
 5 Adept  3 Baptism by Fire
 6 Disciple  2 Baptism by Water
 7 Neophyte  1 Rebirth

The first ascent includes 144 steps through forty-nine Degrees of Initiation (seven times seven), or twelve times around the Wheel of Terrah. Each Zodiacal sign or house has twelve virtues, totaling 144. You are always polishing the virtues of the other eleven signs while incarnated in what astrologers call your sun sign. Being affected by the vibration of only one sign or virtue is impossible. If you neglect your work in the other signs, you will owe an incarnation soul debt, and your spiritual debts will increase. You must then catch up, paying your debts from other lives by working harder now.

As you complete the first round of initiation, you open the optic chiasm[1] in the brain spiritually, for the thalamus[2] to use as a reflecting mirror. Light enters the brain through the longitudinal fissure to the third ventricle. The thalamus then reflects the Light through the mystical third eye, a triangular area centered in the forehead above the nose.

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens,
and those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars for ever and ever.” – Daniel 12:3.

The laws of ascension require that you undertake these 144 steps to complete the thirty-three Christos Degrees as you make the round of the first Wheel of Ezekiel twelve times. When you step onto the hub of the wheel, you open a new round of twelve times through the signs. The vibration is higher, although you will still be polishing any works you have left undone.

During the second round, you begin making the 1,000 burnt offerings of self, a 1,000-day initiation of surrendering the taints of self. You must make these burnt offerings during 1,000 consecutive days to open the petals of the mental body lotus centers. This opens your access to the Christ mind: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:5.

As you complete the second round, you open the spiritual function of the pineal body and the pituitary gland. Initiation exercises the spiritual function of these structures, so you must open them to complete your initiations. This initiatory process will include opening your stored memory records of all past lives, especially the negative traits of your emotional life, which you must lift into the Light. Physically, all this is happening in your brain, and the stored negative memories spewing forth their poisonous content can cause brain diseases.

The Light quickens the endocrine system into a more spiritual expression as it descends through the thyroid and parathyroid glands. When Light reawakens the thymus gland, it also ascends the function of the adrenal glands. After you have cleansed the blood platelets within the medulla oblongata to a necessary degree, hypothalamic fibers begin to open within the thalamus, enhancing its spiritual function.

The Requirements for the Seven Sacred Degrees

 Degree  Requirement
 Neophyte  The Search, standing in the outer court of the Temple
 Disciple  The Illumination, standing before the radiance shining through the curtain covering the Inner Court (of the Supreme Temple of the Sun)
 Adept  The Power, standing in the inner court of the Temple
 Mystic  The Glory, standing before the altar (your altar)
 Master  The Attainment of the Courts of Melchizedek, in the Seven Cities of God, attaining the gifts of spiritual sight and prophecy
 Priest  The Awareness of the Kingdom of God, Heaven here and now
 Christos  The Crown, the Sacred Sphere, the Throne Circle of the Flame

Each of these seven requirements represents a veil of illusion that you, the seeker, must lift from your soul faculties. The Neophyte begins to search for truth while he stands in the outer court of the Temple, which represents the mundane world.

The Disciple experiences spiritual illumination as he becomes aware of or beholds the radiance shining through the curtains veiling the inner court of the Temple of the Sun. The Adept experiences the fullness of the Power of God as the Holy Spirit, while he worships in the inner court.

The Mystic experiences the radiance of God’s Glory while he stands in worship before the altar, which symbolizes his personal altar. The Master attains the Courts of Melchizedek in the seven Cities of God. The attainment opens the gifts of the seer and prophet.

The Priest experiences awareness of the kingdom of God, here and now, while he stands in the Holy of Holies. The Christos ascends to the Source and attains the Crown of Creation. The Crown is within the sacred sphere of the Throne Circle of the Flame of Everlasting Light.

The Via Christa includes thirty-three Degrees of initiation, as does the most esoteric level of Freemasonry, which modern lodges have forgotten or reduced to mere social form. The Order of Melchizedek, the Priesthood of the Clansmen of Aaron, the Egyptian priesthood, and the mysteries of Moses all contain thirty-three degrees and 144 steps. The human spine has thirty-three vertebrae, symbolic of the thirty-three Degrees of the Via Christa in man.

You take the first thirty degrees of initiation on earth, but the final three on the sun, meaning that you must go there to take them. The greater mysteries deal with your attitude toward God. The lesser mysteries deal with your personal expression of character, and your attitude toward your fellow man on earth.

Awakening the Seven Vital Centers of Life

 Degree  Center  Plexus  Gland(s)
 Neophyte  sacrum  sacral  gonads
 Disciple  spleen  lumbar  islets of Langerhans
 Adept  navel  solar  adrenal
 Mystic  heart  cardiac  thymus
 Master  throat  pharyngeal  thyroid and parathyroid
 Priest  brow  1st-8th cranial nerves  pituitary
 Christos  crown  brain and spinal cord  pineal body

As you first ascend through the Seven Degrees, you begin to awaken seven vital centers in the desire body. They align along the spine of the physical body, at the level of the sacrum, the spleen, the navel, the heart, the throat, the brow and the crown of the head. Each center relates to a physical nerve plexus and its corresponding endocrine gland.

The Neophyte Degree rules the gonads [reproductive glands] and sacral plexus. The sacrum center is usually at least partially frozen (crystallized) in most people who have misused the creative fire, or attempted to kill desire instead of sublimating it. Paying your Neophyte vows is necessary to reawaken this center, its nerves and glands. The ten plagues on Egypt represent the soul’s struggle to free the sacral nerves.

The Disciple Degree rules the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas and the lumbar plexus. The splenetic center controls emotions and physical/emotional appetites. All emotional insecurities rise from selfishness and possessiveness, either yours or another’s. As you begin to withdraw your dependence on the five physical senses, you retrace the nerve pathways, correcting their development to sublimate their function. Thus, you raise your faculties of mind and soul into apperception, the cosmic Christ consciousness of the “I AM.”

The Adept Degree rules the adrenal glands and the solar plexus. The Adept is Pharaoh, ruler of the Land of Egypt. The navel center is the so-called “seat of Satan,” because the Adept is an intellectual dictator who believes in rigid self-control. The Adept’s desire to control can easily slip into manipulation of others. The Breastplate of Judgment, which you earn at the heart center, protects the navel center. A possessing entity can enter only at a person’s solar plexus. Without protection, you may wander forty years in the wilderness at the mercy of the world.

The Mystic Degree rules the thymus gland and the cardiac plexus. The heart center, the respiratory rate of balance between the lower and the higher creative centers, is the Mystic’s citadel of conquering in the Promised Land. The Light descends through the spine, awakening the vital centers as it arises again. You cannot develop the spiritual gifts without balancing love and wisdom at the heart center in the Promised Land. To do this, you conquer the drag of emotion and intellect. Only love can open the way from Egypt to the Promised Land. Breathe deeply and inhale the breath as love.

The Master Degree rules the pharyngeal plexus, the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The throat center rules the creative power of speech expressing as self or soul. A self-centered attitude shows in your speech as the personal pronouns, I, me, my and mine. You cross self out at the throat and begin 1,000 burnt offerings (1 Kings 3) to conquer any blocks the self has formed. When mastery, in its highest aspect, reaches up to the pineal body and pituitary gland, it expresses as the “I AM” consciousness.

The Priest Degree rules the 1st to 8th cranial nerves and the pituitary, called the master regulating gland because it controls the function of many other glands. In the Priest Degree, you attain consecrated service. The brow center is the mystical third eye, and opening it can cause fascination with phenomena such as color, tone and number. Yet you must ascend beyond intellectual pursuits to raise the creative fire.

The Christos Degree rules the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the pineal body. You enter the Garden of Eden through the throat center, but to open the crown center, you must unite personal desires and will then convert them into love and wisdom. The crown center is the link between rational consciousness and super-conscious mind when open to the Oversoul. You ascend from outer to inner in all ways and surrender the self to identify with God.

The Christos is the degree of the fully conquering soul who lives by pure illumination. The mental body thousand-petaled lotus opens under the first attainment of the Christed consciousness.

When you have mated your desires with God’s desires for you, and reconciled your will to His will, the two vibrations meet above your head in what mystics call the sublimation treatment.

Full spiritual illumination descends with each breath to the solar plexus nerve center, where it causes an explosion of vitality, forming two seeds of life. To do this requires much deep breathing. The seeds of life will be as large, virile and strong as your breathing creates.

Under the Baptism by Fire, one seed ascends to the Mount of Transfiguration, watering all your brain cells. The other seed descends for physical creation, but indulging dark emotions easily dissipates its vitality.

The Soul Lessons You Learn in the Seven Sacred Degrees

 Degree  The Lesson to Learn
 Neophyte  Achieve physical balance by lifting the emotional life and desires
 Disciple  Achieve mental balance by crucifying selfish expressions of will
 Adept  Achieve spiritual balance by mating desires and will in the first marriage of the Lamb, opening Oversoul's “I AM” consciousness
 Mystic  Achieve perfect balance between love and wisdom
 Master  Achieve high moral and ethics by polishing 1,000 burnt offerings of self
 Priest  Surrender all self
 Christos  Conquer self finally to live by soul, conquering even death by “I die daily.” – 1 Corinthians 15:31

The Seven Sacred Degrees of Universal Service

Seven Universal Groups, each named for the degree of ascension it oversees, direct initiatory activity for earth. All souls progress in ascension of consciousness as members of a specific soul group according to their degree and kind. A group of forty-nine serves in each degree.

The first group of the forty-nine Christos Degrees, greater and lesser, includes the Master’s own Legions of the Steadfast and Loyal, the Faithful and True. This group of forty-nine has charge over and works with all souls who need Christos initiation.

The second group of the forty-nine Priest Degrees is in charge of all relationships, above and below, inner and outer. They serve as creators, teaching others how to create harmony, how to agree with God and adjust to man without arguing.

The third group of the forty-nine Master Degrees is in charge of all changes from self-expression into full soul-expression. Called the Lords of Change, they teach mastery through letting God’s Light do the work, not through control.

The fourth group of the forty-nine Mystic Degrees is in charge of all service on earth, leading souls from the remnants of self-pity into service through religious, professional, or commercial capacities. They teach through prayer and devotion, leading all souls on earth interested in service, upward into a Godlike universal service.

The fifth group of the forty-nine Adept Degrees is in charge of all diversions, social life, recreation through sports, play, activities and rest. Lift your hours of freedom into years of freedom, and remember that how you use your freedom determines your degree of ascension.

The sixth group of forty-nine Disciple Degrees is in charge of all outer creations using released substance, including concentration, demonstrations and established functions of creations. They are responsible for teaching the purity of all life.

The seventh group of the forty-nine Neophyte Degrees is in charge of all earth’s children, the innocent, those who are learning how to pray, and every one who calls upon God. They are roving Legions, in charge of all unconscious creations, and animal group souls.


1^ Optic chiasma: An X-shaped crossing of optic nerve fibers in the brain; images from the left eye cross over to the right occipital lobe, and images from the right eye to the left occipital lobe. The optic chiasma is located at the bottom of the brain, directly below the hypothalamus.

2^ Thalamus: Located in the middle of the brain above the brainstem, the thalamus regulates consciousness. It receives all sensory stimuli except olfactory, which are then associated, synthesized and relayed to specific areas of the cerebrum.

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The Pioneering Mystic (b)

This Edna Lister lecture transcript is dated May 5, 1959, Cleveland, Ohio. Scribes: Margaret Doan, Ruth Johnson, Irene White, and Virginia Whitehead.

We study God as both personality and principle. Personality is the outer expression of the indwelling soul, the individualized expression of God. Personality is what the world can discern or see of the soul.

Principle is the absolute, unchangeable, undeviating, immutable foundation upon which all universes are based and established. The principles of Mind, Substance and Power operate through five categories of expression, which we call mysticism, philosophy, science, metaphysics, and psychology.

These categories of expression describe ways by which you may understand how you use or invest your soul substance. For example, psychology and metaphysics teach us to conquer the devils of self, not just to control self.

The so-called devils of self include all afflictions of the subconscious mind, including impressions, repression, suppression, complexes, illusions, delusions, hallucination, and obsession. Metaphysicians call such mental-emotional demons products of the little self, the creature phase of appetitive soul.

Only your self-created demons can bedevil you. These include the dweller on the threshold of consciousness, the aggregate substance of your past negative thoughts, words, emotions and actions. Lifting all self-created messes into Light is part of your responsibility in earth life.

Lifting is a prayer treatment. To lift, you declare a person or situation good, and imagine the subject on a cloud continent of Light, perfect before God. You are personally responsible to declare that what comes to you is good, opening the way for God to move in and make it so.

Good is God’s name on earth. He calls every creation good in the first chapter of Genesis, which is your mandate to declare all that comes to you is good and very good for lifting. The agnostic masses have lifted more darkness by saying that Jesus was a “good man” than mystics have by declaring what comes to them is good and very good.

The categories of expression are all paths to truth that dovetail when you step onto the Via Christa. To transform the old into the new, you build on the facts you have, using these categories to arrange all your thinking into a perfectly coordinated working whole under logic.

Many metaphysicians worship God solely as abstract principle by choice. While belief in principle alone is not wrong, it is incomplete unless you include personality as a dimension.

How and what a person worships is strictly a matter of choice. People choose what they worship and how according to their degree and kind. Never subtract from another’s faith, but add to build his faith.

Some metaphysical schools of thought deny that evil exists; yet denial has not wiped sin or evil from earth and cannot, since they are born of choices that personalities make.

Sin is missing the mark, living by a negative, not a positive pattern. Sin converts the positive to a negative, but evil is a conscious choice against the Light. Evil cannot exist without a base of individual personality and mind.

The Mystic’s High Calling

“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14.

You miss the mark of the mind that was in Christ Jesus by being bothered, irked or irritated. The Christ principle of selfless service gives of itself lavishly and counts no effort too long or too hard.

You are off-beam when you hold a grudge, pass judgment, pity the self, speak or act negatively, or deny the Christ principle, which is breaking the law of being alive, alert and aware, misusing the Holy Ghost.

Many in the world now live by metaphysics, which is living the law of truth as revealed to you personally. Metaphysics begins with the need for Rebirth but goes no farther than Resurrection, which is where the pioneering Mystic starts.

Idle words and gossip are the most common misuses of the Holy Breath in your words. For example, “I AM,” which is a great name of God, is never tired or weary. The physical body may ache but “I am tired” covers the Holy Breath in your words with gray, dark clouds.

The Power in your words then becomes force because you have separated Mind, Substance and Power. What you separate through misuse, you must redeem, recombine and lift to its original state before you can ascend. We call this paying a spiritual debt to the law.

Millions of people add their own negativity to the world’s subconscious mind, what we call the world mind. Sadly they add much more hatred, resentment, revenge motives, opinions, prejudices and criticisms than they do love, compassion and joy.

A subtle example of a revenge motive is the mother who says, “Wait until my daughter has a child of her own! Then she’ll understand!” These negative thoughts are all based on emotional responses to offenses and irritation. When you voice such thoughts, you speak the gravest and most injurious of idle words.

The Pioneering Spirit

Mysticism reveals God’s hidden nature as personality, and that God speaks as personality through personality to personality.

A pioneering Mystic is always busy standing in the Light, working out his salvation and loving God enough. He is just too busy to waste time with personal opinions or telling the other fellow what to do or how to do it.

A Mystic communes directly with God, or philosophically stated, with divine Mind. The Mystic prays to God, knows God, accepts God and longs with all his heart and soul to return to God, the Source of All Light and life.

A pioneering Mystic passes beyond intellectually practicing metaphysical mental science that holds him stuck within his skull. Mental science is good, but to ascend in consciousness, your burning desire must flame beyond the ceiling.

The true Mystic has the soul ambition to return to God under sacrificial surrender to become a selfless servant of all Power. A true pioneering Mystic is single-minded in his determination to ascend after spiritual rebirth and resurrection from old beliefs and ways of living.

How do you begin? Ascend from horizontal, worldly consciousness to vertical God-consciousness. Think high, soul-inspiring, glorious thoughts and be aware of your own shortcomings of self. As you obey principle as law, you begin to pioneer in the new high territory of ascension of consciousness.

The Mystic uses the soul faculties of intuition — related to love — and illumination — related to wisdom — to commune directly with God and become all law received through this communion. The pioneering Mystic becomes the law of humility, which is God’s wisdom and love in perfect balance as selfless compassion.

To the pioneering Mystic, conquering is becoming all the laws he receives through initiations under the great Seven Degrees, which form all Via Christa initiations. The Way of Christ is the Path of Ascension you follow to work out your own salvation.

Each great degree has seven lesser initiatory degrees, totaling forty-nine, and many other lesser degrees. The Seven Sacred Degrees each name a great universal principle, which is an actual law and vow of conquering.

The Initiations and Vows of the Seven Degrees

 Degree  Initiation  Vow
 Neophyte  Rebirth  I vow to make my body a fitting dwelling place for my soul.
 Disciple  Baptism by Water  I vow to surrender completely to be the servant of all Power.
 Adept  Baptism by Fire  I vow to be selfless in my release of Power.
 Mystic  Transfiguration  I vow to keep my silence shining and golden.
 Master  Crucifixion  I vow to be a master in all responsibility.
 Priest  Resurrection  I vow to remain pure in heart, mind and purpose.
 Christos  Ascension  I make my supreme vow to surrender self completely.

The Seven Sacred Degrees of Universal Service

God as the Many includes seven great universal soul groups of service. Each has forty-nine lesser groups also named for the Seven Sacred Degrees:

forty-nine Neophytes protect earth’s children, the young souls, and all unconscious creations, including the animal group souls; they care for all individuals learning how to pray.

forty-nine Disciples teach the purity of life; they direct your outer creations of released substance, all concentration, demonstrations and established functions of creation.

forty-nine Adepts direct healing, diversions, play, social life, recreation, sports and rest activities. Each is free to choose how he spends his hours of freedom, on self or soul; you must lift these hours into years of freedom. How you use your freedom determines your degree of Ascension.

forty-nine Mystics lead all earthly service upward from the remnants of self-pity into a Godlike universal service; they direct earthly forms of service (social professional, commercial or religious) through prayer and devotion.

forty-nine Masters, as the Lords of Change, direct changes from self-expression into full soul-expression, not control mastery but letting mastery.

forty-nine Priests direct relationships above and below, acting as creators and creating harmony, balance and equilibrium through the action of agreement and adjustment.

forty-nine Christos, who are the Master’s own Legions of Christed Ones, work with all who have earned Christos initiations.

Self-Control versus Soul Conquering

The goal of the Neophyte, Disciple and Adept Degrees is self-control and controlling the body, emotions and thoughts. They cover the first three vital centers in the desire body.

The desire body is an exact overlay of the physical body, but in molecular rather than cellular form. The first three vital centers mentioned lie in the desire body abdominal cavity, which we call the Land of Egypt.

All psychic phenomena, such as levitation, breath control and walking on coals manifest under and self-control. The White Brotherhood rules these degrees, whose ranks are filled with mediums and Adepts. Ordinary occult work encompasses the first three degrees and stops.

Any truth work, no matter its degree or kind, is good if it helps someone, lifts consciousness or raises the soul’s rate of vibration. Yet one thought or statement about self cuts you off to drop to your previous level.

To be a Master is the only goal spoken of with pride. Yet, if you are conscious of how far you have climbed, you cut off your ability to climb further. Wherever you stop along the path, you become merely an Adept.

A Master who becomes proud or self-conscious about how far she has climbed, sinks to the Neophyte Degree. Egotism sends her down the greased pole of self-consciousness.

The medium can see only in the desire and psychic planes of consciousness, up to the Gates of Light, which separate the worlds from the Heavenly Realms. The medium remains below the Gates and sees by drawing outer vibrations into the room.

The mediator uses the same faculties as the medium, but extends her consciousness and vision beyond the Heavenly Gates into the Realms to see and hear. The mediator follows Jesus the Christ, and heeds and obeys the orders of inner Councils, paying no attention to the outer or the subconscious mind, except to lift.

The Mystic Brotherhood Degrees

Jesus the Christ rules the Mystic Brotherhood, which is watched over by his Legions of Christed Ones. The Mystic Brotherhood Degrees (Master, Priest and Christos) cover the Garden of Eden, which lies above the collar bones in man.

These work degrees deal with being a mediator, soul conquering and Ascension. The Mystic Brotherhood follows Jesus and believes in him as the First Begotten Son of God. A mystic mediator follows Jesus the Christ all the way home.

The First Begotten Son had to develop a personality to carry the glory of his expression of Mind, Substance and Power. We follow Jesus the Christ as the First Begotten Son of God because we must worship, adore and revere the personality of God, the Three-as-One.

A Mystic ascends under criticism without paying attention to what others think or say. God and all the Heavenly Councils care nothing for another’s opinion or judgment of you. Councils judge you on what you are and the lights and colors of your aura. Criticism provides a stage for your initiations to ascend in consciousness and to lift.

Subconscious mind cannot discern the difference between righteous indignation and passing judgment. The lid you put on temper can blow off under self-control. When you pass judgment in anger, you sit in the seat of the Almighty. When you declare that what another has done is wrong, your judgment goes no farther than the room you occupy and your own soul record.

Anyone who desires to ascend in consciousness under selfless love can climb on an ascending Mystic’s vibration, provided he can give up the little self and obey law until he becomes it. The Mystic’s lifting power lies in his devotional attitude toward God and the respiratory rate of balance between love and wisdom that he attains at the heart center, to become compassion.

The Mystic Degree covers the stomach, heart and lungs in the cellular physical body, and the heart center in the molecular desire body. The thoracic cavity is the Promised Land. The heart center is the respiratory rate of balance between the lower abdominal centers and the higher brain centers.

A pioneering Mystic is awakening the pineal body and developing the soul faculty of illumination. You cannot have perfect intuition under a fully functioning pituitary gland until you have experienced some degree of spiritual illumination.

On an ascending vibration and sincere desire to lift, a Mystic can enter a room and raise the vibration until everyone can see spiritually. According to his degree of desire, a Mystic can raise the lower vibrations in the room until the higher vibrations can be lowered to visibility, spiritually. This is how you can see spiritually on another person’s vibration. This is why several people will see the same thing simultaneously.

“I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” – John 12:32. Jesus proved that the Mystic’s power to lift is so great that he could heal anyone on his ascending vibration.

God has given substance the power of becoming to make your desires manifest. He has given the soul the power of conscious direction and control of Mind, Power and Substance through choice. These facts are foundation truths in healing work.

When can you become a Mystic? Any place, any time, twenty-four hours a day, if you love God enough. Only love can buy a lift from God. Devotion and love can give you an emotional lift and you arise in selflessness through prayer.

Soul vision and hearing depend upon the height, breadth and depth of your devotion. A rebirth of devotion and love are the only way the Holy Ghost can awaken your parathalamus glands of comprehension into wings of fire.

The prefix “re-” means “to go back to,” and “born” means “to be made new.” All religions teach Rebirth, the Neophyte initiation. Rebirth lifts you to Baptism by Water, the Disciple’s initiation. Water represents the emotional life; walking on water symbolizes conquering emotions. Baptism by Water represents Spirit poured out from above, which is usually a process but can be an instantaneous act, if you love God enough.

The Greater Works of the Seven Sacred Degrees

 Degree  Greater Work
 1 Christos  7 Ascension
 2 Priest  6 Resurrection
 3 Master  5 Crucifixion
 4 Mystic  4 Transfiguration
 5 Adept  3 Baptism by Fire
 6 Disciple  2 Baptism by Water
 7 Neophyte  1 Rebirth

You take the following seven steps to pass degree initiations: Rebirth, Baptism by Water, Baptism by Fire, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. Each step encompasses seven initiations. These seven qualities are the names of laws that you must become.

Rebirth: The Neophyte returns to, is made anew. Rebirth is either a long process or an instantaneous act. You die to old self-expressions and are reborn to the new Christ-life. You mate desire to will, which is the form of the first marriage of the Lamb.

Baptism by Water: The Disciple conquers his emotional life under the Spirit that pours out as the waters of the River of Life. He walks on water to ascend and conquer the emotions.

Baptism by Fire: Flames of the Holy Spirit dance upon the Adept’s shoulders as white Wings of the Christ to awaken the parathalamus glands to see and hear spiritually. He burns away self.

Transfiguration: Standing in the golden silence, the Mystic maintains a constant contact with the Source of all Light and names everything good and very good. The materiality of self falls from the soul and his face shines as pure joy.

Crucifixion: The Master lays self-will upon the crossbar of the Master’s cross and assumes full responsibility for lifting everything.

Resurrection: The Priest rises into the Light and transforms the cross into a ladder of Ascension. Desire and will become love and wisdom, which makes the second marriage of the Lamb.

Ascension: Here the Christos attains the fortress, the high tower of Ascension in the Garden of Eden. He lives by the precepts of soul in the higher creative center of the brain.

Awakening the Seven Vital Centers of Life

 Degree  Center  Plexus  Gland(s)
 Neophyte  sacrum  sacral  gonads
 Disciple  spleen  lumbar  islets of Langerhans
 Adept  navel  solar  adrenal
 Mystic  heart  cardiac  thymus
 Master  throat  pharyngeal  thyroid and parathyroid
 Priest  brow  1st-8th cranial nerves  pituitary
 Christos  crown  brain and spinal cord  pineal body

You awaken the seven vital centers in the desire body (the sacrum, splenetic, navel, heart, throat, brow and crown) as you first ascend on the Seven Degrees. (Eastern religion and philosophy call these centers the chakras, a term meaning “wheel." It describes the seven vital energy centers in the molecular desire body that whirl and appear as wheels of light.) Each center relates to a physical nerve plexus and endocrine gland.

The sacrum center rules the gonads (reproductive glands) and sacrum plexus. The sacrum center is the lower pole of Paracelsus, which is usually at least partially frozen by past misuse of creative fire and attempts to kill instead of sublimate desire. Paying your Neophyte Degree Vows is necessary to reawaken this center, its nerves and glands.

The ten plagues on Egypt represent the sacral nerves. Five pairs of nerves are associated here; you must reawaken all to sublimate the creative fire. [Fibers from the fourth and fifth lumbar nerves and the first to third sacral nerves form the sacral plexus, which innervates the abdominal organs, reproductive organs, buttocks, hips, thighs and legs.]

The splenetic center rules the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas and the hypogastric plexus. [The islets of Langerhans secrete insulin and glucagon, hormones that regulate the carbohydrate metabolism. The hypogastric plexus innervates the colon, bladder, bladder sphincter and reproductive organs.]

The splenetic center controls emotions and physical/emotional appetites (Disciple Degree). Your emotional insecurities are rooted in selfishness and possessiveness. Here you begin to draw in the five physical senses and sublimate them and the faculties into apperception.

The navel center rules the adrenal glands and the solar plexus. [The adrenal medulla helps to rouse or calm the body in response to emotional states: fight-flight. The solar (celiac or epigastric) plexus innervates the stomach, liver, pancreas, adrenal medulla, spleen, kidneys, colon, bladder, bladder sphincter and reproductive organs.]

The navel center is the so-called “seat of Satan," the seat of intellectual belief in the superiority of self-control (Adept Degree). The Breastplate of Judgment, earned at the heart center, protects the navel center. Without it you may wander forty years in the wilderness. The Adept is Pharaoh.

The heart center rules the thymus and the cardiac plexus. The thymus is the gland of eternal youth; it is the immune system architect. [Located in front and above the heart, the thymus grows until puberty, when it atrophies and is replaced by fat and connective tissue; atrophy may be the source of aging. The cardiac plexus innervates the heart along with vagus nerve fibers (tenth cranial nerve; it slows heart-rate). The vagus also innervates the pharynx, larynx, carotid body, bronchial muscles and lungs, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, colon and thoracic and abdominal viscera.]

The heart center (of the Mystic Degree) is the respiratory rate of balance between the lower creative center and lower centers and the entrance to the higher centers and higher creative center, which is the Mystic’s citadel of conquering in the Promised Land. The Mystic possesses the Promised Land by perfectly balancing love and wisdom. You cannot develop spiritual gifts without balance at the heart center. You do this by completely conquering the drag of emotion and mere intellect.

The throat center rules the pharyngeal plexus, the thyroid and parathyroid glands. [The pharyngeal plexus innervates the pharynx, taste buds, carotid sinus and carotid body (thereby controlling respiration). It controls speech. The 9th to 12th cranial nerves are associated here. The thyroid, located on both sides of the base of the neck (entrance to Garden of Eden), secretes hormones that increase metabolism and nervous system activity. The parathyroids, located close to the thyroid’s lower edge, secrete a hormone that regulates the calcium-phosphorus metabolism, kidney excretion of calcium and calcium release from the bones (osteoporosis).]

The throat center rules the creative power of speech expressing as self or soul. Although this is the Master Degree, adept tendencies extend here and are discernible by the personal pronouns, I, me, my and mine. You cross out self at the throat and begin a thousand burnt offerings (1 Kings 3) to conquer self-formed blocks. Mastery reaches up to the pineal and pituitary; its highest aspect is the I AM center.

The brow center rules the 1st to 8th cranial nerves [which innervate eyes, nose, ears, mouth, teeth and face, note relation to physical senses] and the pituitary, called the master gland because it controls the function of many other glands. The brow center is the mystical third eye, and it can cause fascination with color, tone and number. Here you attain consecrated service as a Priest here, but must ascend beyond intellectual pursuits to know the Kiss of the Serpent.

The crown center rules the central nervous system [the brain and spinal cord] and the pineal body. [The pineal body a gland-like structure in the brain, shaped like a pine cone. Its exact function in humans remains unknown. Animal research suggests the pineal body is exceedingly light-sensitive and may function as a seasonal clock affecting sleep (hibernation) and the gonads (through the anterior pituitary).]

You reenter the Garden of Eden through the crown center, which is the link between rational consciousness and super-conscious mind when open to the Oversoul. You ascend from outer to inner in all ways and surrender all self-identity. This is the Christos Degree of the fully conquering soul who lives by pure illumination. The mental body thousand-petaled lotus opens under Christed consciousness.

States of Consciousness in the Seven Sacred Degrees

You may experience many new states of consciousness as you ascend and conquer on the Seven Degrees. In each state you learn something and begin to understand and comprehend.

Soul Lessons You Learn in the Seven Sacred Degrees

 Degree  Lesson
 Neophyte  Learns to achieve physical balance by lifting the emotional life and desires
 Disciple  Learns to achieve mental balance by crucifying selfish expressions of will
 Adept  Achieve spiritual balance by mating desires and will
 Mystic  Achieve perfect balance between love and wisdom
 Master  Achieve high moral and ethics by polishing 1,000 burnt offerings of self
 Priest  Surrender all self
 Christos  Conquer self finally, conquering even death by “I die daily.” – 1 Corinthians 15:31

The Neophyte begins something new. First, you learn that you do not know it all, then you learn what you think you know. The first law of expression is to lift desire and emotions to achieve physical balance.

The Disciple learns mental balance by crucifying selfish will. The second law of expression is to lift selfish will to a state of calm under trial.

The Adept learns spiritual balance in the first marriage of the Lamb, where you mate self-will to God’s will and self-desire to God’s Love to become “I AM,” the Christed consciousness. The third law of expression is to ascend selfish desires, which balances emotions at the solar plexus center.

The Mystic learns high prayer and praise. You cannot pray without praise in your heart. The fourth law of expression is to balance love and wisdom perfectly, to stand in balance under the pure white Light of the Christ.

The Master learns honor and polishes ethics and morals. The fifth law of expression is to accept responsibility. You begin 1,000 burnt offerings, 1,000 days of perfection and surrender to Light of your leftover emotional and mental taints.

The Priest learns to live by soul conquering, not by self. The sixth law of expression is to practice full surrender of all self.

The Christos learns that “I die daily” refers to the death of self. You learn to lift all fear of old age and death. The seventh law of expression is to live by pure illumination, the final, complete conquering of soul.

The First Ascent on the Wheel of Ezekiel

The first ascent through the Seven Degrees includes 144 (twelve times twelve) steps through seven times seven equals forty-nine degree initiations. This takes you twelve times around the Zodiacal Wheel of Terrah with one birth or earth incarnation in each sign. These 144 steps include twelve virtues to become, twelve laws of becoming and twelve ways of disobeying them under each sign or house.

You may take initiations in different degrees simultaneously. For instance, you could be taking the sixth Christos initiation, yet have earned only one degree as a Neophyte, which includes all physical laws.

Though you are born under only one sign at a time, the other eleven influence you also and you polish their virtues as well. Every sign releases Power from above as it rises over the eastern horizon. If you neglect to conquer any of these virtues, you may owe incarnation debts to the law.

You can do only two things: accept and ascend or rebel and regress, perhaps even falling back to the animal kingdom. The last stage of regression from which you may lift a soul is the dog stage. Affection for animals lifts them, while love raises them to become human and receive bestowal of the living soul.

The Thirty-three Via Christa Degrees

The Via Christa is the Way of Christ. The Thirty-three Via Christa Degrees are the attitudes of ascending gods, part of 144 steps as you make the rounds twelve times on the Wheel of Terrah to conquer on the Seven Degrees.

You raise the creative fire from the base of the spine up the thirty-three vertebrae to the brain during your first ascent on the Wheel. Then you awaken the optic chiasm of the thalamus and open the crown center. Light illumines the endocrine and central nervous systems as the crown center opens. Light shines through the mystical third eye (an inverted triangle centered on the forehead) to illumine your path as a great beam of Light, and you can spiritually see the records in the Book of Life. How much Light do you desire to send before you? How great a pioneering Mystic do you want to be?

The Greater and Lesser Mysteries

The greater mysteries relate to your attitude toward God. The lesser mysteries deal with your attitude toward others. The Mystic Brotherhood Via Christa, modern Masonry, Order of Melchizedek, Clansmen of Aaron (Mysteries of Moses) and the ancient Egyptian priesthood all contain thirty-three degrees.

Each embodied soul must earn these initiatory degrees while living on earth. You take the first thirty in daily living here. You take the final three Via Christa Degrees at night, standing before, Ara, the Altar in the Skies at the Supreme Temple of the Sun on our Sun.

Altar in the Skies

In the diagram above, the upper altar represents the final three degrees of the Via Christa, the Master, Priest and Christos. The lower altar represents the White Brotherhood Degrees, the Neophyte, Disciple and Adept. In the center stands the Mystic, in the abyss to becoming. The Mystic parts the veils of illusion to reveal the hidden truth.

Cross of Ascension

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This Edna Lister lecture is dated March 12, 1970, Tacoma, Washington. Scribe Ruth Collord.

The first three of the Seven Degrees, the Neophyte, Disciple and Adept, must fall into the four higher Degrees, the Mystic, Master, Priest and Christos. To accomplish the Seven Sacred Degrees takes 144 steps of conquering in one course around the twelve Zodiacal signs to master the twelve virtues in each sign.

The purpose of the Thirty-three Degrees of the Via Christa is the same as that of the ancient [Indo-European] Phrygian and Mithraic mysteries. They are all designed to teach the same principles of morality and ethics.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things
you do not know.” – Jeremiah 33:3

The Neophyte vows include breathing, diet, water, rest and exercise, and you need them all daily to make the Neophyte Degree. They include your responsibilities to your family and social life. You must rest your body before you go to bed to resurrect your body before you lie down.

The Disciple decides to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, or something big. Read the Sermon on the Mount for insight on this. You must follow a Father-Mother God.

The Adept Degree includes forty-nine lesser degrees of the Adept, all of which deal in phenomena. At the forty-ninth degree, the Adept realizes that he must climb through prayer and the giving up of self.

The three lower degrees pertain to everything of earth, while the four higher degrees pertain to Light. Here, everything reverses, and Mind, Substance and Power, the three, must fall into the four elements of earth, water, air and fire, which is another pathway.

You can ascend through the Mystic Degree only on prayer. The Mystic Degree separates the three lower degrees from the three higher degrees of the Master, Priest and Christos.

The Mediator’s accomplishments must include the conquering of the Master Degree, accepting all personal responsibility, which opens intuition. The Priest further becomes responsible for all the details in life, to open the faculty of illumination. The eight steps of the Christos confer full mediator status.

The Adept uses self-control to open clairvoyance and clairaudience, which any fakir can do. The Disciple makes the decision to follow law. The Neophyte hears about what may be true or untrue, talks about it and thinks about it.

The lower three degrees all deal with mediumship, and you take them below the Gates of Light in the planes of consciousness, the realm of phenomena, the truth of appearances. The medium may practice clairvoyance, but can read only the records below the Gates. The medium or fakir lives under self-interest and self-control, which always breaks down, eventually.

To conquer self, you must live according to the principles contained within the Sermon on the Mount until you have no desire to live any other way. When you can declare that the evil you see is beautiful, and leave it there, you are on our way to conquering the world of illusion.

To one who is deriding you, you can say, “All I need is a little more time and I’ll please you.” Age is caused by one thing only, inner conflicts. The forty-nine degrees of the Adept and the eightfold path of Buddha fit in here.

The Mystic is practicing the scientific approach to prayer by maintaining his respiratory rate of balance between the outer and the inner, which means that the stomach, heart and lungs, or the respiration, heartbeat and assimilation are on one common vibration, which causes the marriage of heaven and earth.

The Christos practices Ascension upward always. The Priest’s initiation is Resurrection. The Master’s initiation is Crucifixion of personal will. The Mystic initiation is Transfiguration (prayer transfigures you). The Adept undergoes forty-nine degrees of Baptism by Fire. The Disciple conquers emotion during the Baptism by Water. The Neophyte initiation is Rebirth.

You are always working on all these degrees because you are always under the testing of the three temptations, to misuse Mind, Substance and Power

As a Neophyte, you never go to the dinner table with a dead body. Lie down and stretch out like a five-pointed star until you feel as if you are flying like an eagle above everything on earth. Breathe! Take seven deep breaths, and rest your body from the day’s fatigue.

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Divide or Multiply?

This Linda Mihalic sermon is dated Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2006, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: Mark 3:13-26, Acts 2:1-4.

“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.” – Mark 3:13-26.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 2:1-4.

This text from the Gospel of Mark includes many topics: A list of the disciples whom Jesus called to service; the startling report that his own people claimed he was “out of his mind”; the scribes from Jerusalem accusing him of being possessed by the demon Beelzebub, Jesus’ rebuttal to them; finally, the story of his family attempting to lay claim to him and how he handled that appeal.

To understand this, we need more than the bare words on a page. We need the background and context. Our information about the Gospel writer Mark comes from Eusebius Pamphilus[1] of Caesarea, quoting Papias, Bishop of Heliopolis: “Mark, who had indeed been Peter’s interpreter, accurately wrote as much as [Peter] remembered … about that which was either said or done by the Lord.”

Papias’ original writings have been lost, so we have only Eusebius’ written opinion (ibid.). We must each decide if this “hearsay” is valid. The First Epistle of Peter 5:13 mentions Mark as “my son,” though some Bible scholars argue that this proves nothing, so again we must choose what we wish to believe.

Most Bible scholars generally agree that the Gospel of Mark was written between 60-80 AD, making it the earliest of the Gospels to be recorded. Mark is probably retelling the stories he heard from Peter, the disciple. This is our background.

The context of this Scripture requires that we read the Gospel of Mark from its beginning. It includes a story of Jesus casting out an unclean spirit (Mark 1:23-27), and describes how he cast out “many demons” (Mark 1:32, 34, 39).

The people all talked about what they had seen, so “immediately his fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee” (Mark 1:28). In Capernaum, “the whole city was gathered together at the door” of Peter’s house, because Jesus was there (Mark 1:33).

Those whom Jesus healed became his publicity agents. The leper he healed “went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to him from every direction” (Mark 1:45).

The second chapter of Mark is much like the first: Miracles abounded and the crowd followed him everywhere. Yet it records that Jesus violated the man-made Sabbath laws by healing the sick and permitting his disciples to pick grain. He forgave the paralytic’s sins and healed him, returned to Capernaum, and ate dinner with tax collectors and sinners.

In short, Jesus performed hundreds of miracles while he broke dozens of man-made rules and flouted convention. He was not “politically correct.” He thrilled and delighted the common people with hope, and horrified and angered the establishment with the threat of change.

Chapter three begins with the story of Jesus’ healing a man’s withered hand, publicly, on the Sabbath and in the synagogue. His actions were utterly provocative:

“And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” – Mark 3:1-5, he healed the man’s hand.

“And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him.” – Mark 3:6-7.

Jesus had successfully polarized public opinion and prejudice, both for and against him.

This is our background for what followed. Jesus was an iconoclast, defined as someone who “attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as based on error or superstition." Jesus never attacked the true Law, given by God to Moses, but the nitpicking rules, created by generations of opinion and prejudice, angered him.

Truth is always the casualty of opinion and prejudice. Most of what people believe about God and His law is not much more than opinion and prejudice, which they automatically accept as the truth, without thought. From the beginning of his ministry, Jesus worked to tear down the veils of opinion and prejudice in consciousness, and reveal the simple truth of God’s law and love again.

A law says, “Light forever adds and multiplies the good; darkness forever subtracts and divides the good.” We must reexamine that law in light of Jesus’ divisive acts as outlined in Mark.

We are never in doubt about our need to add and multiply the Light in our lives, our loved ones, friends and the world. We know the need is always for more.

Flawed desires, thinking and imagination is the breeding grounds for opinion and prejudice. Division is our problem in consciousness. We must subtract what divides the good, and add what multiplies the good, just as Jesus did. Let us examine how he did it.

Jesus divided the worldly elements from his desires, thinking and imagination to become “a strong man.” We know this from the laws he taught: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:21, refers to our desires. We treasure what we desire, and believe that what we desire is a treasure.

He taught Laws of thinking also, and because he had divided self from his thinking, he knew others’ thoughts; he could hear them. Jesus had purged his imagination of worldly influence, and the proof is in the clarity of his parables, word-pictures that inspire or increase imagination of the good.

Jesus knew what his mission encompassed and how much he had to do. If he had simply come and preached “God is love,” he would have accomplished little. Ministers, rabbis and priests by the thousands do this weekly, yet greed, war and strife fill our news, not stories about how God’s love is healing the world.

Jesus knew that he had to be bold and aggressive in his approach for the world to remember his message. He had to inspire the masses, arouse their desires into action, and to annoy, alienate and estrange himself from the establishment, angering their conservatism into action, which would lead to his Crucifixion.

These actions were part of his Master Plan for the Crucifixion, Resurrection and the Ascension. The Resurrection is how he taught us to divide ourselves from everything that binds us to earth and its worldly illusions. With his Ascension, he taught us to multiply the Light within us greatly enough to go Home.

How did those who loved him react when he put his plan into action? His friends said, “He is out of his mind." His detractors said he was an agent of Beelzebub, the devil, which provoked him to reply, “Assuredly, I say to you … he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.”

The Holy Spirit is the substance of truth, undifferentiated universal Light, with no individualized name or number. Having reacted to his message from opinion and prejudice, the self-righteous Pharisees invoked eternal condemnation upon their own heads, and Jesus spoke the word for this.

His family, pleading for his attention, tried to call him away from his mission. He publicly insulted and humiliated them by using their plea as a lesson: He remained with the people he was teaching and said, “Who is my mother, or my brothers?” He looked around in a circle at those who sat about him, and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother.” In effect, he said that his spiritual family was those who listened to and accepted his message.

Most people are not ready for Crucifixion or Resurrection, never mind Ascension. Most attend religious services and spiritual classes because they know that something is missing from their lives. When they hear the message of truth, which tells them to crucify self, resurrect their half-dead soul and ascend, they say, “Who, me?” Or, like the Pharisees they are, they become angry when told they need to do more than just talk about it. A good spiritual teacher often makes people angry.

When a minister or teacher offends anyone’s self-righteousness smugness, calls them on their hypocrisy, or informs them that their yesterday’s worn-out best is just not good enough for tomorrow, the murmuring gossip, resentment, intolerance and anger start smoldering. In most congregations, they fire the minister or rabbi and hire a new one, who will flatter them with praise for at least a year.

Jesus made people “see” themselves and all their faults in his parables and teaching. The scribes and Pharisees, who composed the Temple Council, could not fire Jesus, and they could not control him, so they killed him. They would do so again today.

Jesus came to earth to encompass the Seven Degrees of Initiation within a single earth life to show us how to do it. When we read the Gospels carefully, devotionally and open to the Light, we find the evidence of what we must be and do to complete the Seven Degrees.

The Via Christa is a hard Path; nothing about it is easy. Grade school is easy, middle school is, and high school. The Adept goes to college, improving his adept skills while earning higher degrees. Most people today spend the bulk of their lives stagnating on the Adept Degree.

Few are the Mystics, who commune with God directly. Most who pray do so to tell God what they want and what they think He should do. Then they imagine that He agrees with them while telling them how wonderful they are.

That is not prayer. True prayer is utterly unselfish giving, and letting, an indrawing and outpouring of the Light and love freed by the soul’s upward reach for God. This is true multiplication of Light and love.

The Master is both responsible and accountable. Jesus was. His last speech in the Gospel of John records how he accounted to the Father, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” – John 17:12. Business and political adepts today spout how they are responsible for what went wrong, but rarely do they want to be held accountable.

You are accountable for your every thought, word and deed, and Law permits no excuses. If you said it, you said it. If you did it, you did it. You must crucify the self, which is the work of the Master; otherwise the self will crucify you.

The Priest serves. Most people do for others to get what they want, or to be thought wonderful by those they wish to impress. That is self-serving, but not service. The true Priest heals, as Jesus did. We can cast out a demon of self by unveiling it to the Light, but no one, not even Jesus, could prevent someone from clasping it back again. Healing is Resurrection, the work of a Priest, not an Adept.

Finally you arrive at the Christos Degree, where you must surrender all of the self. What does that mean? How does that look? Edna Lister never taught a thorough study of the Christos Degree. She did not have the time since she was constantly working to live it.

Here are some tips on how to walk the Via Christa, while earning the Christos Degree: Self is an illusion, as is the world; divide it from your soul. This is hard work. Nothing may be more important to you than God. If God is not first in your life, you will be among the last in line in heaven.

Cast out all your false gods, those worldly things that seem so very important – clothes, cars, money, praise, approval and the good opinion of others. Stop worshiping the world.

Clean up your thoughts and words, for the mind you use to think them, their substance and the power you use in broadcasting them is God’s Mind, Substance and Power, not yours. God’s name is on every life spark; do not take it in vain.

Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Beyond that, maintain silence unless asked.

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, wholly devoted to God. The Sabbath is the time you set aside for Light to refresh and rejuvenate your soul. Thus, Light multiplies the good in you. When you do not, the world divides your consciousness and creeps in to own you again.

Honor the principles of wisdom and love to consciously live by them during the week. Read, study and learn, which are actions that multiply the Light within you. Watching TV divides your consciousness and enthrones the world, its illusions and conflicts as the centerpiece of your mental life.

You may not murder any positive virtue, nor another’s good name. Murder is the worst form of dividing yourself or another from the Light. Yet you can and you must end the deceit, lies and treachery of the world and of the self, wherever you find it, by saying, “This is good. Let there be Light."

You may not adulterate your mind, body or soul, your desires, imagination or thinking, nor another’s. People do this often; they call it influencing opinion, putting spin on a topic, false claims and exaggeration. Most advertising is absolute adulteration of truth.

You may not steal time or effort, yours or another’s, for anything of the world. When you understand that God is time and God is the effort you use, you will value these things more highly. What you choose to spend time doing, what you apply your efforts to will either multiply or divide the Light moving through.

You may not lie, especially to yourself, not for a second. When you catch yourself or another in the act of lying, remember to declare, “This is good. Let there be Light." God will tell you when to say more than this. Only fools lie or entertain lies, which is the province of Belial, the “prince of this world.”

You may not covet anything of this world. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21. Coveting is among the worst drag anchors on the soul. It stifles creativity, distorts imagination, twists thinking, and perverts desire into an obsession. Covetousness breeds greed, envy, jealousy, resentment and hatred. These taints will kill a soul.

Multiplication is increase, but division is decrease. The world is living by division into factions, sects, opinions, prejudices, into haves and have-nots, into I’m right and you’re wrong. The Via Christa is the Path from division into multiplication of the Light within you.

Many people do nothing to change the world because they do not know where to begin. Begin with casting out your own demons of self; heal your own paralyzed will and withered soul by declaring, “I am healed. I am good. I am Light.”

Follow the Master all the way back to God, not just to the nearest oasis to rest. Do not hang onto his coat tails and expect him or another to drag you along. When you do just enough to get by, you are a thief in the making, expecting his or another’s efforts to save you and make up for your lack.

Jesus’ mission was to become the Christ, which released enough Power to open the Gates of Light in the wall surrounding the world. He freed the souls within the world, and preached a purified version of God’s message of law and love. He cleaned up the mess.

The world is a mess again, but this time your task, my task is to do the cleanup, by talking as he talked and walking as he walked, in truth and Light. You can, if you choose, stop talking about it and begin walking the Via Christa today.

Take one true step onto the Path, and the Light moving through you shall multiply infinitely. Speak the Word and let Light heal every soul on this planet. Multiplication of Light begets unity of consciousness, which is syzygy, alignment. This is how to be One with God.

Today is Pentecost, and the Elect are gathered “with one accord in one place.” The Divine Fire has descended and now fills Terrah. Add your voice to the Legions gathered above, and multiply God’s Love and Light for the world. Let there be Light!


1^ Eusebius Pamphilius. “Chapter XV. The Gospel According to Mark,” Ecclesiastical History, Schaff, Philip, Ed., McGiffert, Rev. Arthur Cushman, Ph.D. Tr., New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. This work is in the public domain.

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Initiations Associated with the Seven Sacred Degrees

This Linda Mihalic lecture transcript excerpt is dated February 6, 2009, Cleveland, Ohio.

To “initiate” means to begin something new. Each Degree is a step upward in the soul’s ascending progression, in the rise of consciousness, which is forever attracted to its Source. You ascend by degrees.



How to Recognize This Initiation



Laying aside opinion and prejudice


Baptism by Water

Controlling emotions and idle words


Baptism by Fire

Calumny and scorn trim ego and pride



Seeking God first, with an open heart



Sacrifice of self will and desires



Soul redeems all good from the dead self



Soul conquers by total surrender of self

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

Edna Lister

Preface by Linda Mihalic


The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Eusebius Pamphilius. “Chapter XV. The Gospel According to Mark,” Ecclesiastical History, Schaff, Philip, Ed., McGiffert, Rev. Arthur Cushman, Ph.D. Tr., New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. This work is in the public domain.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV), Public Domain.

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

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