True Facts

True Facts

In my previous post I presented this sequence of words covered by the Course:

“Perception, Facts, Revelation & Knowledge”

True perception leads to understanding true facts, which leads to revelation, which brings us to true knowledge.

We covered perception of which the Course says

“Perception is the medium by which ignorance is brought to knowledge.” T-14.VII.1

But in between perception and knowledge are facts and revelation, so let us now examine what the Course says about facts,

It is interesting that we are told that perception itself, even though it leads to knowledge, is not a fact:

“Perception is a mirror, not a fact.” W-pII.304.1

The question that needs to be asked then is what is a fact according to the Course?  Here are a several examples given:

“God is not symbolic; He is Fact.” T-3.I.8

“Love is not an illusion. It is a fact.” T-16.IV.4

“The fact that God is Love does not require belief, but it does require acceptance. It is indeed possible for you to deny facts, although it is impossible for you to change them.” T-9.I.11

There are three important qualities here that the Course gives to facts in these quotes.

First a fact is not symbolic, second it is not an illusion and third it is something that cannot be changed. In addition, it tells us not “to confuse interpretation with fact,” M-18.1

A fact is not subject to interpretation. It just is what it is.

Here are some items the Course identifies as not being facts.

“There could be no better example that the ego is only an idea and not a fact.” T-4.II.2

“Wishes are not facts.” T-3.VI.11

“Pain is a wrong perspective. When it is experienced in any form, it is a proof of self-deception. It is not a fact at all.” W-pI.190.1

What then appears to be the difference between something that is or is not a fact?

The key example given is that God is a fact and the ego is not.  In other words, God is real and eternal and when known is and not subject to interpretation, whereas the ego is not real, is subject to interpretation and will have an end.

It may be difficult for those who are suffering to accept that pain is not a fact, but according to the Course pain is part of the dream and is not real, though we have made it seem so.

It does tell us though that it is a “fact that I see a world in which there is suffering and loss and death shows me that I am seeing only the representation of my insane thoughts, W-pI.53.5

In other words, it is a fact that the illusion, including pain, seems real, but the illusion itself is not a fact, or is not real.

Finding true facts while in the dream is difficult because most accept their interpretations of what is perceived as facts, but true facts are “not subject to interpretation.” To move on to the next step of revelation we have to separate actual facts from non-facts within the dream.

To do this we must begin by separating them within the dream itself. Even though the dream is not a fact, there are facts relative to the dream itself. Love, for instance, within the dream is a fact as well as the realization that God is, but on many items, it is difficult to discern true facts in the world as noted here:

“But in this world there are no simple facts, because what is the same and what is different remain unclear.” T-26.III.4

Let us take a couple examples.

The Course teaches of a world beyond this one, yet is still short of heaven called the real world. It would be a fact then that the real world exists.

But what is the real world exactly? That is up to interpretation and unless something specific can be proven about it, then it is an interpretation and not a fact.

The Course presents the oneness of God as a fact, but what composes that oneness is up to interpretation and not a fact, unless enlightenment comes that is beyond interpretation.

Then in this world facts relative to it are often difficult to identify.  For instance, it is a fact that Tom Brady was a talented quarterback, but it would involve interpretation to say he is the best of all time.

The seeker then, to move on to revelation, must learn to separate what can be recognized as true beyond dispute (facts) from those things that require interpretation. In addition, he must examine that which requires interpretation and  find all the facts involved which will often replace interpretation with factual understanding.

All things perceived with the eyes are technically not facts. For instance, you may see the sky as blue, but one who is colorblind may see another color. On the other hand, it may be a fact that you register the sky as blue with your eyes.

When the seeker does all he can to find true facts, and with the help of the Holy Spirit separate fact from interpretation, he is halfway to knowledge. The next hurdle is acquiring revelation, the next word in the sequence.

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