The difference between “facts” and “truth”

Facts and truth both represent information. But there is a big difference between these two types of verifiably “correct” data.

Facts represent dead data while truth is information that is spiritual or living. This is why factual data is often called the “cold, hard facts,” or the “bare” facts. Facts are simply empty forms of data without a “soul.” Truth, however, is a form of information that contains goodness.

This can best be demonstrated by the unique operation of human intellect that works on various distinct levels.

The human memory is a receptacle of information and knowledge. In other words, we fill our memory with information just like a pail can be filled with water. But going deeper, information can be “filled” as well, and become a vessel for something more dynamic and alive. An analogy of a living element being added to information is similar to the water in a bucket being put to some further use—like providing a small habitat for some living fish.

Information can serve some good just as water can be put to additional use. This is why we seek knowledge—to ultimately serve some purpose, that is, put into some useful action. This utility makes the information in our minds take on new life and serve some good. When data is given life through purpose and promoting the common good, it becomes TRUTH.

While memory is a receptacle of data, truth is a receptacle of good. A “fact” becomes “truth” if it serves some good. Through application and service, facts become living ideas (a good of life). So spiritual love (good works) is the living essence that inhabits forms of truth.

This has spiritual consequences.

From a theological perspective, what we love disposes what we know into a belief system of values. Unused information or empty data that has merely accumulated in our memory, but not assimilated into our life and value system, dies and fades away with the death of the physical body.

In the spiritual world, only the information that we have made true and useful during our lives continues to live on with us. Which can be either good or bad news. Those in hell represent individuals who have acquired knowledge solely for the sake of reputation and personal gain rather than from a spiritual principle of love—motivated by serving the common good and love of the neighbor. Such individuals have contorted their knowledge into vehicles for hatred, vengeance, greed, and stand in opposition to all God’s living truths.



About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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6 Responses to The difference between “facts” and “truth”

  1. obed says:

    I love your explanation.

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear obed,

    Deeper information and revelations about the nature of reality is now being made available to the world. If this interests you please visit my web site at:

  3. greg says:

    The difference between truth and fact is this, facts are accuracies that are within the realm of time and space which are subject to change. Truth is accuracy that exist outside the realm of time and space and is not subject to change.

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear greg,

    That is a good way to put it. However, truth can be organic as opposed to static (just as water can flow or turn to ice). God’s truth is often referred to as the “living” truth or the “living” Word. Angels and spiritual beings live outside the realm of time and space and see God’s truth in ever-changing and diverse forms. Truth becomes living and organic when its form is adapted to love’s disposition. In heaven, truth is the form of all spiritual process, that is, goodness.

    According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedeborg, truth is that which invests something else. In God’s created universe, truth is a “garment” of love and puts love’s quality on display. Love is a living essence and truth is its form.

    Spiritually yours,

  5. chris owhowhero says:

    Truth is a settled fact which can no longer be converted from its originality despite the time that may be involve.

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear chris,

      Pretty good definition. My award-winning book “Proving God” is an attempt to make the truth of God’s existence a “settled fact.”

      Spiritually yours,

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