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Knowledge is like a house, you can’t have a roof without walls to hold it up, and you can’t have walls without a foundation. Our knowledge of one thing almost always comes as a result of knowing other stuff, forming a great chain. We couldn’t know about quantum physics until we knew of the atom, and we didn’t find the atom until we discovered radiation, and so on, all the way back to the discovery of fire and beyond.

So this paradigm-mapping journey must begin with the question: Where do these chains of knowledge start? What truths do we have that are not derived from other truths? What are our first, our primary truths?

And that turns out to be an easy question to answer – perhaps the only easy question we will find on this odyssey. The answer is perception.

I’m not getting ahead of myself and saying that our interpretations of our perceptions are the origin, quite the opposite. Our raw perceptions are the only foundational truths we have – all else is deduced from them.

And “perceptions” cover a lot more than you might think: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch, sure, but also heat, pain, balance, and emotion.

Oh, you thought emotion was a different thing? Consider our emotions: happiness, fear, anger, sadness, just to name a few. How do you know if you’re angry?

You feel it. Right? Well, anything you can feel must be a perception, even if it is an “internal” one.

So there we are. The foundational truths of any person must be their raw perceptions – that’s the starting point. What those perceptions mean to us is where things get very tricky, but we start with raw perception  – the five senses, plus other senses we have that for some reason don’t get included in the so-called five, and emotion.  Everything we ever experience or ever could is where we begin.

Because the only underived truth is perception.

Or is it?