We understand the world by making observations, building concepts, and relating them. So I've drawn out a basic model of how the world works from the view of an observer (e.g. you and me). There are some other things included in it as well, that will be expalained in time. Keep in mind that there are many ways to draw up a specific model to follow, and you may choose to include different things as a focal point. For instance, I divided experience into 3 different categories. Experiences are very difficult to categorize, and I didn't want to get too indepth with it. Instead I wanted to focus on the nature of an observer and how a human observer uses language to model reality.
Out of all the places I could start, I start with the observer. The reason why is that is where everything we know and understand begins. We're observers and we have certain things available to us as well as limitations, such as only knowing that your experiences exist and what they tell you about the outside world.
We know that we have experiences. We know that those experiences come from somewhere. We know that are experiences relate to each other, that is, you don't just have random experiences, they are tied to each other. Thus, we know know that there is a "you" that exists in some way or another.
The idea behind this model is to assume as little as possible about the world, starting from the beginning, and working from there. That is, understanding what an observer is, and working outsides from what the observer knows for certain.
There are many observers on planet Earth, humans are one of them. But what is an observer and what is observation? What is it to know? What is truth? How does an observer know things, how does it conclude that something is true?
Perception is your senses. It's sight, sound, taste, etc.. Your visual field is one large and continual experience. You use this experience to navigate what you believe to be representative of the world outside of your mind.
Feelings include emotions, moods, instincts, intuition, gut feelings, will, etc. Some may argue that some of these things require another category, but that is simply how it's being defined here (very broad). The focus isn't on the kinds of experiences and how we should categorize them, it's on the observer, and how observers work.
Thoughts are exactly what you would think they are. Even though I could add more specific categorizes beneath feelings and perceiving, I only did so with thoughts, as thinking in language is hugely important in this model. Everything we state as truth, is done so through language.
An observer is defined as an object with a body and a mind. That is, they have experiences, and something that generates their experiences (e.g. the brain). These experiences are what the observer knows. When you open a door for instance, you are experiencing the act of opening a door. You perceive it as sight, sound, and touch. You cannot know if you are actually opening a door, just that you are experiencing the perception of opening a door. That brings us to the idea of the innerworld and outerworld, and the gap between them.
The Observer: Innerworld vs Outerworld
The innerworld is defined as nothing more than your personal experiences. It is the world the observer knows. It consists of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. The outerworld is everything that is not your personal experiences. This includes your body and brain. This includes the experiences of others. There is an epistemological gap between these two worlds. You can experience the sight and sound of a bird, but you cannot prove that your experiences represent an actual bird in the outerworld.
There you have it, your observations are experiences. Your innerworld is a collection of experiences, and nothing else. Your friends, family, beliefs, fears, house, clothes, hopes, dreams, memories, and everything else you know, feel, and perceive, are experiences. Because of this, many have wondered how one can know if the outerworld as we personally know it, even exists at all. What if, like a dream, all your experiences are not what you believe them to be.
The idea that your experiences may not represent the real world takes on many forms. You could be experiencing something like a dream, or reality could be an illusion created by a demon, or reality could be a simulation created by a scientist that is stimulating your brain via a machine, to trick it into perceiving things that are not even there at all. Such a scenario has been depicted in a few movies, such as: Total Recall, The Thirteenth Floor, eXistenZ, The Matrix, and Vanilla Sky.
Whether you are dreaming or not, or whether you are in a simulation or not, in the end, it's all the same thing... It is all experience, the fundamental element of your reality, be it "real" or not.
One thing you can be certain of, among other things, is that your experiences exist. Even if the world, as you know it doesn't exist, you know that your experiences exist. Even if you see something, and it is just an illusion, or just something you saw in a dream, you still know that the experience of the illusion exists, that the experience of the dream exists, that any experience you are having exists, and that you are experiencing them.
All beliefs start with "I". All answers to all questions, start with "I" (the observer). For instance, saying "The sky is blue", could also be stated as "I experience the perception of a blue colored sky" and "I experience the thought that all humans perceive the sky as blue". Saying "God exists", can be stated as "I experience the belief that God exists". Reality, truth, everything you believe, all your questions and answers, all start with "I". Everything starts with the recognition of your own existence and experiences.
Existence: Concepts & Instances
Concepts are what can be manifested in the world, or things you can think of that cannot be. An instance is an instance of a concept, that is, an instance is a particular manifestation of a concept. Consider the concept of a circle, there are many instances of this single concept in the world, even if not a perfect circle.
Knowledge: Observations, Concepts, and Relations
Knowledge comes in the from of obserations (personal experiences) and relating those experience. A relation is a fundamental concept that includes inferences, functions, meaning, etc.. For example, if you experience hunger, you can infer that your stomach is empty. You have related that experience to what you believe is a physical reality.
Nodes & Relations
You'll notice multiple boxes with a list of 3 things. These are examples of relations and implementations of relations (e.g. processing). Consider a mathematical function, like "square root". It is a relation between two numbers (i.e. input and output). But there is more than one way to process the input to get the same output for this relation.