There are things.
There is no other way to express the first encounter with the world. It may be that this is not the first encounter as such. Perhaps the first encounter is with nothing. But we can never know that. To suggest that nothing can be encountered is counterintuitive and illogical. I too must have been nothing. Nothing cannot be there, for that there would have to be no place.
This world then must be there at the moment of its encounter. What the thing that is encountered matters not for now, only that there is a separation between there and not there.
Space is inferred by the relationship of things.
I cannot make contact with space. It is there only from the sensing of things. Eventually, I will make contact with other things. And space will be inferred from this.
Time is inferred from the change in the relationship of things.
Like space I cannot directly know it. I know time by things and space. The movement of things is the measure of time. I cannot be sure time exists other than from knowing it through things and space.
Reality is the entirety of things, space, and time.
All that can be known is derived from reality.
When a person dies their body (matter) remains and their mind extinguishes. That is observed. Under no circumstances does matter extinguish. It only changes. Conservation is observed. This consistency and predictability of matter is essential to my understanding (call it reason if you will). From nowhere else does my knowledge of the reality start except from the sensation, then perception and conception of it.
When I die, I will not continue as a mind or spirit but the matter will transform into something else that may or may not have a mind.
I mentioned to a friend that perhaps there are physical or material things only. He said that is rather naive.
If I were to take the impermanence seriously, then even physical things (like mental things) do not exist as such. What is to say the appearance of things seemingly longer than thought is not as immaterial as thought itself. Just because the length of appearance is longer and seemingly more permanent does not mean it is permanent. So there is justification that things are not real as well.
I have come to the conclusion that nothing exists except for the physical world. The mind is a product of an object, namely an body. A personality is a product of the mind. This evidentially converges with the Buddhist concept of non-self (anatta). To me, what is called the ‘self’ is not what it seems. It may be considered a kind of illusion.