"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge" (source).
Or is it "the fear of death is the beginning of knowledge"? A lot of our criteria for why we should consider real what we do consider real boil down to "if you don't abide by these criteria consistently, you will be at greatest risk of physical death in the long run."
Or is it "the fear of shame" or "the fear of a particular human's opinion, or group of humans' opinions"? As opposed to the fear of the LORD's opinion.
Is fearlessness the beginning of knowledge? Or the full growth of it? There is a certain kind of fearlessness which comes from not caring. Experience is most real when there is fear, for a certain meaning of "real". Wealth enables us to not live in reality.
Knowledge has different flavors, different tonalities and physical expressions, depending on whether it is begun by the fear of death, the fear of shame, the fear of people's opinions, or whatever else, or the fear of the LORD.