OP raises the question of the knowledge beyond some direct perceptions. can you know/comprehend/understand/explain something without experimenting it ?
Well, for many, no. We have either faith, or direct experience or we can use our intellect to derive conclusions, modulo the problem of inference.
An intellectual path will be able to remove doubts if it is honest, if we accept whatever results brought by the logic that we choose to deduce our conclusions; we must no have fears nor delusions, nor we reject conclusions that we do not like. Be open minded.
The intellectual path takes time, is almost necessary and sufficient to understand something, but the practice can consolidate whatever intellectual results you obtain. The intellectual path trims a lot of potential actions/discourses/thoughts that we can do before we perform them. It is reflecting before living, and the reflection gets us on some path, whereon we agree if the intellectual process has been honest and we destroyed any prejudices beforehand.
If the path of the intellect is not taken, then we have faith where you follow blindly, more or less blindly since nobody start from scratch and everybody comes with a background on daily life and his view on pleasures and suffering, gradually until we agree unconditionally after we encounter a break point in our behaviours, discourses or thoughts. We understand whatever the doctrine is telling you, plateaux of progress and breaking points after plateaux of progress and breaking points.
Otherwise, if we are not capable of understanding anything without living, then... just live; live until we take a step back of our experiences and turn to the doctrine wherewith we believe that we will be happy. Too many people learn only through suffering, but they apply the reflexivity sooner or later.