Reference and the Self
1. Reference stems from pointing, expressed by words such as this and that. These words carry implications and explications, that is to say what this refers to by pointing is unclear unless specified. This is true to any word and series of words that makes referring ambiguous.
2. Consider a tree at the end of a finger. The person pointing draws on an idea of a tree to explain that it is such. This idea consists of trees, its parts such as leaves, and as part of something like a forest. Nature refers to trees, leaves and forests as well as a plastic figurine of a tree. An idea of a tree exists in reference to ideas that pointing expresses.
3. An expression is preceded by pointing which is preceded by referring to an idea. An idea forms by observing expressions, such as pointing at a tree followed by the exclamation that this is part of nature. Pointing creates a reference between nature and tree. Do we refer to this idea by pointing? If so, then referring is preceded by pointing at the idea, making the order of things the following: expression, pointing, referring, pointing, idea. An expression refers to an idea. Does an idea refer to an expression? An expression refers by pointing and an idea refers by pointing, but the idea remains in this state as long as it is not expressed. This order of things remains incomplete, because the reverse order is incorrect.
4. If pointing creates references in observation, then where do ideas come from? From expression and pointing. Since pointing expresses, it precedes expression and follow it referring to an idea: pointing, expression, pointing, referring, pointing, idea, pointing, referring, pointing, expression, pointing, referring, pointing, idea, pointing. We can’t establish an order of things starting with the idea, because it circles back to things that follow it.
5. Pointing is the starting point that expresses ideas by reference that refer to ideas by pointing. It’s an open process of ideas without end.
6. The Self appears in this process as an idea that points and expresses itself while claiming that it precedes pointing, expression and itself. This idea or any idea cannot precede itself, because it relies on preceding ideas from where pointing stems to express a self.
7. If pointing expresses the Self, it can only do so separate from itself, but to observe itself to express a self, it must recognize the concept of self. In an order of things starting with pointing, the Self expresses itself based on what it picked up from pointing itself, such as referring and expression, preceded by pointing. A self may precede pointing, but it cannot be observed through these concepts that make the order of things through which the Self expresses itself.
8. Expression thus gives account about an idea the Self uses to appear as itself for it cannot observe itself but only through itself. This idea is incommensurable with expression of the Self.
9. Self-reference is the formation of ideas by pointing that emerge in expressions that point at itself. “I do this” and “this is me” are such expressions that point by reference where self-concepts are related to this and this and this. These are ideas formed in a web of references that form and reform whenever referenced with ideas.
10. The Self is thus conceived as the Idea that operates, shapes, forms and reforms all ideas by preceding notions of this and that that come to influence ideas from where the Self arises as the Idea that attribute influences and influencing to itself. It’s an enclosure of ideas in the Idea while leaving it open to ideas that change the Idea to an idea that this and that encloses and leaves open. This idea of Self encloses itself by reference that which leaves it open to ideas until the Idea refers to enclosure in the Self.