The Diamond Sūtra is the first documented exploration of the Self-Loop and its formalization in the Logical-Form of the Self-Eating Expression.
But the Self-Eating Expression in one of its various guises can be located in every serious inquiry that is self-referential.
In other words, in any inquiry that relates to, or requires the presence of Subject in its most general sense. The ubiquitous ignored hand-maiden present at all births and deaths.
[The Self-Loop is not to be confounded with such common terms as ‘Circular Reasoning’ for example, a far-weaker directive, an aborted self-scuttle.]
You’ll find it in the oldest posit of the Upanishads and the central metaphor of Buddhism. It is in the opening lines of the opening verse of the Chinese Tao-Te-Ching, the first philosophy of China.
It is in the opening Zen Koan from the principal koan collection, the Japanese Mumonkon [‘Gateless-Gate’; is that a SEE?]. It is the central theme of ‘Vishnu’s Dream’, the best-known of Sanskrit Puranic Myths.
In Latin, at the first Christian Synod of Nicaea. In Arabic, as the final stage of Islamic Sufi Practice. You will find it in every serious investigation of : ‘Know-Thyself’, the most ubiquitous injunction in all Language. And ‘Nameless’, the most carefully constructed name for the Divine.
You will find it in Aristotle’s ‘God’; and Socrates’ diatribe on the: ‘Most Vicious of Circles’. In Immanuel Kant’s ‘Highest Principle in all Human Cognition’; in Friedrich Hegel’s very definition of Philosophy [and the folly of Inquiry].
You will find it in Ramana Maharishi’s principal teaching metaphor. You will find it on the sarcophagus of ToutAnkhAmun at the Egypt museum in Cairo.
Less obviously, you will find it in Aristotle’s defense of the Principle of Contradiction [the ‘First Principle of all Analytic Cognition’] at the very birth of Logic.
In the demise of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica, in Kurt Godel’s investigation of Provability with his Incompleteness Theorems [‘The Most Significant Mathematical Discovery of the Century’-cooed Harvard in 1952] and its say on the meaning of formalized systems, of Mathematics
It is coiled, left unwound, at the very foundations of the subjects of Epistemology and Ontology, the pillars of Academic Philosophy. Of Semiotics and Semantics and the origins of Language.
It is dormant, lies unrecognized, at the root of Science and ‘Scientific Method’. Of the Binary Code, the nerve-center of this Age of Information, and the founding derivations of Modern Software.
And on and on.
When you spot a coiled Self-Eating Expression, you can do one of two things. Act on it, unwind it back to True Nothing and clear the air.
Or wring your hands at its paralyzing absurdity, do a sophisticated explanation, declare victory and look away [the ‘Blink and Wink’].
What happens if you stop-short of True Nothing? Make a Line out of the Self-Loop? That’s what a lot of the upcoming Posts are all about.