In his article "The Self-Referential Aspect of Consciousness" Cosmin Visan  explains in great detail how Self-Reference (SR) brings Consciousness into existence. He also describes how consciousness is structured on a hierarchy of phenomenological levels as manifestations of self-reference, which he names Self, Vividness, Diversity, Memory and Time. However, he describes a remaining problem as regards how self-reference picks up essences, give us exactly the qualia domains we have and not others.
Although I will certainly not claim to have solved this problem I would like to take you on a mystical journey into additional possible levels of phenomenology as an alternative non-scientific representation (I don't dare to call it an explanation) of a great deal of phenomena. Additional levels are frequency, music and recursive self-modification, respectively, giving rise to electromagnetic radiation, gravity and material reality ontogenesis.
I will also draw an analogy between Visan's phenomenological levels of SR and Peircean, Palmerian and Goertzelian metaphysics.
Moreover, I will present this as a spiritual process of the art of the descent of the Self into matter.
It is certainly no claim of me or of this essay that anything described herein is the way that things happen in reality. Rather it is an artistic and aesthetic proposal, building on philosophical and mythological ideas. A mythopoetic mythopoetic proposal, which suggests how from consciousness a material world can have arisen. Any assertion in this article should not be considered a fact but a hypothesis.
Because the explanation of the Self-Referential Aspect of Consciousness is indispensable to my theory, I'd like to encourage you to read this paper  before going further. But in case you don't have time for that I will try to summarise its teachings briefly, knowing that this is bound to give an incomplete understanding.
Visan describes how self-reference has the property of looking back at itself. The Self, the ontological entity at the heart of consciousness is hereinafter referred to as "I" (although not referring to the Ego). Imagine an empty universe where there is only "I". "I" sends an "am" arrow like reference into the unknown, which only hits something by returning to itself, thereby acknowledging its own existence and thus establishing the "I am" knowledge of itself. This level of Being Visan calls the phenomenological level of "Self", which can be compared to Peirce's firstness or raw being. Kether of the Kabbalah.
Now the Self can identify with this new "I am" concept which appeared, leading to an I am "I am" state. This is the second level, Visan calls "Vividness". I compare it to a kind of reaction or polarisation or dualisation into two states, comparable with Peirce's secondness. It also brings a first possibility of creating distance to itself. To see oneself as an object.
This process can be repeated to give higher levels such as I am "I am "I am"". This generates "Diversity" according to Visan as the self can identify with multiple states, namely with both "I am" and with the "I am "I am". Therefore Visan calls this state I am "I am" & I am. In Peircean metaphysics the third level is about relation between the two poles, which is in fact expressed in the ampersand symbol of the above-mentioned state. It brings a further possibility of creating distance to itself. To see oneself as an object and to see the content of one's contemplation.
The fourth level introduces Memory. Memory stores what has been, which is its own quale and which is the collection of all its previous levels: Diversity & Vividness & Self equals the state [I am "I am" & I am] & [I am "I am"] & [I am].
The emergent level is more than the levels from which it emerges and cannot be reduced thereto, but does include those levels, which are also still operating independently. Each level is a form of consciousness and each qualitative essence requires a complete emergent structure to arise.
Visan defines an essence as that what makes an entity to be what it is and also equates this to a quale and a concept. An existence he defines as an actual instantiation of an essence. By introducing a third degree of distance, we have now created our familiar three dimensional space. But that also means that memory is a kind of spherical cell, as there is no mechanism by which extension would be more prominent along one of the axes. In analogy to the terminology in Steven Kaufman's URT , we could call this memory cell a "reality cell".
As each entity can look back at itself, it is fact a kind of "Self" itself. Which means that self-reference is a means to generate a plurality of "selves", so that it includes and transcends itself. It bootstraps consciousness into existence, the actual only thing that really exists.
In Goertzelian metaphysics (which continues where Peirce and Palmer stopped) four is the level of emergence of the first stable form. A memory is also a stable form in that it can be remembered and thus perpetuated over time. Thus Self has created the first structurally existing object, which is also a subject as it is a self with the ability to look back at itself. This looking back at itself of a memory cell creates a kind of pulsation: the "memory" sends "am" radial like reference arrows into the unknown, which only hits something by returning to itself. This can be called the breathing of a reality cell and is in fact the generation of periodicity of time.
Visan distinguishes between recursivity and self-reference. A fractal, which is recursive takes its output and uses this as an input in an iterative manner. Looking-back-at-itself however, is not iterative but is by its very nature Visan argues. The "self-reference" is always itself; it does not need to do anything. The "process" of levels described above, may look iterative, but in fact it is just the continuous action of looking back, which does not stop but is always there in a timeless manner and is not really a process.
How do "doing" and time then arise?
Chronos, Brahman and Tartaros
Time emerges out of memory. The present moment is itself a memory and is then taken as a memory and fed-back into the present moment to create a new memory. "I" remembering that it had a memory becomes a new instantiation, which can be remembered in turn. The new present moment is then itself as present moment and as past for the next moment. Time by looking back includes itself (memory), and thereby becomes more than itself and becomes an essence onto itself (Chronos). But time does not only result in a breathing, which is the level of memory cells looking back at themselves. The more original level of self, when remembering that it had a memory which becomes a new instantiation thereby creates a new memory cell! So now we have our first element of doing. Out of a single cell, two cells appear. We have a mechanism of cell multiplication by cell division, the procreation of form.
Akasha or Aether
If memory is the first stable counting starts here. Every additional level generates a new number. And new reality or memory cells. It creates the rhythm of Brahman, the bringing forth, which is synchronous with the breathing of the cells. But as heavenly as this may sound, at the same time it's also the creation of Hell, Tartaros or the multiplicity that allows us to be pulled apart in different directions.
These reality cells neatly stack onto each other in a closest packing, and by confining each other creating an isotropic vector equilibrium, in which each set of 13 cells can be described as a cuboctahedron, but by the pressing of the cells on each other each individual cell also takes the shape of a cuboctahedron.
As the cells touch each other, they create relations with each other, which are higher levels of self-contemplation. Thus a relational matrix as usggested by Kaufman  is formed, which I'd like to equate with the Hindu concept of the Akasha or the Greek concept of Aether. This is space at large, the organised quantum vacuum.
If a sixth level is introduced above time, this allows for a diversification of the temporal states, which introduces the possibilities to create a code by identifying with one additional state or not. It provides space-time with a content, which propagates over time through memory. In line with Kaufman's URT, this is Energy or Light, a distortion of the space fabric. Again these light waves are sentient, because they are higher level instantiations of self-reference.
A further level -levels will from now on be indicated with a number between brackets- (7) of self-referential identification with content or not can lead to the formation of patterns. Given that only simple on-off patterns which are repetitive stable can perpetuate over time can be identified with at this level, makes that this level generates the highest frequency. A frequency is a tone.
The next level (8) level that adds a tone is a new pattern, a new code, which leaves more gaps and results in a lower frequency. And thus a spectrum of tones is generated. Perhaps this is the birth of the electromagnetic spectrum.
A next level of self-reference could bring all kinds of patterns of tones or frequencies. This is a kind of Music (9). Note that there were 9 Muses in the Greek Mythology. Like in Tolkien's Silmarillion, the Universe was sung into existence, by Eru Lluvatar the one and his Ainur (comparable with God and his Angles: The Elohim).
The frequencies pair and are attracted to each other: Gravity is caused by gradients of radial distortions emanating from a linearly propagating distortion. Distortions attract each other more if the reality cells they propagate through are more distorted. This creates gravity. When distortions meet each other, due to the rules inherent to the structure of the medium, the distortions start to circumambulate each other forming a so-called compound process, which is how a particle is formed from pure energy in Kaufman's  model.
The sensing of the radial attraction is also a cognitive process of the propagating waves. They become aware of an influence, which by now they no longer recognise as themselves. The cycle of confusion is complete, the individual self, atma or soul has descended into matter and forgotten about its conscious origin. The energies have convolutedly descended in a double helical coil. This is the Kundalini, the coiled snake, lying at the base of every soul, atma or self. Kundal means coil. But I could also dissect the word Kundalini in parts and read it as if it was written in Dutch. (I am a Dutch native speaker). To me Kundalini sounds like "De kunde van het dalen in "i", which would mean the art of the descent into "i", in which i symbolises the mathematical imaginary dimension. What I'd like to convey with this mystical pun is that the genesis of matter is a descent of the Self in ever more convoluted constructs of imagination, so that it loses itself and become matter. Two propagating waves, which create such a compound process of circumambulating Yin and Yang together from a material particle. The first sub-atomic material particle is born here.
This stage is a self-reflection, where the self appears no longer to refer to itself but instead takes this other part of what is still itself to be something else. It is the Ouroboros believing that his tail belongs to another entity.
This would be level 10, which in the Kabbalah also corresponds with Malkuth, the kingdom of material existence.
As I already wrote, from level six onwards we get a code in reality; reality from level six onwards is paninformatical and panmusical from level 9 onwards. A holographic universe of resonances, a panresonant universe as well.
Recursively Self-Modifying Code
With the birth of material particles, all kinds of interesting information and energy exchanges can start to occur and for every interaction, it can be considered that reality takes itself as input undergoes a transformation and creates an output. The input is still a kind of code, but the transforming entity is the same code, giving rise to a transformed code that is still reality. This is the process of pancomputationalism. This is the process of a recursive self-modifying code or language, in line with Langan's CTMU , and Tsang's  Brain Fractal Theory. Thus recursive self-modification is but a higher level (11) form of self-reference. It gives birth to fractals, which are ubiquitous in nature. It also gives rise to many rounds of informational exchange, transformations and aggregations from sub-atomic particles to atoms, from atoms to stars and more atoms, from atoms to molecules, from molecules to macromolecules, such as self-processing RNA. And here we encounter reality in a blissful form of self-similarity. As I wrote in a previous article:
"RNA is the nucleic acid molecule that preceded the better known nucleic acid carrier of inheritable traits called DNA in evolution. Certain viruses, proto-life forms, do not have a DNA but an RNA molecule instead. RNA is also present as an essential constituent in the cells of every life form. Nucleic acids are like a code with four symbols, which are present in the form of two pairs of complementary molecular motifs called nucleotides. They encode proteins. The code can be read by other nucleic acids that dock to the code if they have the complementary code. This can then trigger the assembly of proteins from amino acids. It can also result in the further assembly of a complementary nucleic acid strand, which is a form of copying the code. So basically nucleic acids function as a kind of cellular computer, which takes other nucleic acid molecules as input and provides proteins or nucleic acids as output.
Certain types of RNA can fold back on themselves and have stretches of their nucleotides pair, so that you get a kind of lariat form. Where did I see this before? It reminds me of the alchemical symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that bites its own tail and thereby gets to know itself. An ancient symbol of the self-reflective nature of consciousness.
Now certain RNA molecules can process i.e. modify themselves when they interact with themselves. Often this results in cutting of a part of itself (self-splicing), but it can also result in extending itself."
Tsang shows us how nature's program or recursive self-modifying code further gives rise to genes, organisms and neurons. Neural networks, which are the apex of Self-representative abilities; the summum bonum of Self-reference.
As I wrote in my previous article:
"This finally leads to the "principle of Efficient Language". A neural network with binary trees (as we saw in Tsang's theories) allows for a maximisation in the generation of meaning whilst ensuring the least amount of action (as well as the least amount of symbols and simplest syntax) to achieve this. It also allows for the expression of binary syntactically free choices inherent in the underlying consciousness. Meaning comes first geometrically and numerically at the fundamental level of reality but its readout becomes transcendent thereof in higher neural networks, whilst still being built on and emergent from these geometric/numerical structures. Not unlike Buckminster Fuller's  geometry of thought."
A Recursively Self-Modifying Code, an ultimate Panmetaphor?
I have taken you on a dazzling journey of self-reference. We started with Visan's pure consciousness self-reference to give rise to vividness, diversity, memory and time. In memory I identified structure and the seed for space. In combination with time this led to the generation of the space-time matrix I called the Akasha and which I described in line with Kaufman's Unified Reality Theory. We saw how space generated tone, code, frequency and music and how matter was born from the mutual attraction between sentient energy waves. We saw where the Self lost itself in becoming a localised material particle and lower self. We have seen how the self has travelled through the recursively self-modifying process of evolution to create neural networks, capable of high levels of representation that allow for the uncovering or Apokalypsis of the nature of the Self. In this process of remembering, we can now finally identify again with the undifferentiated Self at the beginning of this story. You, I and everybody and everything else is just a higher level self-referential instantiation of one and the same consciousness. Ultimately we are one, we are the same. So let's give up our quarrels and disharmony and treat each other as the limbs of the same organism that got lost in imagination. Imagining itself to be other. Rise O Kundalini, spread your wings O Quetzalcoatl, O Caduceus and return to your heavenly empire of Oneness.
By Antonin Tuynman, author of the books "Is Intelligence an Algorithm?", "Transcendental Metaphysics" and "Technovedanta".
 Cosmin Visan, The Self Referential Aspect of Consciousness, Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 8 (11):864-880, 2017.
 S.Kaufman “Unified Reality Theory: The Evolution of Existence Into Experience”, Destiny Toad Press, 2002.
 C.M. Langan, “The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe: A New Kind of Reality Theory” Progress in Complexity, Information and Design, 2002.
 Wai H.Tsang, The Fractal Brain Theory, Lulu press, 2017.