Although commonly used to refer to "auto", as in automobile, and "net", as in the dot net web address, it was the best word to fit the node that needed to be created for almost entirely unrelated purposes.

Auto, in this situation, should be treated as its a root definition of "self". Net, for our purposes, fits with its common definition of a bunch of connections. With the internet, we see that the connections are made between ("inter") many different things. Therefore, the simplest interpretation of this word is, "connections to oneself". This is then interpreted within the bounds of graph theory.

Given a directed graph, choose one node as the "self" under consideration. This node can then participate in a few types of connections.

  • self -> self, as in an immediate connection back to oneself.
  • other -> self, where any external node is connected to the self directed towards the self.
  • self -> other(+), where the direction is away from the self, and links out to any number of other nodes.
  • self -> other(+) -> self, which is ultimately a cyclic structure, where by a relationship to the self is eventually forged across any number of "external" connections.

This last type of connection is the one under consideration, which I have referred to as an autonet. When taken within the context of a willful, sentient organism, is a way of modeling an organism as ze effects hirself through agents outside of hirself. This is a path by which a being can bring external forces into play on hirself. This is what many (somewhat inacurately) call karma. In general discourse, it is often thought that only two sources affect a being - the being's self-directed efforts (self->self connections), and the being's environment's actions on the being (other->self connections) - however, it is that the being interacts with hir environment that allows the third path to effect the being.

There are a wide variety of examples of how powerful this sort of thing is. In chinese thought, Feng Shui is exactly this connection. To some, this school is the most powerful way of affecting their own lives, to others, it is just a path where proper home decoration leads to proper living. Wiccan religious values clearly state that whatever you do in the world will be paid back to you three-fold, and many others have similar mores. Closer to (my) home, there are numerous sayings about how what you do will come back to you, especially concerning choices in friendships, diet, and general good will. Often, things of this nature attain the name "self-fulfilling prophecy", as when someone's expectation of something leads the realization of such by that being's environment. Depression, to many, is a symptom of improper interactions with the diagnosed's environment.

Not all of these connections are as clear and predictable, however. It is entirely possible for an act to have a profound, but entirely disassociated and unpredictable effect on the actor's life. Along the lines of a butterfly hurricanes or Run Lola Run, small differences in timing or otherwise trivial decisions can eventually (meaning: after being put through a very long series of connections, weaving in and out of each other) have drastic impact on seemingly unrelated areas. It is possible that a Feng Shui master would be able to predict and control these sorts of forces, but the technique is unknown to me.