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Why does modernity (the contemporary world) constantly need to reflect itself to make sense of the world?

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A key feature of modernity is a focus on the importance of individual identity. Identity is seen as nearly sacred, and the push to discover ones "true self" and express it or live it out takes central importance. This can be contrasted with previous eras tendency to focus on individuals as part of larger social groups and taking their meaning from these groups/relationships.

Given this focus on individuality, self-reflection and expression becomes crucial. Many social theorists argue that there is no such thing as an authentic self and that the modern imperative to express oneself is not about discovering some pre-existent "true self" but rather is an exercise through which individual identity is created.

If we use this framework, then, we can understand the modernist tendency to reflect itself endlessly as tied to this desire to find a true self. Like digging into ground that has no hard bottom, self-reflection as a way to create the self has no set endpoint. There is no fixed point or "true substance" involved, just an endlessly self-referential process.

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