• Are you saying something like the following?

There must be some true descriptions of a reality, i.e. actualized rules or meta-rules or meta-...rules, because just as “there are no applicable rules” is a meta-rule, “there are no rules or meta-rules or meta-meta-rules or meta-...rules” would be a meta-(meta-[meta-{meta-...}])rule.

So by counterfactually assuming no low-level rules while being indifferent to the number of (meta-[meta-{meta-...}])rules, we arrived at an infinity of (meta-[meta-{meta-...}])rules, one per level of meta after the lowest/​first level: “There are no actualized rules, there is only one meta-rule, there is only one meta-meta-rule...there is only one (meta-[meta-{meta-...}])rule”.

If there were any other lowest/​first level rule, it would be possible to make a different meta-rule describing the lower rule and thereby form the base of what could only be a different infinite meta-tower than that described above as the result of not having low-level rules. In any case, that would be at least one base-level rule.

Therefore, the question “Why are there some true actualized (meta-[meta-{meta-...}])rules?” is ill-formed because it logically could not be otherwise.

Finally, if the question “why is there X rather than not X?” is ill-formed because the counterfactual of assuming (not X) led to a contradiction, then not (not X) i.e. X. So: not “why is it the case that there are at least some (meta-[meta-{meta-...}])rules rather than none?”, rather, “there are at least some (meta-[meta-{meta-...}])rules.”

• Yes, that is what I’m saying. “Nothing” means no space, no time, no energy, no particles, no fields, no interactions… not even any “meta-rules,” as you put it. Existence is fundamentally the context of everything, regardless of at how many levels we can describe it, or how many forms the rules could or do take. When we discuss phenomena within the context, it can make sense to say “why is there X rather than not X (or Y, or Z...)”, but it doesn’t make sense to discuss the context itself in that way.

• it doesn’t make sense to discuss the context itself in that way.

As I think of it, it does make sense to talk about the wider context of the rules, which are the meta-rules, but it does not make sense to demand a context that cannot itself be described within a wider context.

(If a (meta-[meta-{meta-...}])ruleset had a horizontal slice of the meta-tower identical to the other immediately higher and lower slices, then it would provide its own context. Somehow the rules and meta-rules would have to be identical, but it would still have a context, it just wouldn’t be a different context. I’m not sure this is possible, but that “possible” world isn’t ours anyway. If it were, the rules would be the meta-rules too, and we wouldn’t have to look deeper.

I strongly doubt the tower can repeat, e.g. with rules identical to meta-meta-rules, unless they are also equal to the meta-rules and every other level.

The “tower” with rules on the bottom, meta-rules above that, etc. is either repeating or non-repeating, but I don’t see how it could have a limited number of floors.)

Regardless, if the rules/​first floor is empty (i.e. there are no rules by which anything exists) then the meta-rules/​second floor has an occupant (i.e. “there are no rules by which anything exists”) so the meta-tower isn’t empty.