# Is the concept of space-time curvature a recursive one? [duplicate]

A way some people explain (or try to explain) how gravity works is using space-time curvature: an object with high mass distorts the surrounding space-time plane like a bowling ball distorts a sheet of plastic and the surrounding objects are always trying to roll down to that other object.

However, this explanation to me seems flawed, because in order to work, it needs to be influenced by the very thing it tries to explain. The reason a bowling ball distorts a sheet is because Earth's gravity is affecting it. However, the space-time curvature which this distortion is an analogy to is trying to explain gravity. The implication of this space-time curvature is that something is pulling down on the space-time plane, but this pulling itself requires gravity from a perpendicular source, it seems to me.

I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around this. The method we use to explain gravity itself uses gravity to work, sort of like some kind of recursive loop. it's comparable to "to get fuel, we need to drive, and to drive, we need fuel", and I don't know enough about gravity to figure this out myself.

Am I understanding this analogy correctly, or are there deeper things at play?