emma.james wrote:Thanks Jeff for the kind reply.
So do we need to understand - that these 4 systems (kamma, Buddha, world and mind) exist, yet we cannot understand how these things started or will end... and since Buddha discovered a path within these 4 systems to end the suffering, I guess we need to follow that advice?.....
That pretty much sums it up.
Buddha is simply another word, it's meaning typically translated as "the awakened one" or the "the enlightened one". The Buddha, as we call him, did not refer to himself as "Buddha". That name was bestowed upon him by others.
There are four imponderables that were given in one of the Sutta's. I do not have a Sutta reference handy, but here is an excerpt from on online glossary (http://www.edepot.com/budglossary.html
Imponderables: (Four Imponderables). Four things that Buddha warned against. One of these was trying to get into Karmic detail and look to find the "results" of volitional actions (Karma). It is enough to just Know and Understand and Intuitively have insight into the Fact that Volitional Action (karma) begets a result (Vipaka). It is even impossible to judge good and bad because that leads to the intellectual trap of duality and it's Dukkha. From the Pali Canon.... "These four imponderables are not to be speculated about. Whoever speculates about them would go mad & experience vexation. Which four?
The Buddha-range of the Buddhas (i.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha)...
The jhana-range of one absorbed in jhana (i.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana)....
The results of kamma...
Speculation about (the first moment, purpose, etc., of) the cosmos is an imponderable that is not to be speculated about. Whoever speculates about these things would go mad and experience vexation."
This agrees with my notes.
Kamma is very complex, although there is some linearity, it is super multifaceted. It's not as simple as referred to in the way the word karma has been adopted into today's common English (which is why I use the pali word Kamma when referring to Kamma/Karma rather than the Sanskrit karma; which has had the meaning butchered by its populist English language usage.)
For some basic understanding, you may want to read this study guide on Kamma put together by the venerable Thanissarro Bikkhu found here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/kamma.html
May you find peace as you travel the path. There are times it gets difficult and dukkha actually strengthens, these are the times when you know a greater peace will reside once you've broken through the hard stuff.