There are no quick answers in Dhamma, only insight won through experience. In the suttas, those who become enlightened via tremendous insight after hearing a single discourse are already extremely spiritually mature, having cultivated the perfections over many lives. Don't think you're one of them. Answer your own questions yourself with practice and time. Read the suttas. Meditate. And if you get an answer, don't cling to it or you'll just create more views. View after view after view after view...clinging never ends until its conditions end and its conditions only end through practice (action).
At a certain point with any subject, thinking and pondering just creates more views. It's like doing math problems. You can think for an eternity about integrals or derivatives in calculus with all the theoretical knowledge in the world. But until you actually sit your butt down, pick up a pencil, and work out the problems yourself, you will only be able to think so far. Then, once you've gained some insights through practicing problems, all that theoretical knowledge will have a different, clearer light shed on it. Dhamma is no different. You read the suttas and ponder them (theoretical knowledge) then you meditate (practice) and insights come, skills develop. Then the suttas become clearer and you can think and ponder some more because there's more "space" to do so.
The Dhamma is limitless.
Good luck in your practice.
I guess I'm just kind of shocked that I can't get a straight answer on this. It seems like the most basic question one should ask.
What's the point of practice? To achieve Nibbana. What's Nibbana? Just practice and you'll find out.
That's kind of circular. I should practice so I can find out what the point of practice is. Sounds a little too Zen for me...