Your questions go to the heart of the whole DO idea. Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of DN15 (not availale on-line as far as I can see) discusses this vortex of name-and-form and conciousness, as do many of the works of Ven Nanananda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurund ... anda_Thera
. This essay by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, referred to above https://mettarefuge.wordpress.com/2011/ ... casuality/
or http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... nance.html
as well as his book "Wings to Awakening" http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html
also discusses non-linearity.