Kamma distinctions

Are there any distinctions in EBT’s concerning kamma.

There are distinctions between nama and rupa, both must have kamma. When combined they encompass all things mind and body and matter relative to a time frame. Matter has an evolutionary history, kamma. Mind has an evolutionary history, kamma, both long term genetic, rebirth from animal to man, and short term derived moment to moment, a living experience as man. Jung goes a little way in pointing this out in terms of the collective and personal unconscious mind.

A question out of curiosity.

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There are distinctions between wholesome and unwholesome kamma, the results in this lifetime are described in MN 19. This was the discovery the Buddha-to-be made which led to awakening, that the result of wholesome thoughts is the pathway out of the world.

" The most important feature of kamma is its capacity to produce results corresponding to the ethical quality of the action. An immanent universal law holds sway over volitional actions, bringing it about that these actions issue in retributive consequences, called vipaka, “ripenings,” or phala, “fruits.” The law connecting actions with their fruits works on the simple principle that unwholesome actions ripen in suffering, wholesome actions in happiness. The ripening need not come right away; it need not come in the present life at all. Kamma can operate across the succession of lifetimes; it can even remain dormant for aeons into the future. But whenever we perform a volitional action, the volition leaves its imprint on the mental continuum, where it remains as a stored up potency. When the stored up kamma meets with conditions favorable to its maturation, it awakens from its dormant state and triggers off some effect that brings due compensation for the original action. The ripening may take place in the present life, in the next life, or in some life subsequent to the next. A kamma may ripen by producing rebirth into the next existence, thus determining the basic form of life; or it may ripen in the course of a lifetime, issuing in our varied experiences of happiness and pain, success and failure, progress and decline. But whenever it ripens and in whatever way, the same principle invariably holds: wholesome actions yield favorable results, unwholesome actions yield unfavorable results."—Bikkhu Bodhi


I am not an expert in EBT and do not know much about Western’s philosophy; therefore, this is just what I personally understand:

Namarupa itself is not mind-and-body. Namarupa does not have consciousness. It depends on consciousness to arise. It’s like the flame of the candle and its light. The light depends on the flame to arise. With the flame of that candle, light arises. However, the light of the candle does not contain the flame in it. They simply arise together. Moreover, rupa is not simply the body. By definition, rupa is “the four great elements and the form derived from the four great elements”. It can also be the object of the senses.

To my understanding, the best candidate for something that relates to kamma in Buddhism is bhavo (State of the being). Bhavo is the result of evolutionary accumulation of all intentional actions of a being. Therefore, it is normally about a self. This is the invisible factor that drives our actions and rebirth. This is what Jung may call “personal unconscious mind.”

Since Western’s view may not account for rebirth. The bhavo will be seen as “personal unconscious mind” because it only accounts for one life. However, in Buddhism, there is rebirth. There is samsara. That bhavo is not the product of one life, it is the product of countless lives. Therefore, it can also be called “collective unconscious” factor. I think this is what Jung may call “collective unconscious mind.”



The Buddha teaches four kinds of deeds. The first two are not surprising and most commonly understood by all:

AN4.234:3.5: There are dark deeds with dark results;
AN4.234:3.6: bright deeds with bright results;

The third reflects the rather muddled state of affairs that often results in attempts to “do the best for everybody”

AN4.234:3.7: dark and bright deeds with dark and bright results; and

The fourth is the surprising and subtle one. It is the kamma that leads to the end of kamma. It is the kamma of the Noble Eightfold Path:

AN4.234:3.8: neither dark nor bright deeds with neither dark nor bright results, which lead to the ending of deeds.


The danger is practitioners think to leap to the final stage prematurely, without accomplishing purification through the skills of right effort first:

“And what sort of practice is the practice leading to the cessation of skillful resolves? There is the case where a monk generates desire…for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen…for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen…for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen…(and) for the… development & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen. This sort of practice is the practice leading to the cessation of skillful resolves.”—MN 78

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Hi, thanks for your response. I am aware of your suggestions in regard to EBT’s. As with many people I was looking for something with a deeper. Possibly, such as where doe’s the flame come from that lights the candle and also the oxygen required for the flame to burn with etc etc. It’s one of those endless questions.

Regards and happy new year.

I mean mara was a murderous warlord, right? But he gave food to a starving Kassapa. I guess meeting the Buddha doesn’t always have to end up with a fruitful result. What do you think about this? Was the creation of mara an inevitable price we had to pay? Mara posesses powers he probably doesn’t deserve. He was just lucky to meet a Buddha and almost got promoted into a Brahma.