AdmiralJim wrote:This discussion reminds me of the Catholic concept of original sin. Being punished for what has went before, the only difference being it is somehow linked to previous lives which I don't understand because if there is no self then I see no reason for a retributive effect on something that comes after. Confused
If you experience pain and suffer because of it, its due to Karma. if you experience pain but do not suffer because of it, thats also due to Karma. The first is bad Karma, the second is good Karma, or at least something neutral. The reason you can't imagine pain without suffering is because your not viewing pain as empty, you identify yourself as being the pain, or with the pain, and by imputing this upon the pain you become the pain, then you say "I am in pain" and as a result of this identification you suffer, because you A) Believe there is a self and B) Believe that self is in pain and C) Want that pain to therefore stop.
If you have no self, who is there to feel the pain? Without a self, things arise, but they just are. You have bliss or pain, and there it is, you are neither of these, but they are present. You feel joy or sorrow, but because you refrain from identifying with them, you are not attached to the first and are not averse to the second. Its attachment and aversion that create suffering. Transcending bad Karma does not mean you will never feel pain, it means you won't believe the pain is actually happening to an independently existing entity you call "self".
It comes down to getting what we don't want as a cause for suffering. If we have no aversion to pain, we can't suffer when it arrives.