There Is No Suffering 77

The functioning of the six entries leads to the sixth link, contact with the environment. Without the environment, it would be impossible for the six entries to function, and no new karma would be created. Retribution would not be received. Contact with the environment leads to the seventh links, sensation, the experience of pleasure and pain. Sensation leads to the eighth link, desire, which also encompasses craving or greed, and hatred or anger.

After desire comes grasping—the ninth link. When one craves something, one grasps for it. Likewise, when one hates something, one tries to reject or escape it. Once a body with consciousness from previous lives interacts with the environment and experiences suffering or happiness, craving or hatred, and grasps or rejects, the tenth link—existence—comes into being. By existence, we mean the creation of a new cycle of karma. These are the seven links of the present life. They are, in actuality, an expanded version of the three links of the previous life.

The Future Life

Unresolved karma carries over to the next life through consciousness when birth, the eleventh link, occurs. This allows a sentient being to begin receiving the retribution of the accumulated karma. The twelfth link completes the cycle as aging and death. Of course, all beings begin aging from the moment of birth, and eventually die. However, the individual will repeatedly enter samsara to experience the twelve links, until all existing karma is resolved, and no new karma is created.