acinteyyo wrote:sorry, it seems that I should have been expressing myself clearer. With "in essence somebody" I did not mean that we really are in essence somebody. I meant the act of "I-making", "my-making" which leads to the wrong view that we are "in essence somebody". The clump of matter for example, depending on kamma, really believes to be "in essence somebody" (sakkaya-ditthi), believes to be a personality.
So for the clump of matter to become a being, which believes to be in essence somebody (sakkaya-ditthi, atta-vada), kamma is the crucial factor. Otherwise the clump of matter remains just as a clump of matter. The same is valid also for the rest of the five aggregates. For consciousness to become a being, which believes to be in essence somebody, kamma is the crucial factor, too. The puthujjana regards one, more or all of the five aggregates of grasping as self. This is what makes him believe "to be in essence somebody". That's a delusion but the delusion itself is real.
That's why kamma is essential for birth of a being. In simple words, no action of "I-making", no "I". No notion of "I", then no one is to be found.
Thanks for clarifying yourself. And thanks for re-iterating the orthodox doctrine on this matter. I note that it does not constitute an argument that kamma must be necessary for 'I making', only that it is an assertion that kamma is indeed necessary.
This sort of explanation begs all sorts of questions for me, such as:
What happens if two of the required factors are met but not three? Do the other two just 'wait'?
How does the kamma navigate to the sperm and egg? It appears to operate in time. Does it move through space or is it instantaneous?
What stops multiple streams of kamma from arriving at the same embryo at the same time?
What if there isn't enough kamma at any given moment? Or too much?
How did the mechanism come into being? And so on.
So, I don't find it very satisfactory as an explanation. It all seems very speculative and frankly, far-fetched. I'm inclined to focus on what I can actually experience and verify or at least provisionally accept as coherent.
EDIT TO ADD: Also, 'a lump of matter' will always function as psychically inert in an argument that defines it that way or assumes that to be the case. Whether what we experience as 'matter' is genuinely absent of all qualities for mental or proto-mental processes to occur (and thus requiring some pre-existing, separate, mysterious entity such as a 'soul' or 'life force' or 'kamma stream' or 'primordial consciousness' to animate it) is another matter (no pun intended) altogether.