The Shape of Suffering: A Study of Dependent Co-Arising is an e-book in PDF format that I found while researching for the talk on paticca sammupada, typically translated as dependent origination (My translation is contingent provisional emergence, which isn’t literal, but I think conveys the process more effectively). It is the Buddha’s way of explaining how the law of karma operates. I believe that.

It’s a copy of an analysis written by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, who is a Westerner and well respected translator and commentator. The author’s view is similar to one I’ve held for several years. Typically, this process is described as sequential, that is, one part of the process depends on the preceding part, completing a circle which repeats rapidly. This commentator’s view relates to modern physics and the concept of non-linear processes, known as complexity theory. I find it to be well thought through, and provides frequent excerpts from the various suttas that exemplify his premise. I hope those who read it find it as helpful as it is for me. –Peter Carlson

Download the PDF: The Shape of Suffering: A Study of Dependent Co-Arising