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What is the difference between imagination and intent? Does imagination also create kamma? Can someone help me explain this in simpler terms?

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Mental activity is, too, a type of activity.

This includes thinking, imagination, mulling over ideas, cultivating certain mind states and suppressing others.

Repeated thinking on some topic (including imagination) habituates the mind to that theme. Habituation affects the mind's tendencies and dispositions.

Metta meditation works by changing the mind's habits. Imagination is a simple brother of meditation, so it works similarly just at a more crude level.

Karma is not something magical, it only seems magical when you don't understand how it works. It works simply by creating latent causes that change the odds of certain things happening or not happening.

Mental activity such as imagination is yet another source of such latent causes.

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There is that which is called mind, consciousness or intellect, it arises as one thing and ceases as another. This element is thought to conceive & perceive the world in the world.

Conception is creation and creation is thought of as an act, intending one acts. Therefore kamma is the six classes of intention; in regards to the eye, nose, ear, tongue, body or intellect.

Sutta expression

That in the world by which one is a perceiver of the world, a conceiver of the world—this is called the world in the Noble One’s Discipline. And what, friends, is that in the world by which one is a perceiver of the world, a conceiver of the world? The eye is that in the world by which one is a perceiver of the world, a conceiver of the world . The ear … The nose … The tongue … The body … The mind is that in the world by which one is a perceiver of the world, a conceiver of the world.
SN 35.116

Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect. ...

"And what is the diversity in kamma? There is kamma to be experienced in hell, kamma to be experienced in the realm of common animals, kamma to be experienced in the realm of the hungry shades, kamma to be experienced in the human world, kamma to be experienced in the world of the devas. This is called the diversity in kamma.

"And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here & now, that which arises later [in this lifetime], and that which arises following that. This is called the result of kamma.

"And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.
AN 6.63

"And what are fabrications? These six classes of intention — intention with regard to form, intention with regard to sound, intention with regard to smell, intention with regard to taste, intention with regard to tactile sensation, intention with regard to ideas: these are called fabrications.
SN 22.57

Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises ear-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises nose-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises tongue-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises body-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact... Dependent on the intellect & mental qualities there arises intellect-consciousness. The meeting of the three is contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. This is the origination of the world.
SN 12.44

What's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.
SN 12.61

“Contact, reverends, is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the middle. And craving is the seamstress, for craving weaves one to this or that kind of becoming.
AN 6.61

Mind precedes fabricated things; Mind directs them, they are mind-made.

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