I very much understand the frustration of students receiving these cryptic answers, in fact I went through the same kind of pain when receiving similar answers from my teacher. I specifically remember wondering why would anybody who have achieved a clear realization of Buddha's teaching not explain it to students in a nice and clear manner. And here I am few years later, declining to elaborate on some of my answers.
Because the reason for me giving such cryptic answers is entirely rational, let me try and summarize it here.
There is a type of questions, that come from confusion about the concept one is asking about, from what I call incorrect frame or reference. Answering these directly is not helpful. E.g. the one that started this thread seems to come from a complete absence of understanding, which makes it pretty much invalid and irrelevant. The options we have for these are:
- Close the answer as "not clear".
- Answer with "your question is invalid and irrelevant".
- Try to give them an outline of the area the question lies in. In this case, give a definition of Samsara, introduce the Six Worlds, mention transmigration -- in effect write an introductory article on Buddhism 101.
- Answer the question directly. In this case, say 'According to Buddha (here is a quote) Samsara is beginningless, so it has no "starting" as you called it'. Like I said above, such answer hardly helps the questioner get anywhere. They need to start thinking about their mind here and now, not about speculative points like "if Samsara has no beginning where do I come from?"
- Or, the option I chose, is to give an answer that is ultimately valid and points the questioner in the direction they should focus their inquiry on. In this case, it is an invitation to switch one's context from the objective timeline, to phenomenology of "I" and "world" (or subject and object), to research into relationship of mind and experience, which, when followed through, and augmented with practice of meditation, altruism, and non-attachment, will eventually lead the person to Right Understanding.
Here is another consideration:
Previously (on Buddhism Q&A site on Google+ during the last year or two), I used to answer such questions elaborately: explain what the question implies, point out why this is an invalid way to think about the subject, introduce a valid frame of reference, and outline the basic structure they should follow to arrive to an insight. Then I noticed, that people who tend to ask such "confused" questions, often do not appreciate a complete answer, because they are not ready for complete answer yet! Instead, all they are trying to do is "probe" their way around Dharma, and try to identify key concepts and relationships relevant to their Spiritual Quest.
A notable example is this question, where the questioner, after having received 4 elaborate answers said: "Thank you all for the considered and learned answers. I shall study the texts in question. However, I am a simple man. Is there a simple answer to my question?"
This led me to appreciate my teacher's attitude to questions: because much of Buddhism is "skillful means" (upaya) designed to aid one's spiritual transformation, rather than give a purely conceptual understanding, long explanations are irrelevant at best. At worst, they have a potential to rob the student of motivation to actively inquire and thus receive their own insights about their psyche, their world, and how the two relate. So giving a cryptic or simplistic hint may be the least evil, pointing them in the right direction without confusing them or robbing of their own path.
All this said, while writing this reply, I did get a few ideas about the way this particular question can be addressed, and edited my answer to make it more helpful to the poster and other readers. Thank you for your inspiration guys!