There is an experience that sometimes arises after awakening or Self realization – that the karma or obligatory experiences from our past have ended. That awakening totally roasts our mountains of karma and now we act only from Being. We are freed from our past.
While there is a depth of Being or samadhi that destroys those latent impressions and does free us from our past, there are some issues with thinking it’s all done.
For one, all actions always arise in Being. It was only our identification with them as “mine” that made them seem otherwise. There has just been a shift in viewpoint.
Secondly, while the end of identification means the release of our karmic threads & the roasting of those mountains, most of us still will have active “sprouted” seeds that are busy in our lives and being reinforced. Those habits of mind and body.
Thirdly, what drove us to exist physically as a being is due to our past karma or the destiny of our purpose. (depending on how you look at it) If our karma ended, we would die. There would be nothing to keep the form present.
Genpo Roshi spoke of this, the experience of loosing karma and then discovering with a rush it’s back again. This relates partly to what Adyashanti calls the end of the honeymoon phase, when the mind tries to take over again. But more so to the increasing space created by the integrating awareness. This open space draws out what has yet to be seen.
We also all know of stories of “fallen” or ill gurus. This does not mean they are not awake – only that their karma is not done. In most cases, if they’re here, it’s not.
I’ve also had awake people tell me their karma had ended and now they were working on others. There are a few issues with this. It presupposes karma is individual. Nothing is individual. Karma has an association with its point of origin but it plays on the field of action as a whole. Because their life and form have remained, this indicates the karma has continued. It seems this is just a way of explaining the changing experience.
I think the better understanding is that we transcend our identification with a “person” so we, as Being, detach from its karma. The karma remains and continues. We are simply no longer caught in it. Later, we see this for ourselves.
This is not to say we can’t shift how the karma is expressed. If we’re able to observe something flowering in our life, we can choose to have it express in awareness and complete. This avoids a big drama in form. But this can be tricky as karma often comes with its own blind spot, the effect of resistance.
In the end, when our allotted life ends, if we have awoken and roasted the seeds of the past, the “personal” karma does end. I have heard that sometimes the awake will have a choice and can stay on. Only then will they be free of “personal” karma. Acting without identification, no lasting consequences are produced. Life is simply experienced in its fullness.