The prefix ‘supra’ most generally means “higher than”,1 but is in the title of this contemplation used in the meaning of “more than (what is expressed by the second element)”.2 It stems from the Latin ‘suprā’,3 carrying similar meanings.4 That it is used here in the meaning of ‘more than what is expressed by the second element’ means that the title refers to karma that is more than individual.
This must be explained. In earlier contemplations was karma equalled to choice and was choice shown to be made on the level of consciousness or the soul.5, 6 It was also shown that in the secret wisdom teaching individuality is related to the soul.7 So it can be said that karma, choice, consciousness and individuality all belong to each other. Karma then can only be in play when there is a certain amount of individuality. Now individualisation happens when, driven by evolution, a transition is made from the animal kingdom into the human.8 A separate animal does thus not fall under the law of karma. For it does not have individual consciousness and it does not choose. Now although it is true that an animal does not have an individual consciousness it does have some type of consciousness. In an earlier contemplation this was called ‘collective consciousness’ or ‘shared consciousness’.9 Animals of a certain species all share one specific consciousness. That is why they all behave the same in similar situations. This is different for human individuals who may choose to act differently in similar situations. So animals of a certain species share one distinct type of consciousness. Now it must be set clear that this shared consciousness counts in its whole for an individual consciousness. An individual consciousness (such as that of a deva or an angel) ruling an animal species has chosen a certain behaviour, and with this she will experience the effects of her choice. (The choice for ‘she’ and ‘her’ has been deliberate for reasons that may be explained somewhere else). And all animals sharing in her consciousness will share in this karma also.
Here we must remind ourselves that humans are basically souls in animal bodies,10 and that our bodies are of a specific kind. We may be African, Asian, Caucasian, or of another specific human race type. Now with our bodies being animal and of a specific race it can be understood that our bodies are ruled by a specific shared consciousness just like animal species are. Now as far as our individual consciousness, the consciousness of our individual soul, is lacking we are behaving according to what the shared consciousness of our specific body prescribes for us. And from this behaviour a shared karma is effected. We, or rather; our bodies, share in the karma of the race to which we belong. And this goes also for the nationality and the family to which we belong, as well as for the whole of humanity to which we belong.11, 12 And this can be extended in many directions. This is what is meant with ‘supra-individual karma’ or with ‘karma that is more than individual’. Much karmic effects that are undergone do not have their roots in individual acts but in one or the other type of shared karma. A good though controversial example is that of the Jewish race. The terrible holocaust can be considered as a karmic effect of a certain prolonged separative and materialistic tendency of the Jewish race in a whole.13 However the terrible suffering of Jewish individuals cannot be done away with as individual karma alone. They suffered generally because they belonged to the Jewish race.
We now see how very complicated the assessing of personal and individual life happenings becomes.14 We not only need to recon with individual accidence, choice and fate, not only with these three in relation to different incarnations,15 but also with these three in relation to supra-individual levels. Perhaps later on some general outlines can be given. To be on the safe side however means to postpone conclusions.