Thirsting soul

The convenience of food, the taste of the dishes, the palatal pleasure is mental. The palate itself is physical. If the human being did not have the physical, he could not get the mental pleasure. If he had no physical ear, he could not hear, had he no physical eye, he could not see. We perceive everything that we perceive with the physical senses at first. The modern human being can perceive nothing without his physical senses. He is used to them. He is used to satisfying such wishes that can be satisfied by the sense organs. The habit to have wishes, to have pleasures, remains (after death), the means by which he can satisfy them disappear; tongue, eyes and ears disappear. He does no longer have them. Now he misses them after death. 

He is still thirsting for the pleasure, which can only be satisfied by the sense organ. The result is that the human being comes to a state of consciousness after death, which consists in breaking the habit of being satisfied only by the sense organs. The soul must stop asking for sensuous satisfaction, has to purify itself beyond that which satisfied it on earth and can be satisfied only by sensuous, physical means. That is kamaloka in the anthroposophical worldview. We know it as the purgatory. 

One can compare that not improperly, which the human being experiences there, to a feeling of burning thirst, to a kind of burning privation. This is the state after death. The suitable means is not there sensuous-physical after death; the organ is not there by which the thirsting soul can be satisfied. If a soul has finished this connection with the physical in the course of years in the kamaloka, it lives in the spiritual world, to which it belongs as soul. It takes that along into the spiritual world. The spiritual-scientific worldview calls this spiritual world devachan or spirit land.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Riddles of the World: Lecture XII: Reincarnation and Karma – Berlin, 15th February 1906