Kamaloka is a time of renunciation for man because he must relinquish his desires to immerse himself in the spiritual world. This kamaloka period lasts longer or shorter depending on whether the human soul is ready to renounce his yearnings. What matters here is how man has already learned to regulate his passions and enjoy life despite refraining from such cravings. (German: zu verzichten).
However, there are pleasures and desires of a lower and higher nature. Enjoyments and desires for the satisfaction of which the physical body is not the actual instrument of gratification, we call higher pleasures and aspirations. These do not belong to that which man has to get rid of after death. If a man still has something that draws him to physical existence – lower enjoyment – he remains in the astral region of kamaloka. Then, when nothing more draws him to these excesses, he becomes capable of living in the spiritual world. The soul’s sojourn in kamaloka lasts about a third of its past life.
It, therefore, depends on how old the person was when he died, i.e., how long he lived on earth. Yet the time in kamaloka is by no means just terrible and unpleasant. In any case, it makes the soul more independent of physical desires. The more he has already made himself independent in his life and taken an interest in contemplating spiritual things, the easier this kamaloka time will be for him. He thereby becomes freer and thus becomes grateful for this time. The feeling of deprivation in earthly life transforms into a sense of bliss in kamaloka. Paradoxical feelings arise for everything a person has learnt to love to do without during his lifetime in that it grows into enjoyment in kamaloka.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – Breslau, 2 December 1908 – (page 56,57)
Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger