The land of delight and bliss

What is meant by the land of delight and of bliss? It is the bliss of infinity, the eternal activity, the eternal working. Why can’t all that depresses us in the physical world, depress us no more in Devachan? In Devachan we have not delights such as man has in longings and desires in the world of senses, but in Devachan he is free from corporeality, is free from sensual desires, but he is also free from what limits him, and it makes possible for him to work back at what else from the outside works on him. 

What limits us in the sensual world is removed, what can cause us pain is no more there. Because what causes the pain? Because on our astral body and physical body are made impressions. We discarded these bodies when we are in Devachan; the cause for the pain and the feelings of displeasure we experience in the physical world is gone. Because no one can be selfish anymore, no one can either demand selfish pleasures; because no one has an astral body anymore, everyone is free from anything that can depress the one’s own personality. That is why the Devachan is called the “Land of Delight,” the “Land of Bliss.”

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlijn, 25 February 1904 (page 141) 

Translated by DeepL with a few (maybe imperfect) adjustments of my own


Art of Nesta Carsten-Krüger


Attacks of pleasures and desires on the physical body 

As a rule the physical body is looked upon as the lowest part of man, unjustly so, for the very greatest wisdom can be seen just in the physical body. Only through this wisdom is it possible for the physical body to withstand the attacks continually made upon it by the astral body, and so not break up before the time. The pleasures and desires which hold sway in the physical body when tea and coffee and so on are taken, all these are attacks of the astral body on the physical body, and especially on the heart. It has therefore to be so wisely constructed that these attacks can be withstood for decades. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 –THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN – Lecture IV – Basle, 19 November 1907

What is our astral body, actually?

Our ‘astral body’ is our soul, which we experience as our thinking, feeling and will. It is in effect ‘us’, our personality, our personal self. But to someone else, who is clairvoyant, the astral body appears as an aura around every person.


Painting by Krzysztof Lubieniecki

Social Reform

Whosoever can see into the spiritual world, sees the connections that lie at the basis of earthly life. He sees the people, how they live together: some in deepest misery, poor and downtrodden through hardship and labour, others relishing in abundance, enjoying this and that. 

One can easily imagine how that would have to change, if one only remains on the physical plan. That is what most people do, who feel themselves called to initiate social reform. They are not in the same position as a successfully operated blind person, who suddenly sees the world around him in full colour, because otherwise they would all become aware that behind the physical manifestations there are multiple and various beings. 

If they try to achieve their well-intentioned reform plans, but take no account of the spiritual beings behind the earthly, then things would be much worse than it ever was before within fifty years. All contemporary social ideals would run counter to the soul world in the most grotesque way if the soul world, that is to say the human passions, appetites and desires would not at the same time undergo a change.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – Ursprungsimpulse der Geisteswissenschaft – Berlin, October 1, 1906 (page 83)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


 Previously posted on 5 november 2018


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