Kamaloka

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The kamaloka (Sanskritकाम kama "desire" and लोक loka "place"; literally the "place of desire") is referred to in Christian terminology as purgatory[1] and is seen in close connection with the particular judgement to which man must submit immediately after death.

Basics

The Kamaloka or purgatory is a place or better a process of purification, to which also Paul refers in the 1st Corinthians:

„11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.“

1st Corinthians: 3

The German theologian Karl Rahner saw in the Catholic doctrine of "Purgatory" at the same time a possible connection to the reincarnation thought of Eastern wisdom:

„If, therefore, one cannot deny an intermediate state in man's destiny between death on the one hand and the bodily completion of man as a whole, then one cannot say anything decisive against the idea of a personal maturing in this intermediate state, which is called 'Purgatory' or better 'state of purification' or 'place of purification'. But in what sense and to what degree temporal categories can still be applied here - be it as an unavoidable imaginary model, be it as a real factual statement - the files on this have probably not yet been closed in Catholic theology. Even as an orthodox Catholic Christian, one is allowed to have certain reserves in relation to the usual traditional way of conceiving. One should only be warned against extending difficulties in such statements to the necessary dogma as such without further ado. There is still much to be done here, and some difficulties against the doctrine of the intermediate state, of Purgatory, can certainly still be removed. Let us only refer to the question of whether the Catholic and at first seemingly old-fashioned idea of an "intermediate state" might not be a starting point for coming to terms better and positively with the doctrine of a "transmigration of souls", "reincarnation", which is so widespread in Eastern cultures and there taken for granted, at least on condition that such a reincarnation is not understood as a fate of man which can never be cancelled and which goes on and on in time.“

Karl Rahner: Grundkurs des Glaubens, Neunter Gang: Die Eschatologie, Abschnitt: „Zur Lehre vom „Reinigungsort“

The Kamaloka at the boundary of the physical-etheric and the astral world

The Kamaloka is where the three uppermost regions of the physical-etheric world (light ether, sound ether and life ether) intersect with the three lowermost regions of the astral world (burning desire, mobile sensitivity and region of wishes); this is also the sublunary sphere:

„If we start from the physical plan, we have here (it is drawn) seven subdivisions of the physical plan; then would come seven subdivisions of the astral plan. Of these, the three lowest coincide with the three highest of the physical plan. We must regard the astral plan as being pushed together with the physical plan in such a way that the three uppermost sections of the physical plan are at the same time the three lowermost sections of the astral plan. We can speak of a marginal zone, that is, the one which our souls cannot leave after death, when they are still bound to the earth by desires. It is called kamaloka.“ (Lit.:GA 101, p. 223)

Kamaloka
physical-etheric world astral world planetary sphere
Region of soul life Sun sphere
Region of active soul force Venus sphere
Region of soul light Mercury sphere
Region of liking and disliking
Life ether Region of wishes Moon sphere
Sound ether Region of mobile sensitivity (Kamaloka)
Light ether Region of burning desire
Fire/Warmth ether
Air Earth sphere
Water
Earth

Literature

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References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may find at Rudolf Steiner's Complete Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - books, lectures and articles by Rudolf Steiner online (Jim Stewart).
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Steiner's complete works for free download as PDF.

References

  1. The concept of "purgatory", in which venial sins are purged, was introduced into Christianity by Pope Gregory the Great (* c. 540; † 12 March 604) into Christian theology.