HPB: Destroyer of Death
Prior to Madame Blavatsky’s dramatic esoteric revelations about the nature of human beings and the cosmos in the late 19th Century, ideas of re-birth and reincarnation – let alone karma – were virtually unknown in the West outside narrow academic and occult circles. Until Madame Blavatsky presented her trenchant and ground-breaking ideas, the Western view of death was predominantly either atheistic annihilation or a Christian-inspired eternal afterlife languishing in paradise or a sulphurous hell.
Although ideas of reincarnation and karma remain a minority view today, belief in ideas of re-birth especially in Europe and the US have seen a seismic increase in the past half century. Immediately after World War II surveys showed at most two or three per cent of people subscribing to such ideas. Now polls even among Christians show that up to a third of people questioned belief in repeated rebirth on Earth.
Without HPB, it is unlikely that there would have been such a dramatic and relatively quick change of attitude especially in countries dominated and entrenched by Christian assertions that human souls spend only a single life in flesh and bone. Not only did she reveal great cosmic truths about the true cyclic relationship between life and death (and much else besides), she effectively globalised these ideas via the Theosophical Society and the various thought-schools it influenced.
Blavatsky, then, was the greatest destroyer of purely materialistic notions of death the Western world has ever seen.