“Enq: And still I cannot understand, if the life to come is based on justice and the merited retribution for all our terrestrial suffering, how in the case of materialists, many of whom are really honest and charitable men, there should remain of their personality nothing but the refuse of a faded flower.
Theo: No one ever said such a thing. No materialist, however unbelieving, can die for ever in the fullness of his spiritual individuality. What was said is that the consciousness can disappear either fully or partially in the case of a materialist, so that no conscious remains of his personality survive.
Enq: But surely this is annihilation?
Theo: Certainly not. One can sleep a dead sleep and miss several stations during a long railway journey, without the slightest recollection or consciousness, and awake at another station and continue the journey past innumerable other halting-places till the end of the journey or the goal is reached.
Three kinds of sleep were mentioned to you: the dreamless, the chaotic, and the one which is so real, that to the sleeping man his dreams become full realities.
If you believe in the latter why can’t you believe in the former; according to the after life a man has believed in and expected, such is the life he will have. He who expected no life to come will have an absolute blank, amounting to annihilation, in the interval between the two rebirths.
This is just the carrying out of the programme we spoke of, a programme created by the materialists themselves. But there are various kinds of materialists, as you say.
A selfish, wicked Egoist, one who never shed a tear for anyone but himself, thus adding entire indifference to the whole world to his unbelief, must, at the threshold of death, drop his personality for ever.
This personality having no tendrils of sympathy for the world around and hence nothing to hook on to Sutratma, it follows that with the last breath every connection between the two is broken.
There being no Devachan for such a materialist, the Sutratma will reincarnate almost immediately.
But those materialist who erred in nothing but their disbelief will oversleep but one station. And the time will come when the ex-materialist will perceive himself in the Eternity and perhaps repent that he lost even one day, one station, from the life eternal.”
H. P. Blavatsky