Many people raised in a religious setting have childhood memories of hears of being sent to Hell forever for some transgression. Spiritism teaches us that when spirits are sent to the Lower Zone or to Purgatory it is for a purpose, to allow time for the wrongful spirit to see the logical conclusion of his or her behavior and determine that their character must be altered. Spirits only reside in the lower regions for as long as they desire to not change.
Allan Kardec, asked the question about how long is a spirit sent to the Lower Zones or below in The Spirits Book:
1008. Does the duration of a spirit’s punishment always depend on his own will, and is it never imposed on him for a given time?
“Yes; punishment may be imposed on him for a fixed time, but God, who wills only the good of His creatures, always welcomes his repentance, and the desire to amend never remains sterile.”
1009. According to that, the penalties imposed on spirits are never eternal?
“Interrogate your common sense, your reason, and ask yourself whether an eternal condemnation for a few moments of error would not be the negation of the goodness of God? What, in fact, is the duration of a human life, even though prolonged to a hundred years, in comparison with eternity? ETERNITY! Do you rightly comprehend the word? sufferings, tortures, without end, without hope, for a few faults! Does not your judgment reject such an idea? That the ancients should have seen, in the Master of the Universe, a terrible, jealous, vindictive God, is conceivable, for, in their ignorance, they attributed to the Divinity the passions of men; but such is not the God of the Christians, who places love, charity, pity, the forgetfulness of offences, in the foremost rank of virtues, and who could not lack the qualities which He has made it the duty of His creatures to possess. Is it not a contradiction to attribute to Him infinite love and infinite vengeance? You say that God’s justice is infinite, transcending the limited understanding of mankind; but justice does not exclude kindness, and God would not be kind if He condemned the greater number of His creatures to horrible and unending punishment. Could He make it obligatory on His children to be just, if His own action towards them did not give them the most perfect standard of justice? And is it not the very sublimity of justice and of kindness to make the duration of punishment to depend on the efforts of the guilty one to amend, and to mete out the appropriate recompense, both for good and for evil, ‘to each, according to his works’?”
The spirit of Saint Augustine answered the question about the possibility of eternal damnation. He categorically refutes it as beneath the dignity of a loving God.
Now turn the question around and think what would be St. Augustine answer if we asked if a person who never did any great wrong, but was never overly kind or spiritual, and was still tied to material goods even as they passed from their physical life, would they be denied admission to heaven forever?
Saint Augustine would refute that supposition also, stating that God would judge a person on just one life. Such an act would again be contrary to a loving God. Hence, if one doesn’t believe in eternal punishment, then one should think the corollary is the need for reincarnation to be able to ascend one day to the levels of heaven.
Learn more about reincarnation and how the spirit world guides us and works with us to plan out our next life in my book The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection.