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The way you describe why a person should go through this life, it sounds idealistic. If you would ask me, "What would you rather do - go straight to the eternal world or first suffer through this world?" of course I would choose the former. What is different about the reward before going through this world and after that would make a person want to live this life with a spiritual focus?

Aryeh Kaplan summarizes the idea in his essay, “A World Of Love,” (which can be found in, If You Were God [p. 56]): Here’s a direct quote: 


"Our sages thus teach us, 'One who eats another's bread is ashamed to look in his face.' [Yerushalmi Orlah 1:3] …Our sages repeat this lesson any number of times. They teach us that, 'When a person must depend on gifts, his face changes.' In another place, they say, 'When one depends on the gifts of others, the world appears dark to him.' Elsewhere they proclaim, 'One who eats at another's table is never satisfied' (Brachos 6b, Beitza 32b; Avos d’Rabbi Nathan 31:1).


"God wanted the good that He would give to be perfect good, not tinged by any shame. If it were given as a free gift, however, it would always be accompanied by the shame that results from accepting a free gift. The only way to avoid this would be for the good to be earned, so that it would no longer be a gift. It is for this reason that the good that God gives us is only bestowed as a reward for our own actions.


"When the Zohar speaks of the ultimate world of good, it says, 'Happy is he who comes here without shame.' This is actually echoing the words of the prophet, who said, 'And you shall eat and be satisfied...and my people shall never be ashamed.' (Jeremiah 2:26)"


For a more detailed answer, see the last chapter in Soul Searching: “A Philosophy Of Soul.”