It seems that (based on what we know of young children, tribal hunter-gatherers - and by empathic and direct intuition) that our ancestors did not conceive of human life as having a purpose or destination: it just was.
Life was a cyclical, dynamic matter of transformations. 'Reincarnation' was a recycling of finite souls, in different combinations and forms.
If so; then this was a transitional stage of consciousness; when there was just enough self-awareness to have ideas about the nature of life, but not enough consciousness to require a coherent purpose (destination) beyond the present.
When more consciousness developed in Men, curiosity-about and knowledge-of purpose emerged - and present mortal material life became symbolic of that spiritual purpose (i.e. the emergence of 'totemic' religion - precursor of all the classic institutional religions).
Thus mortal incarnate Man became more future orientated, and also more alienated - as he looked-forward to becoming an immortal spirit.
So, the highest destination after death was at first (and still is, mostly) regarded to be as spirit. The core idea was/is that the physical and material is changeable and temporary - and the spirit remains unchanged and eternal.
But with Christianity and the resurrection of Jesus came the idea that the highest destination was not the spirit, but the eternal material: the immortal destination was not as spirit, but as a resurrected-incarnate Being.
This idea that the incarnate is (potentially) higher than spirit was/is very seldom clearly apprehended until made lucid by the theological-philosophical breakthroughs of the Mormon Restoration (from 1830); which remains neither widely known nor generally accepted among self-identified Christians.
Yet it is all there in the Fourth (earliest, most authoritative) Gospel ...
However, the meaning of the Fourth Gospel has been thoroughly obscured by post-Apostolic decisions concerning the Biblical canon, and how to read and understand the Bible - which decisions themselves came from institution/ priest-orientated church-establishers and theological leaders; who were themselves (in several ways) rejecting of the simple, individual-familial essence of the Fourth Gospel.
In the end, as usual, we must each discern the truth (and the truth of 'authority') by the intuitions of our real and divine selves.
But it seems necessary that some-how Christians explain to themselves that, why and how it is that our highest and final destination after death is both immortal and incarnate - exactly like Jesus Christ himself.