In studying the mystical aspects of numerous exoteric religions, I'm often left wondering why such teachings do not have a wider audience. I was never satisfied with the basic, thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do this, or the whole accept this into your heart and heaven is automatically yours, which seems to plague all major religions and lead us fighting over left-brain doctrine. What's worse is that these concepts are derived more so from blind-faith, not legitimate experience. Those that have experience are often thrown to the wolves, especially if they contradict strict doctrinal understanding.
Hinduism doesn't have as much of a strict notion, but when the threat of conversion arises for the strict Vedic tradition, the Brahamanic tradition has attempted to claim dominance. Though it can be seen as complimentary, the Tantric and Bhakti movements were counter to the Brahamanic caste system, where such teachings permit those on the bottom to achieve spiritual success. Nonetheless, other major religions have either sought to eliminate the mystical and even scientific (physics), reminiscent of the Medieval ages where such understandings could only be expressed in secret societies. Such persecution resulted in limiting the understanding to strict man-made or man-influenced doctrine, which still plays a major role in religions today.
As an example, the Hebrews may interpret their holy books through an oral tradition known as the Qabalah. With such an understanding the literal interpretation of doctrine isn't as important as the psychological development, or in other words, consciousness expansion of an individual. Coming across and meditating on certain ideas, or archetypes, does something to the psyche that quite cannot be elaborated with the symbol of human language. I experienced such in studying the Sephirot of the Tree of Life, particularly the supernal triad, where the creation story of God, Adam, and Eve is pre-school compared to Kether, Chesed, and Binah. Modern day Christianity lacks the Qabalah or other meditative elements, sans the Gnostic, Swedenborg, and others I will not name. Hence, the modern Christian takes a limited logical approach to doctrine, knowing full-well that Jesus was raised listening to Rabbi's. Such was most likely the doing of the Roman empire, which crafted a religion more akin to Mithraic Roman sentiments, though argued to be done in order to convert pagans, but removes much of the mystical Hebrew elements that meditatively allow an individual to perceive deeper into spiritual realms. Two Thousand (2000) years later, you have a religion that praises Jesus' birth on Mithras's birthday, still blames the Jews for Jesus' crucifixion instead of the Roman empire, swears an oath to the Roman creed of Nicea established doctrine inhibiting sovereign thought, and considers the Qabalah/Gnostics to be evil. It's not enough that such groups convert others through the concept of blind-faith, but they have driven those that seek more from their spirituality underground. Hence, the information that was once accessible to the many have become mysteries in the Age of Pisces. Here, one had to become an initiate of the mystery schools, or leave society for solitary experience, in order to pierce beyond the veil.
The creation of the internet ushered in a new age, the age of information. At the palm of our hands, we basically now have access to a limited Akashic record. Information that was once retained in secrecy is now widespread, one that organized religion cannot hide though still manages to fight against. Information regarding once occult knowledge is now easily accessible, though too accessible where now one has to sort through vast amounts of coal to find diamonds. Words and concepts such as yoga, chakras, the third-eye, law of attraction, infinite intelligence (source energy), are much more prevalent as compared to pre-internet. Even pre-internet, those within such traditions would still have limited knowledge where a Guru was required, though a Guru (teacher) probably still should be required to help navigate through information/experiences.
According to the Advaita Vedantic text, the Tripura Rahasaya, it's one's desire that is the driving force behind his/her level of spirituality. From accumulating good merit, one will then be born with the desire to worship God. From worship, one will then be born with the desire to dive deeper into the mysteries, to find a way to unite with God. Hence, it appears that an individuals desire is the level of initiation that they will proceed in life with regards to spirituality, where much of the world may still be solely in the worship and good deeds stage. The worship stage is where the universe appears separate, or dualist (dvaita), where God is worshiped externally through numerous forms. The uniting stage is where the human understands him/herself to be a microcosm of the macrocosm, as the Universe, or nondualist (advaita), where God is simply a level of universal consciousness to be experienced and drawn upon.
Knowing that we are all different and hold different desires, there are those that may solely be interested in accumulating and working on good merit, others may solely want to experience God as separate, and those who want to dive into the rabbit hole of infinity. For those that only desire good merit or to experience God as separate, the rabbit hole may be a dangerous route as it is an unraveling of the ego-identity and a complete change of one's life where they may not desire such. In fact, I would highly recommend the ego-identity building a personal relationship with a Higher Source (duality) before taking the plunge, for it's not fun to walk through the valley of the shadow of ego-death alone. Nonetheless, all paths seem to be molding the ego-identity into something more wholesome, like how a flower goes through numerous phases before blooming.
However, those that have wanted to pierce deeper into realizing the power held within, were required to unravel the ego-identity for which many simply do not desire. Many are happy with their lives and would rather engage in typical material pursuits and leave spirituality for the mandatory religious gatherings. Many are also happy in bringing in religion more and more into their life, with daily prayer. And of course, there are those who seek material, and possibly spiritual aspects for self-interest. But for those willing to empty the ego-identity to serve on a larger basis, and challenge societal/religious norms and deeply held beliefs, in order to expand and connect one's consciousness with a higher version of Self, those are the one's ready for initiation into the greater mysteries. Like success in any pursuit, it's the degree of your desire.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions