“The extension of the intellect which we possess for the survey of transcendent things, is very narrow; but most ample when it shall perceive with the felicity of self-consciousness.”
This is a good concise posting. One point on “If religion and yoga are practiced at the lower levels only.” In this case they most often lead to either dogmas which are believed on faith (Faith based religion) or can lead to intellectualism whereby those of strong intellect create self-serving philosophies around their chosen system of belief-which serves their desires or political ends. Since these are not based on truth but rather on intellectual argument, they are supported also by faith but an empty faith, without substance of right feelings derived from true (righteous) devotion to the divine derived from the complete practice of religion. So this is dry intellectualism. Dry intellectualism is based on ego-consciousness instead of self-consciousness [consciousness of the higher self]. On the other hand devotion without right reasoning based on an accurate higher truth derived from the mystic experience as related by authentic sages, is blind faith as it lacks true intellectual insight to illuminate the faith. So that blind faith in dogma instead of proven truth can lead to atrocities, hatred and fear even as the dry intellectualism which can develop into self-serving ideologies, can manipulate the ignorant faith-based masses. Dry intellectualism and blind faith are strong obstacles to enlightenment and powerful sources of human suffering and degradation. The key to avoid dry intellectualism and or blind faith is complete religion and authentic preceptorship in an atmosphere of balance and free of undue stress (political-economic-medical-social).
Let me know if you have any questions about the distinctions being drawn here.