Some folks eventually get burned out while pursuing their spiritual path. Any thoughts on why that is?
As many reasons as people, but two come to mind. The first is that the method they have chosen has inherent flaws or is too limited in scope. It may have been useful, but only up to a point.
Or perhaps that way was never really suited for them, their temperament, background or what have you. What's the second reason you mentioned?
That one is more insidious because it has to do with self-sabotage, ego-mind's specialty as it resists being put in second place. In this case a watered down version has been constructed of one's chosen way. It's like a hostile takeover that guarantees failure will follow.
So at that point it's just as well to jump ship, since it's really not going anywhere.
And ego-mind can feel entirely justified in doing so. Then it applies itself even more to its empty dreams, and we go along with that. If, instead of discounting our spiritual potential, one gained some real insight into ego-mind's illusions of grandeur, that would be a real plus.
Back to your point about self-sabotage; that indicates people are not truly applying themselves, even if a given system or apporach is valid.
Right, the problem is a lack of sincerity, of wholeheartedness, of true openness. It's as if the essence within us seeking to manifest is waiting for a more inviting atmosphere. And perhaps that's a form of mercy, a safety measure, if we're unprepared to handle the intensity of real change.