I think it's good to look at it generally from the view of eastern way of looking at things and western wat, culturally. I emphasize general, rather than specific.
The eastern views inherent in their philosophies and culturally accepted had these words and concepts as you say and so even those not interested in the higher realms and disciplines to do with them were fully cognizant of them.
Here in the west it was a different story. "I think therefor I am" was more the philosophy. Thinking and intellectualism looked upon as more the 'higher realms'. (especially in the modern ages)
So in the east wisdom and enlightenment closely associated with such things, in the west, mind.
In the east, zen, buddhism, etc. 'getting rid' of the mind, thus seeing the importance of self realization and spirit and life connection. In the west emphasizing the mind and denying the spirit, thus no words culturally and seen as strange.
In the east......"I think therefor I am not"