Overall, respondents seem to reject all the existential conditions. When Freud (1927/2008) examined the religion of his time, he came up with a similar result, but the question is whether his observations are even more accurate for modern spirituality. This has palpable similarities to a child's thinking and fantasizing. Somewhat pointedly, it can be argued that if someone set out to construct a theology that could, as far as possible, allow the little child's experience world to remain intact, it would probably be very similar to the new-age system of thought.
Does this mean that the picture of how the world works that emerges in the interviews is incorrect? No, it doesn't. Does this mean that adult individuals who embrace this worldview by definition work or feel worse? No, it doesn't have to. The individual variation is probably great. Allport and Ross (1967) write: "To know that a person is in some sense 'religious' is not as important as to know the role religion plays in the economy of his life" (s. 442). However, there are a few things or themes that emerge in the interviews that are worth lingering with.
Hammer (1998) points out an interesting detail with memories of past lives, which may have relevance:
[J]ust in reincarnation therapy there is an interesting anomaly. The New Age is rightly portrayed as a rosy vision in which no radical evil seems to exist. With a little positive thinking and a belief that the cosmos wants us well, everything will be fine. It is therefore particularly striking that so many experiences during regression are extraordinarily violent. Here there are psychic reserves where you can unbridledly live out all the night black in your interior (Hammer, 1998, p. 81).
Hammer's observation appears to be confirmed in this study. The memories of past lives that respondents share are often very violent and conflicted. Based on the interviews, it is also possible to point to a couple of other areas where this "night black" may be expressed. It is partly in the skepticism towards the establishment, which sometimes gets a drag on conspiracy theory, and partly in the view of what a large part of humanity needs to experience of suffering in order to catch up. Here is a clear in- and outgroup discourse that is about people with the new age of understanding forming a vanguard or elite. Possibly that the individual's childhood and youth are also painted in something too dark colors, which in that case confirms Granqvist's (2004) observations from AAI interviews with New Age followers. But something like this can also be understood as a contrast phenomenon in relation to the bright worldview that the person has embraced later in life.
Hammer (2004), with reference to the Danish religious historian Mikael Rothstein, writes:
No religion is a logically perfect system. [E]a logically coherent religion would be doomed. It would lack the contradictions and gaps that allow new generations of believers to comment on and change tradition and to reflect their own circumstances in it (Hammer, 2004, p. 136).
An impression of the material is that the interviewees' worldview actually comes close to what Rothstein, via Hammer, describes as a spiritual system of thought without a gap. It is a pre-position world with a high level of at least internal logic or coherence. Existence is intelligible and governed by definite laws, development is progressive, the fate of the individual is in every part justified, and so on.
The image of God emerging is remarkable from a psychological perspective. He is not powerful or stern, like the Father in the Bible, but rather turned away, indifferent, or with an almost instrumental relationship with men. The question is whether God even knows how the individual is doing. One respondent believes that God knows no more about us than we know about the cells in our bodies. This is not exactly the image of a good parent seen with attachment theoretic eyes. He makes people suffer, but he does this out of love. The similarities with how, for example, an abused partner or a neglected child may want to take the blame is obvious. It is close at hand to ask whether the image of God and the emphasis on the suffering as the engine of development interact in some way and if the relationship of God has not been given the features of identification with the aggressor.