Several independent studies in recent years have been able to show that the Swede harbors a multitude of notions of existence that science cannot prove. The acceptance or interest in things such as reincarnation, notice, astrology, telepathy and communication with deceased relatives is great (Boström, 2008, 16 July; Centre for Contemporary Analysis, 2009, February; Sjödin, 2002). The results are similar in other Western countries, such as the UNITED STATES (Harris Interactive, 2013, December) and the United Kingdom (Ipsos MORI, 2012).
While several of the beliefs and phenomena addressed in these surveys overlap with what is commonly called superstition and should have been able to coexist with the long-dominant religion, reincarnation is, for example, a comparatively exotic notion in a Christian cultural circle. In the studies mentioned above, the idea that the individual should be reborn in a new physical body is supported by about one in four respondents. Hammer (2004) writes that "In just forty years, reincarnation has gone from being a view spread among the members of some Theosophical and occult circles to becoming one of the most widely embraced religious beliefs of our time." 203).
It is probably possible to affirm the claims in these surveys with varying degrees of seriousness, conviction or staining. For some, such thoughts form part of a more or less coherent philosophy of life, with which they identify and are prepared to argue, while for others they do not have the same central meaning. Geels and Wikström (2006) propose a division into customers, seekers and core troops, the latter of which more closely embrace certain notions such as a well-thought-out worldview. When the idea of reincarnation and the like are part of a coherent thought system, it touches on what is commonly called the new age and parts of the so-called newness (Frisk, 1998). There are divided opinions on how this area should be defined or named. Frisk (2007b) suggests that researchers start from scratch and come up with statistical means to the appropriate categories.
In this study, "newness", "the new spirituality", "new age", with several terms, are used synonymously. What is meant is a largely disorganized spirituality with an individualistic, progressive view of reincarnation and karma, as well as with a notion that man is gradually evolving towards emotional and cognitive perfection.