This study has, in a partly Freudian spirit, sought to shed light on and problematize the new-age system of thought. This system of thought appears to be the negative of psychoanalysis. Wikström (1998) writes about modern man that he has to deal with the transformations of society and diversity with an increasingly porous or fragmented self. Flax (1990) polemizes against those who, based on postmodernist ideas, question that man needs or even owns a "self" and writes:
I work with people suffering from borderline syndrome. In this illness the self is in painful and disabling fragments… Those who celebrate or call for a "decentered" self-seem self-deceptively naïve and unaware of the basic cohesion within themselves that makes the fragmentation of experiences something other than a terrifying slide into psychosis. These writers seem to confirm the very claims of those they have contempt for, that a sense of continuity or "going on being" is so much a part of the core self that it becomes a taken-for-granted background. Persons who have a core self find the experiences of those who lack or have lacked it almost unimaginable (Flax, 1990, p. 219).
There is no escaping the feeling that when Freud (1927/2008) presented his critique of religion almost a hundred years ago, he did so from a different time and a different psychic reality than we have to live in.Rooted in a living Jewish culture and with the wind of enlightenment at his back, he was able to argue against people's religiosity with a force that was based on the fact that he himself still possessed the kind of connection that modern man has been deprived of.
Perhaps one can see the widespread interest in things like reincarnation and spirit contacts as an attempt at a kind of self-medication or as a dietary supplement for a perceived or threatening state of deficiency. Something that can then probably be both problematic, as well as harmless or even adaptive.
Furthermore, it is my personal view, although his conclusions were groundbreaking and still apt for spirituality that becomes problematic, that Freud went beyond his area of competence when analyzing human religiosity. Similarities with the child's experience world seem to have been enough for him to want to put an equal sign between the two. Instead, it could be content to note that, in some cases, there is a peculiar conformity.