Summary discussion, group
"The Negatives of Psychoanalysis."
New age/newness seems strangely to be the "negative" of psychoanalysis. If one punctures the conditions with which the adult man needs to be reconciled, in order to live a responsible, productive life – loneliness, sex, the place given in the course of generations, even limited resources and mortality (Werbart, ?) – the newness seems to have reasoning that neglects or nullifies them all. Instead, eternal life, the dormant superman abilities, the connectedness of everything and communication with each other are asserted in a hands-on way, rebirth with the possibility of gender change, rebirth in the circle of those you have lived close to and perhaps in new constellations (mother becomes partner, for example), etc.
If one were to make a compilation of preoidipal desires and fantasies, as described in psychoanalytic theory, and imagine a philosophy of life that would allow them to remain intact, then perhaps you got something similar to the New Age quite a lot. But is this proof?
The Church has been accused of offering refuge for our most infantile needs. But the question is, is this tendency somewhere more elaborated than in new age/newness? It is, if you will, a good shop for the pre-Oedipal mind. Everyone's dreams can come true.
Similarities with adolescence thinking, how to understand?
The adolescensen exhibits a characteristic way of thinking and relating. Some are due to immaturen. But it's not quite as bad as it looks. A great deal is probably solved already in previous years (something to do with the guilt, and the care of the object, etc., classic psychoanalysis), and could be expressed in a more integrated, mature way with the teenager's greater resources – if it were not for the fact that something new is about to happen against which the defense will be regressive, to gain time, and to consolidate. The NA supporter finds himself in a similar position to the teenager, on the threshold (at least in his imagination) to something bigger and unknown.
The similarities between NA and late adolescence. This is a kind of hypothesis: the NA supporter finds himself in a similar situation to adolescent youth. NA can orchestrate and activate similar processes as when the individual is faced with shouldering the responsibilities, rights and obligations of the adult world. Regression to an earlier stage. NA represents a challenge in similar areas: "grow up!": You must not just care about yourself. You have to think ahead, plan.
As before, in sensitive passages, in childhood and in adolescence, there is the danger of "appearance adaptation". A false self. A kind of bypass of the situation. Complience.
NA can attract an incredibly banal and simplified relationship to things like debt, caring for the object, etc. Things that young people reject, partly, because they can't do it. It hurts his parents and others. Egocentrism.
Without saying anything about the participants, it can be concluded that the doctrine as such seems to have clear "omnipotent" traits. We choose our own parents, we are reborn in new art alliances where our parents become or have been our children, siblings or love partners. We have dormant supermans. Everything is connected, emotions and communication can be shared and received effortlessly (sometimes with painful consequences). We are fully responsible for our fate, and so is everyone else with…
It seems that the new age here presents the individual for some enticing possibilities to avoid such modification of claims and aspirations. This can be understood psychologically, such as that certain shortcomings or experiences will make the New Age doctrine feel familiar and attractive (Granqvist), but one can also be content to conclude that it can probably have this allure on anyone to some degree.
In both Theosophy and American positive thought there were notions of "fantastic dormant forces within man. The enlightened man, Blavatsky said, could read directly in the Akashak chronicle, a kind of universe's own memory bank, where all the events in the entire history of the cosmos were stored. Within man's reach lay nothing less than omniscience" (Hammer, 2004, p. 55).
"False Integration" (Erikson)
Can this be apt for something that needs to be described in relation to new age/newness?
Erikson also talks about a false kind of integration as you get older, that you manage to cradle yourself in this: "We also have to recognize a retrospective mythologising in old age that can result in pseudointegration as a defense against lurking despair. (All the syntonic qualities that dominate the diagonal of the table can of course be used as a defense in this way.)" Erikson, 2004, p.82.
This is similar to what he writes of "disgust." This is combined with despair the antithesis of the "integrity" of old age. He writes: "If the antithesis of wisdom is disgust, this (like all other negative opposites) must be recognized to some extent as a natural and necessary reaction to human weakness and to the eerie repetition of evil and deceit. If one completely denies disgust and contempt, it is done at the risk of covert destructiveness and more or less hidden self-loathing" (Erikson, p81)
Is it harder to mature with newness?
Based on other psychological research, which is presented in the theory part, one may want to see it as that new age/newness itself can be an expression of a lack of maturity. That's why you're drawn to new age/newness, because it's a worldview and a way of being in relationship that feels familiar and manageable. For this study, however, the focus is on the doctrine or the system of thought itself, and the question then becomes rather whether there is something in the imagination itself (which the individual is attracted by for one reason or another, which I think is something universally human: it in some sense represents an easier way of life) that can influence or influence. These different perspectives, whether freudian stages of development, biological or neurological correlates or attachment experiences, are of course not mutually exclusive, nor this that the doctrine itself could contribute (which Farias and Granqvist also flag in any reference).
More difficult to mature in NA? Where the adolescent is built into the thought system itself. Easier in a philosophy of grace, where the radicalism of youth can turn into a more mystical attitude. People drop out or take…
Could it be that NA causes a delayed maturity, but that it is likely that the individual will catch up later? Like I said about our time, but only a straw sharper. If so, maybe it's not that serious?
Eternal youth, timelessness, as ideals. "I have no age." A break from NA, more often than in the church?
Age with new age/newness?
Difficulties in two ways. First, that NA can keep you in a pre-adult position longer than otherwise, much as can also happen under the influence of other things (not moving away from home, abusive, overprotected, not having friends). Firstly, that there will be a tension between the NA interest when normal maturation and adulthood – and beyond – are reminded.
NA is an adolescens religion, from a point of view. And yet not.
That the NA supporter gets stuck in a situation similar to that of children with disorganized affiliation (Farias&Granqvist, 2007). What to do? Is there a scale of strategies? Many people put their interest down over the years. It is an interest that invites greater resistance to mature with in comparison to, for example, Christian faith. Or you try to reconcile the two (cognitive dissonance). A third (are there more?) option is to develop great mobility, ambivalence. If you can do that with new age/newness then it's a good rating.
A dangerous doctrine?
Sigmund Freud probably did not claim that religion was dangerous, but at least deplorable. Later judgments have loosened this up and in religion seen a continuum. People can be religious in different ways. New age/newness did not exist in this form in Freud's time (although there was spiritism, mesmerism, etc.) and, as far as I know, he has not spoken specifically about such spirituality. Perhaps the closest one comes is his line to Jung, when he asked Freud's teachings on infantile sexuality, that Freud stated that psychoanalysis needed to be protected from this "black sludge flood of occultism" (Sjögren, cit??). Time has passed and from both psychoanalytically and from parts of Christianity, it is believed today that these two can be reconciled (Wikström, Bergstrand, etc ref??)
But what about the new age/new age? Today, this is mainly based on Christian arguments that are not so far removed from Freud's criticism of religion (Faber, etc.), while not so much psychological research, as far as I know, has been concerned with it.
My view is new age/newness differs in some points from Christianity and that Freud's criticism of religion is even more applicable to and necessary to understand this fashionable spirituality.
As I see it, the new age/newness presents the individual to an insoluble problem. It really is a "paradox", for example with the theodicé problem. It is similar to the child's situation in Winnicott's example, where one is asked not to ask the question: "The question must not be asked." The individual falls between truth/reality, and what connects him with other people, objects, etc.
The parable of a drug is worth taking seriously. And how the individual can be drawn between them, the incubate of all that is lost and relationships that are destroyed, and fidelity to the drug. For both the spiritually interested and for the abuser, there is the possibility of trying to be in "both" with strong defenses.
Solipsistic. The end and perfect in itself.
Prisons must be run away. Hope must not be taken away from anyone. The dream, that it can be overcome. Imagination must have something to work with. Here, new age/newness seems to be so coherent (which of course says nothing about the truth question) that this becomes part of the problem. Rotstein (ref of Hammer) argues that a religion must never be finished, there must be "gaps", etc., and possibly imagines that this is something unattainable. But new age/newness comes very close to this "total" which is worth considering.
It would be interesting if a philosopher wanted to look at the new age/newness and investigate whether this is really the case. Further research!
NA risks putting the symbolizing ability out of play. It is difficult, it promises to provide protection to the individual as a religion, but instead becomes a hall of mirrors.
Raschke on the New Age, that it is "the spiritual equvivalent to AIDS". That it destroys the immune system, etc. (ref!)
NA confuses and damages internal structures, hiearchies of care and solidarity, the level that natural and real for the individual. Every individual probably has their own extent. Some practice of reaching further, through the encouragement and teaching of religion. Living in a democracy, etc. But for universal care, we are not ready. If you go that far, there will be holes. Plus, it can serve other processes too — much like being engaged in trouble spots far away, but neglecting it closely. Adolescent it too. (more under Debt), na spirituality.
That you should actually have "chosen" your own parents (compare the general expression "no one chooses their parents"), and/or that you call difficult life experiences "disguised love" (based on the notion that all experiences aim to develop us towards perfection), has obvious similarities to the reactions you find also in, for example, abused partners and neglected children who want to blame themselves. We are prepared within us to be able to retreat to more basic levels of consciousness, and to be able to activate defense mechanisms (introjection, identification with aggressor, "freeze", etc.) in order to fend off or moderate painful or anguished experiences. Is it likely that an individual can live with a world of imagination that in many cases could be a "verbalization" of very primitive defenses, without curtailing the individual's relationships, life experience and cognitive ability?
Hammer refers to personal conversations and correspondence with the Danish historian of religion Mikael Rothstein, who "suggested that 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 reflect their own circumstances in it," p136. "Religion lives by paradoxes and logical glitches," concludes Hammer, p360. (Hammer 2004)
I think I agree. But what happens when you approach a religion with very few logical gaps? What does that do to one? It's interesting. The question is whether my respondents actually achieved a filsophy with very few logical gaps…
My own hypothesis is that it will put a lot of pressure on the practitioner. Perhaps here one can use the biblical image, about "the sheep separated from the goats" (ref). Those who manage to wear it, can do it, and for others it will manifest itself as certain symptoms. For example, the question "Where does darkness go?"
The theodicé problem has been solved, but perhaps at a high price. Will think of the story of the religious Ethiopian order that is said to guard the Holy Ark. (ref?) The guards do not get so old, and they suffer from various diseases, such as blindness, due to the high radioactivity of the ark.
The question of debt
"Forgive us our debts." Joins NA. But you don't know what the price is.
Love without guilt does not exist. The feeling of guilt is not nourished through NA, but must be there beforehand. Similar to anything else? This applies to several passages in life. A child cannot function in the adult's situation, even if all the right thoughts, say the right words, do the right actions – for example, taking care of himself, or their abusive parents – and many children try. The adult may, in relation to NA and the greatest perspectives, be in the child's position.
"It hurts so much to think about how hard this is going to be for you." Girl on hijacked plane, calls her mother. It's the feeling of guilt.
The feeling of guilt makes a jump – to the animals, to cut flowers. Why is care limited to fellow human beings?
The tricky thing is that the debt ends up outside and receives no support in NA. Not because there is something wrong with NA, on the contrary, but in order to be able to handle NA in a way that does not diminish one, among other things, this debt capacity needs to be stable. This, regardless of NA, is true or not. NB!
This extension is described by Fowler, Kegan, Erikson in some sense? It is important to understand how central it is to the individual himself as well, purely intra-Saxon. That's what this study is all about.
In Stages of Faith, not all individuals achieve the higher levels, such as the universal level. Why this is so outside of this study is to try to answer. Even after a long life, not everyone will have reached such a stage.
Crucial to the depth of life and relationships is the ability to feel guilty. This is a psychoanalytic opinion, but is no stranger to Christianity. But for NA, it is.
When the feeling of guilt is counteracted – theoretically, and backed by adolescent traits – the individual shields himself from central parts of himself. Without guilt, you are technically personality-disturbed, el schiz-couples.
NA confuses and damages internal structures, hiearchies of care and solidarity, the level that natural and real for the individual. Every individual probably has their own extent. Some practice of reaching further, through the encouragement and teaching of religion. Living in a democracy, etc. But for universal care, we are not ready. If you go that far, there will be holes. Plus, it can serve other processes too — much like being engaged in trouble spots far away, but neglecting it closely. Adolescent it too.
The prisoner in an intetly satisfactory matrix of all guilt/no guilt, all responsibility/no responsibility. It can be said that the individual is attacked from at least three directions: partly from his pre-adult sides, partly from the zeitgeist that in itself makes maturity difficult to achieve, and partly from this philosophy of life.
The blame is structuring. Becoming a parent can be – for many – the moment in life when you seriously get on the trail. Grief is also structuring.
It's hard to get rid of the feeling that it's the extremes meet, and feed each other. The notion of total responsibility brings irresponsibility to life, and the application of primitive mechanisms of "ejection" of the interior meet. Here, in parallel with the spiritual creative power of the individual – and responsibility – there is a great preoccupation with what the powerful are up to, the establishment. Even conspiracy theories, even how "dark powers" affect and martate the individual and make life difficult, exist side by side in the material.
New age/newness is debt-free.
(Defense mechanisms… saved)
Magical thinking ("thought is creation"/"everything is illusion"/"You create your own reality")
Omnipotence ("great abilities underway"/"Has been high priest in previous incarnation")
Idealization ("Enlightened Persons"/Gurus) & Devaluation
Introjection/turn towards self/identification with aggressor ("chosen by their parents")
Ideas of reference ("direct speech of life"/all I encounter is direct "speech" from God)
Denial ("There is no evil, only Ocutical"/"All is very good"/"Disguised love")
However, I still want to see the possible dangers of new age/newness as "pseudo" events. It is possible that it may have an inhibitory, slowing effect on the individual, but that it is rarely real pathologies (unless these exist in advance, which they probably do in some cases, but this is, as I said, outside of this study to investigate). Is it fruitful to imagine there are "pseudo" variants of many disorders or shortcomings. Pseudoborderline, pseudonarcissism, pseudoadolescens, etc…
One hypothesis for this study is that people who embrace new age/newness are perfectly ordinary adult individuals. Is this the independent variable? New age/new doctrine and how the individual absorbs it and is affected, in some sense shaped by this, is dependent variable? (Need to think about this further?)
Defense of new age supporters in relation to Granqvist, etc.
"The symptoms are ideal." A source of error is of course that things such as absorption, thin-walledness, individual self-realization, etc. are sanctioned by, and conveyed as ideals, within the new age/newness. (How do you explain dots on a screen? That it also affected the unconscious?)
Leakage (Farias &granqvist, 2007). If this can be relativized (which is also done with fondness in new age/ newness) but one must then consider that relativization can also fulfill several functions: a kind of laziness, a gimmick (Flax, XX), right up to a kind of self-induced dissociation (ref dissocation, Granqvist?)
"Religious insensitivity." A similar worldview in a Hindu or Buddhist cultural circle would have been the teachings of the elite. (After all, Theosophy was also exported back to the East, having been a turn in the West and "purified" via Blavatsky & Co., and was then embraced by an elite – Hammer? Ref) "Tossness" may be an assessment arising from the fact that the assessor has a certain cultural background. (Compare Jesus born of the Virgin Mary as in Harris Int, see ref! is a performance defended by about 50% of respondents, which would equal about 150 million Americans?)
When you take part of the literature on the new age, it is difficult to miss the allure of the different practices on the assessors. There will be such colorful descriptions. About crystals, different kinds of healing, dolphin meditation, etc. And all of that is, of course. "Smorgasbord." But it is easy to miss the basic lines or performances, which are taken together in fact they also give the image of a rather special spiritual movement (the three criteria, etc.).
One reason why much of the assessments stick or at least dwell on an indefensible length of time in the details may – in addition to doing so well in text, and that the overall picture becomes so tedious – have to do with many observers actually being anthropologists, religious historians, etc. Psychologists and other professions have a different focus. What's going on? O so v.
Or it is a kind of parallel process to the phenomenon's many facets, that the assessors themselves end up sounding like an inventory at a new-age center.
The concern some feel about New Age supporters, and criticism, may be misguided. "Concerned secular rationalists exaggerate the risks of a New Age engagement simply because they overestimate the distance between themselves and those interested in the New Age," p348. It could be superstition, for example? (Hammer 2004)
"I'm under pressure." The New Age supporter is working on a very "advanced" doctrine that is partly difficult to find out for and partly gets the person to act below their actual level?
"Great explanatory power." Do you have answers to questions that we take for granted lack (unambiguous) answers? It is an advanced doctrine – largely coherent and with high explanatory power, as it seems (theodicé problem, for example) – which can be philosophically satisfying. But psychologically, some effects arise that are very interesting to think about … (Farias &. Granqvist, 2007). Or "simple"? C. S. Lewis's reflection on pantheism, which is where man ends up if left with himself? (ref?)
"Halo phenomenon." Halo effects of a bright worldview of order, and with a focus on interpersonal love, cannot be ruled out, analogous to the fact that experiences with drugs can make everyday life appear less appealing afterwards. (Check out "post-Avatar depression," where ref?). If it is the case that some people more easily produce such "halo phenomena", which can give strange answers in AAI interviews, for example, this probably occurs on a scale from normal to pathological.
"Type 1/Type2, etc." The description of the new age (as in Farias & Granqvist, 2007) by NA supporters pulling from workshop to workshop, where they are encouraged to turn themselves inside out, only describes part of NA (perhaps a "Type 1" even), while others manifest a more philosophical interest in NA ("Type 2"?). But what is it – if anything – that unites them and makes a collective designation relevant or useful? Here I see a future for research on, roughly speaking, a type 1 and 2. These would certainly be statistically motivated populations. So, possibly difficult to speak out about the "new age" as a group. (I'm sure Granqvist didn't, or in a very sensitive way, not remember, but worth making a remark about anyway.)
Most people's religion has a completely different character, as well as in India, according to Hammer.