Should a philosopher be opposed to the varieties of new age movements that have recnetly cornered the marketplace for spiritual ideas? Should we take seriously ideas like 'psychic attack and defence' and the idea of cosmic energies that can be harnessed by means of appopriate esoteric techniques?
Of course this should lead us to ask 'what is exactly is new age in philosophical terms?' According to one influential account, new agers essentially believe that
all life, in all its interconnected forms and states, is interconnected energy - and this includes our deeds, feelings, thoughts. We, therefore, work with Spirit and these energies in co-creating our reality. Although held in the dynamic of cosmic love, we are jointly responsible for the state of ourselves, of our environment and of all life' (see Heelas 1996, 33)
The enemy of all New Age movements is the rational ego. For New Agers, the ego, contra Freud, is not the part of the human psyche responsible for reality monitoring, but rather is the cause of the most profound illusion of western civilisation; that the individual is ultimately responsible/in control of him/herself. The true self, the natural/higher self, is to be found beyond the ego and can only be reached by the ego’s dissolution.
However, can there be rational thought, and thus philosophy, without an ego of some kind?