Religion of the Future: Michael LaTorra in I09
Michael LaTorra is a fascinating guy. A zen priest, professor, author, and sci-fi expert, he is able to discuss religion in meta terms, from the deeply personal to the historically profound, handily laying out some ideas about what a religion of the future may look like.
Future science might show us how biological life arises and how it can be created anew. We will develop technology that enables us to create synthetic life-forms. Science may show that we live in a multiverse, or a universe of universes, with an unfathomably huge number of inhabited worlds in each one. We might discover that conscious minds with a level of intelligence equal to or greater than ours can exist in many different forms, including artificial ones we create ourselves, in computers and robots. We may also develop ways to merge our minds with these machines, thus becoming cyborgs. Or we may transfer our conscious intelligence into these devices as new substrates for living. Every one of these developments would create major challenges for the old-time exoteric religions, in terms of their cosmologies or their moralities.
Esoteric religions would have a much easier time dealing with all of these. The esoteric religions, or spiritual paths, are rooted in an ancient worldview that always included many worlds, and featured many forms of conscious life existing in them. The transfer of consciousness between different forms of embodiment is a core teaching of all esoteric spirituality.
You can access the full interview here.