Second Life is an interesting magnifying glass. Sometimes I think it should be organized like a school, with regions corresponding to degrees of education. Exams would allow students to access higher degrees, or more mature regions. Mainland would probably be the kindergarten.

But first, your attention please

Attention is the most precious quality of human being – and probably of any sentient being. It is the attention I put on a person, an object, a situation or an idea that will give it reality. I put my attention on you, I focus on you: I load my attention with appreciation, disdain, interest, love, judgement, lust, expectation, desire, disgust, and so on. The object of my attention becomes alive and infused withe the attributes I have projected on it. A beautiful person, an ugly painting, a poor dog, a sexy body.

Many spiritual practices suggest to unload the beam of attention, to refrain from loading this beam with our projections, expectations and judgments. Keeping the attention clean of our own stories brings a tremendous inner freedom. Another word for uncluttered and clean attention is Love. The original. The one that sets us free.

During the past centuries, the geopolitical world has been shaped on one hand by endless wars to own precious resources like oil, minerals, and the soils that contain them, and on the other hand by holy wars to propagate mad ideas about god(s).

In the third millenimum, the most precious resource, the most wanted treasure is our attention. Yours. Mine. Everybody’s attention. The immensely big media groups, Amazon, Apple, Google and all major players are fomenting wars to capture our attention. More hungry and thirsty than ever, the predators and vampires are now hunting for our minds. Once our attention captive, it is easy to follow back the beam up to its source, and to enslave our spirit. One Facebook like at a time.

It is not innocent. Attention charged with emotion creates reality. By capturing our attention, the big groups are using our minds as processing power to give substance to their mad mad vision of the world. Make no mistake: this global predator is a facet of you and me. It will vanish the instant we take back the ownership of our attention.

Back to SL (or maybe not)

I hope you liked this little introduction on attention, because it is central in my experience of both SL and RL.

In a nutshell and for the metaphor, I don’t want the trash bins of the world being dumped into my living room. I strive to keep my attention as clean as possible.

For me, all life is a gift, an opportunity to grow and evolve, an adventure in fullfilment. Life becomes meaningful when essential qualities can blossom: love, freedom, beauty, respect, creativity, friendship, generosity and laughter.

I’m far from being perfect, and it’s an endless journey. Yet in all worlds, these qualities are my guidelines, the indicators of my integrity and of my health.

I am playful, creative, mischievious, curious, and as much as I can, generous. When I spend time with someone, I try to be fully present. I offer my full (and if possible not cluttered) attention to this present moment, to this sharing, to this experience.

When the moment of the experience is over, I clean up the desk, so to speak. I empty the cache, so that the next experience can be as genuine as possible, not cluttered by the previous ones. Yes. I very often clean the cache of my attention.

What is the best gift I can offer to a friend? My love, my appreciation, my clean attention, my aptitude of admiring his or her beauty and uniqueness, of evoking these qualities. That’s what I try to do, with varying degrees of success.

And then it gets complicated.

The intimacy of a blessed moment gets traped into linear time, and becomes an obligation to repeat this intimate moment. The instant of praising becomes the request for more praising. The space created for a moment of sharing becomes a reclaimed territory. The playful tease and dance of a day becomes a subscription, and the expectation for more entertainment.

Attention gets loaded. The other becomes an owned object. Yesterday was so cool, how can you be so unfair today? Mind games get loose. The war to capture attention has started. You are my friend, so you owe me your time. You did a few erotic photographs of me so you must have sex with me. You listened to me yesterday so you are, logically, the repository of my burdens for all days to come.

I know this phemonena so well… The saturation of one’s life. Some years ago, I had to leave SL for more than 2 years because, overwhelmed by too many expectations and projections, I was not able to offer anything of value to others. My SL had become so saturated that it was suffocating.

SL is another world where I express my creativity, have fun and share Love.

The best way to insure the fun goes on is to clean the cache every day: making sure the memories of yesterday don’t spoil the present moment.

And, of course, stay vigilant enough to remember that our mind is not a trash bin.