"You trying to tell me I'm using this sudocrem wrong?"


Hey You,

It’s #2.

In the last 100 years we’ve figured out that there is no matter.

You get down to the smallest level, it all turns into energy. Energy and matter are the same. They’re compatible with each other.

They’re on some big spectrum or continuum or something.

There is no “A” or “Not A”. Aristotle’s whole logic thing, “It either is or it isn’t” got us from where we were to where we are but there’s another paradigm. We’ve got uncertainty principles and probabilities, all this stuff. We don’t know anymore.

Einstein came up with the elegant idea of relativity, which is, everything looks different depending on your perspective. You, on the street looking up at the skyscraper is whole different perspective than if you were 5,000 feet tall looking at it.

There are only perspectives and all perspectives are partial. Repeat. There are only perspectives and all perspectives are partial. Every perspective that you have, is partial. And now add to it that every perspective is changing at all times.

So, there are only perspectives, all perspectives are partial and all perspectives are changing.

It’s only recently been brought to my attention to make this my primary way of  living.  So, instead of saying, “I believe,” I’ve been working to replace that with, “My perspective right now is…” or “The way I see it at this moment is…”

This is rough for most people because they don’t want to live in a world where things aren’t fixed and definite, where things aren’t good, bad and right and wrong. But good, bad and right and wrong don’t exist. They were just ideas anyway…

Everything’s relative, we only have perspectives, all perspectives are partial to what you’ve experienced as a human and all perspectives are changing at any given time.

If you can wake up to the reality that other people see things from a different perspective you can make a lot of progress.

Here’s an example of striving to understand another person’s perspective played out in a

fictional conversation between my favorite character developed by the late, great, Robert Parker, from his Spenser novel series. The main character is a Private Investigator and much more as you’ll soon discover.

This is from his book, “A Savage Place” and the gist of the story is that Spenser has been hired to protect a news reporter who’s received death threats because she’s making waves while trying to get the story on how the mob has infiltrated a movie studio and is laundering money through it.

The setting here is a conversation between Spenser and Candy Sloan, the news reporter, over drinks. Roll the clip…

“Tell me about yourself, Spenser.”

“I was born in a trunk,” I said, “in the Princess Theatre in Pocatello Idaho.”

“I know it’s a corny question, but it’s still a real one. What are you like? How did you end up in such a strange business?”

“I got too old to be a boy scout,” I said.

I could smell flowers in the soft California evening. Candy sipped her brandy. The ice clinked gently in the glass as she rolled it absently between her hands. Mingled with the smell of flowers was the smell of Candy’s perfume.

“That’s not an entirely frivolous answer, is it?” She said.


“You want to help people.”



“Makes me feel good,” I said.

“But why this way? Guns, fists, hoodlums? You’re laughing at me, but I will proceed. It’s why I’m a good reporter. I keep asking. Why not be a doctor or a school teacher or” she spread her hands, the glass in one of them – “you get the idea.”

“Systems,” I said. “The system gets in the way. You end up serving the medical profession or public education. I tried the cops for a while.”


“They felt I was too creative.”



Candy poured herself another drink. I squirted in some soda. “Are you attracted to violence?” she asked.

“Maybe. To a point. But it’s also that I’m good at it. And there’s a need for someone who’s good at it. Someone needs to keep that fat guy from smacking you around.”

“But what if you meet someone who’s better?”

“Unthinkable,” I said.

“No,” she said. “It isn’t unthinkable at all. You’re too thoughtful a man not to have thought of it.”

“How about unlikely then?”

“Maybe, but what happens? How do you feel?”

I took in a deep breath. “Talking about myself seriously has always seemed a little undignified,” I said. “But…”

“But what?” Candy said.

“But the possibility that you’ll meet somebody better is part of” — I gestured with my right hand — “if that possibility didn’t exist,” I said, “it would be like playing tennis with the net down.”


“People fear what they cannot understand.” Bruce Lee

How deep has she gotten with this man who’s almost a stranger. A man she’s known for 2 days? Pretty deep.

And all it took was being curious as to what his perspective was. Being interested in what makes him, him. People can never connect with you on a deep level until they feel that you understand them.

Check out how she does it again the morning after they’d had sex for the first time, probing to find out how he feels, not wanting to assume, but to have facts. Roll the clip…

Candy sipped her coffee. When she put the cup down, there was a lipstick imprint on the rim. Susan always did that too.

“Any guilt?” Candy said to me.

I ate a forkful of hash, took a small bite of toast and chewed and swallowed. “I don’t think so,” I said.

“What about the woman you’re committed to?”

“I’m still committed to her.”

“Will you tell her?”


“Will she mind?”

“Not very much,” I said.

“Would you mind if it were the other way?”


“Is that fair?”

“It’s got nothing to do with fair,” I said, “or unfair. I’m jealous. She’s not. Perhaps it’s a real recognition that hers would be an affair of the heart, while mine is of the flesh only, so to speak.”

“My God, what a romantic distinction,” Candy said. “So flowery too.”

I nodded and drank some coffee.

“More than flowery,” Candy said. “Victorian. Women make love and men fuck.”

“No need to generalize. We did more than fuck last night, but we’re not in love. For Susan it wouldn’t have to be love, but it would involve feelings that you and I don’t have: interest, excitement, commitment, maybe some intrigue. For Suze it would involve relationship.

“I can’t say for you, although I bet it had a little something to do with the agent you used to sleep with. For me it was sexual desire satisfied. I like you. I think you’re beautiful. You seemed to be available. I guess we could say that what was involved for me was affectionate lust.”

Candy smiled. “You talk well,” she said. “And it’s not the only thing.”

“Aw, blush,” I said.

“But if you tell—what’s her name?”


“If you tell Susan, won’t it make her a little unhappy to no good purpose?”

“It may make her a little unhappy, but the purpose is good.”

“Easing your conscience?”

“Pop psych,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

“The world’s not that simple. I tell her because we should not have things we don’t tell each other.”

“Would you want to know.”


“And if you knew, would it be the end?”

“No. Dying is the only end for me and Suze.”

“So you’re not so all-fired wonderful. You don’t risk that much by telling her.”

“True,” I said.


“But what?”

Candy’s hash was barely nibbled. She poked at it with her fork.

“But there’s more,” she said. “I’ve oversimplified it again.”


“Tell me.”

“What difference does it make?” I said.

“I want to know,” Candy said. “I’ve never met anyone like you. I want to know.”

“Okay,” I said. “I wouldn’t do anything I couldn’t tell her about.”

“Are you ashamed of this?”


“Would you do something that would make you ashamed?”


She poked at her hash some more. “Jesus,” she said. “I think you wouldn’t. I’ve heard people say that before, but I never believed them. I don’t think they even believed themselves. But you mean it.”

“It’s another way of being free.”

“But how—“

I shook my head. “Eat your hash,” I said. “We have a heavy crime-busting schedule. Let’s fortify ourselves and not talk for a while.” I ate more hash.

Candy opened her mouth and closed it and looked at me and then smiled and nodded. We ate our hash in silence.


“Our position determines what we see.” Ylva

Did you notice that in the above example that the woman is seeking first to understand, and never really gets to point of trying to be understood? This is rare. Most people are so into their perspective that they’re constantly trying to rape people’s minds with it.

What almost none of us are taught is process that let’s us first understand another person’s world which then allows us to recognize and perhaps value the other person’s differences so they can feel appreciated and heard which in turn opens them up to hear our point of view.

Most people behave as if the way they see, hear, feel and smell the world SHOULD be the way everyone else does too. It ain’t. Senses and meanings are one-of-a-kind and should be treated as such because we’ve all individually made  customized meanings for the similar and unique events that have occurred in our lives.

You see, you and I have had sex. It’s an event that we share. But your definition and meaning of sex and my definition and meaning of sex might be wildly different because of the meaning and the feelings we’ve  attached to our unique experiences which are compounded by and constructed on our beliefs, values and references.

This is why it’s so goddamned important to know another person’s rules for how the world is supposed to be. Because this is where we butt heads with one another. At the level of rules.

Good News…

Even though we each have unique blueprints, we are not random. Certain beliefs lead to certain behaviors. Certain behaviors lead to certain states of mind. Patterns show up with consistency.

But you have to lead and break your own pattern first and stop saying/thinking, “You’re wrong and I’m right,” and start saying, “You obviously see things differently from me so what I’d like you to do is show me how you see it right now. Let me see if I can understand your perspective on this and let’s keep working on it until I get your perspective.”

And once you do, there’s a magic that happens. The person opens up and feels like you finally get it and asks YOU how you see things because you’ve come across the water to them.

As always, please feel free to let me know your perspective in the comments below. Help me see what’s on your mind and in your heart.

Talk Soon,

Note Taking Nerd #2