Our Perceptions of Others

We often form perceptions of other people from how they are presented to us. Or by the descriptions and hearsay of others. Those perceptions can be idealised or demonised. There is a familiarity about some of the perceptions we hold, a warm familiarity which we cherish and cling to.


Charlie Stayt is roughly the same age as me and went to the same school. It is possible that I met him nearly fifty years ago.

In nearly every case the perceptions that we have of others are incomplete. We may only see one facet and yet we extrapolate and generalise from that facet. From time to time our perceptions can be called into question. We can be shocked that our perceptions were not as all encompassing as we once thought. Our tendency to conclude prematurely is a weakness which we often forget about. Yet we do it over and over.

How Well Do You Know Anyone?

People tend to make a host of assumptions about others and imagine that they know them. In an academic environment few consider the outside interests of others and if they do, they might imagine them benign, maybe hiking, gardening, arts or whatever.

Unless you belong to the “front row” club you have no idea as to the mentality of the sort of person who plays front row rugby. It does not compute unless you have experienced it. It can entail having semi-drunken light-hearted head butt competitions in a Paris café post-match, for example. It is not genteel though many front rowers are indeed gentle men away from the pitch. They tend not to be gob shites. They put up with a lot. They have broad shoulders.

I’ll wager that those who used to see me in a pastoral care role would not imagine me packing down, nor choking someone out during judo ground work. I got very close to causing unconsciousness on a number of occasions. Limpet like choke holds were a favourite of mine. People usually tapped before starting to go beyond. There is a latent capacity for controlled violence in me. People have walked closer than they think to its release.

“Are you having trouble concentrating? Have lost your appetite? Has your libido changed? Are you drinking more or less than usual? Have you had any self-harming thoughts?”

Is a bit of a contrast to full contact sparring, with take downs, locks and immobilisations. Until you have tried full contact martial arts you have no idea how you are going to respond to a donkey kick to the stomach or a punch to the head.

As I have said before I once met a geezer at an entrepreneurship event who said that he knew me well. He did not know who he was talking to. He had no idea that I was looking at the bridge of his nose as he was speaking, quite close to me, thinking that it would be very easy to head butt him and break his nose. That would cause quite a stir. He was oblivious, caught up in his bullshit.

Here people make some assumptions based on their general experience of British people. They are not so valid for us. When one says that they don’t have to try using English, one can see a brief wave of relief, I guess.

The thing is people make so many assumptions which are in many cases way off the mark.


How well do you know anyone?

Are your perceptions and assumptions in any way accurate?

The 99% Rule

This is an empirically derived rule which is not exactly quantitative. Nevertheless, it is thematically accurate and conveys much about human behaviour. The rule states:

99% of people think about themselves 99% of the time.

This means they have a “what is in it for me” orientation and are primarily concerned what effects things might have for/to/on them. Though they may beg to differ, they are not really interested in others.

When I have revealed this arcane and secret rule to people, many have been dumbstruck.

People used to come to me with concerns about how others viewed them. I said that according to the rule most were so self-obsessed that they would not really waste time thinking about you, so don’t let it bother you what you imagine that they are thinking about you. People are so busy trying to “sell” a version of themselves to others and worrying how they are perceived that they do not know how to be natural. They have little time for others because 99% of their time is already taken up.

Because of the 99% rule, one can do acts of magic, which nobody notices. Their CPU is full. They cannot compute. There is no headroom.

The 99% rule is causal of complacency and as a consequence a lack of foresight. It means that the unexpected is always a surprise and that there are many inconceivable things in the universe. Things which do not pertain to the endless circle line “do loop” cannot be conceived or accepted. They do not compute.

It suggests that the notion of “I” dominates the minds of the vast majority. It is the lens through which things are perceived and worlds “cognitively” assimilated. It is the rule of the little self. It has another variation, which is also applicable in the majority of instances.

99% of people think only about themselves 99% of the time.

Life Foundation Stories

After yesterday’s exertions I probably need a break. The pesky mole is taking the piss again, but it can wait a day or so.

I have been trying to find a way of verbalizing this for quite some time now. We will see if I can.

I’ll speculate that most people have some kind of foundation story around which they construct a life, or current version of a life. People will stick with that story until it becomes untenable, at which point, they might have something of a mental breakdown. All around the world there are people who are quite literally living a lie. They may be in relationships and hiding shenanigans or having said shenanigans hidden from them. They may be raising someone else’s child unknowingly. There is a lot of deceit in this world. If people genuinely believe that plastic surgery will bring them a nirvanic bliss, they are deluded. “If my boobs were bigger people would like me more…”

People try to sell their foundation story to others, it is kind of a stone which props up one’s self-image, a foundation.

When I was a young man, I was arrogant and pushy, because that is what I saw my peers doing. At school in general studies, I did Buddhism and Rastafarianism. I liked the spiritual side of Rastafarianism and was partial to the odd spliff or two. I went to university to study Chemistry and did a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics.  I would spout off about how science had the answers to most of the questions concerning life. I had abandoned my spirituality. I started dabbling with the warrior’s path because I was very interested in altered states of perception. I had a few trips and ‘shrooms were my favourite. Humito…

I was pretty good at science and got published which was a hoot. Something was missing.

The one fine day, I sat on a beach in Negril telling a drug dealer that everything could be explained by thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and the standard model. He looked me in the eye and said, “you don’t really believe that do you? He had accidentally pulled my foundation stone from under my world view and there on that beach my mental breakdown began.

I needed something else aside from science and it took me quite a long time to find it.

I had been living one dimensionally.  I found I could write poems. Wow…

Later when I was working in student pastoral care, I would have many conversations with “unhappy” students. One recurring theme was that many of them had stopped doing something that they loved in order to work slave like at their studies. I would say things like, “I know it may sound crazy but why don’t you pick up your violin again…” In many cases it helped.

People were trying a foundation story of being an overworked student. It just needed a tweak.

Many people believe that they can get away with things and that there is no karma, no sin. I am not sure how deeply most people think. After all material hedonism is in many ways an all-consuming pass time. They spend their life thus. We must keep up with the Joneses!!

I personally believe in the notion of karma because it makes sense, and I can observe karma in action. But so many people do not like the notion of karma because it would stop them doing some of the less salubrious things that they wish to do.

We all think we know others and if for example you knew me in the very early part of this century you would have the recollection of me as a pushy entrepreneur playing with lasers. Listening to my Gayatri Mantra would change your perception of me ever so slightly.  If you had built your world view around the concept that I was a Man of Action and I said I was not. You may not even believe me because to do that would remove a part of the foundation stone of your view of me, upon which all our interactions were based. You may prefer the opinion of another about me rather than my opinion about myself.

To believe some things can radically impact a whole bunch of other stuff. So, the consequence of belief and accepting can be wide ranging. To accept that one has been living with the wrong end of the stick can be very hard and people are generally unwilling to do this.

The concept of an inconvenient truth is widely applicable. There are many inconvenient truths, and most are not accepted. That river in Egypt gets everywhere, denial.

For people who “knew” me 1996-2006 as a science academic it might be difficult for them to understand that we live here on ~2000 euros a month and that I may indeed have some residual sanity left. It would be much more convenient for them to think me bat shit crazy.

How we view others is often a matter of convenience so long as we come out of it smelling of roses and they shoulder all the blame. In the foundation stories of many the blame is apportioned elsewhere, and responsibility remains unshouldered.

I’ll postulate that if you are forever blaming others, you are living a lie because by logic you must have had a hand in whatever has transpired for you. You are the common factor in all your interactions.

You could blame me and say it is all my fault that your life is as you assess it to be.

My current foundation stone is based around the notion that four out of my last five lives were associated with priesthood / monasticism: two Buddhist one Christian. Recently someone told me that something I have personally experienced does not exist.

This statement of itself is at odds with the recollection of others concerning me. They do not know what to do with it and interpret me from their historical data of me, even though that data may be perceptually inaccurate. To believe it would be to change the story, the recollection.

My family found it hard to accept me chanting. They just thought I was being weird, in their words. But no, my way of life had radically altered. They were not prepared to interact with me as a I currently was.

I’ll end with some questions.

Have you ever tried to get someone to comply perceptually with your version of them?

Have you tried to shoehorn them into your outdated version of who they are and what they are about?

Is the foundation stone of your story about them wrong?

What would happen if it crumbled?

P.S. Stories are just stories. They are made up in the minds of mankind.

There are more ways than one to skin a cat…

It is my experience that people can be talking about the same subject from different perspectives and are way closer to agreement than they can imagine. They are often describing the same thing but from a different point of view. Of late I have encountered this not only from perspective but also in language. The French psyche is much more different than I had anticipated. If you can get your head round where they are coming from it makes sense.

You need to try though.

France has 3rd ray personality active intelligence and 5th ray Soul concrete knowledge.

Great Britain has a 1st ray personality power and a 2nd ray Soul love-wisdom

Germany has a 1st ray personality power and a 4th ray Soul Harmony through conflict.

Brits are all about power politics and cock waving, the French are much more about ideas and clever solutions.

I have been mightily impressed with the invention of some of the French gadgets and tools, some are genius.

Both of these countries have similar sized economies and a nasty bellicose colonial past. Yet where they are roughly speaking in terms of living now, they are not so different. Yet we squabble over fish. If the countries could get over their ego {as it is used in modern psychology} who knows what could be achieved. The Brits want to be in charge and have nobody tell them what to do. Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves. Yeah right, not anymore. The French would know that it is not intelligent to be isolationist and look down on the feeble intellects which think it is a good idea.

Over the years I have found myself suspect. The scientists think I am a delusional tree hugger. The new agers think that I am a harsh nit-picking scientist. I can’t win…not that I want to.

This raises in me questions.

Why do people find it so hard to see and appreciate the perspective of another?

Is it REALLY all about being right and arguing the toss about petty, trivial, unimportant stuff?

With guns?

So now we have war in the East of Europe. NATO did not listen to Russia saying that it was unhelpful to expand the alliance over many years. We in the wonderful “egalitarian” west are right, they in the authoritarian East are wrong. We know best. We hold the moral high ground…Really? Is the USA one of the most bitterly polarised societies in the world on the axes of wealth and healthcare?  A shining example of self-delusion, leader of the free world. Fix your own house dude.

I’ll put an excerpt from Destiny of Nation by Bailey and Kuhl in here.

A close analysis of the following will reveal certain lines of racial understanding. There is a natural rapport indicated between the present personality rays of Germany and Great Britain, yet a relationship can be seen also between France and Great Britain through their esoteric national mottoes and also between the two symbols which are also theirs. The symbol for France is the fleur de lys, which she adopted centuries ago under divine guidance, which symbol stands for the three divine aspects in manifestation. The symbol for Great Britain, under the same divine apportioning, is the three feathers, carried as the arms of the Prince of Wales. The scintillating and brilliant French intellect with its scientific bent is accounted for by the interplay of the third Ray of Active Intelligence with the fifth Ray of Scientific Understanding. Hence their amazing contribution to the knowledge and the thought of the world and their brilliant and colorful history. Be it remembered also that the glory of the empire which was France is but the guarantee of a glory of divine revelation which lies ahead in the future; it will never be theirs until they cease living in the wonder of their past and go forth into the future to demonstrate the fact of illumination which is the goal of all mental effort. When the intellect of the French is turned towards the discovery and the elucidation of the things of the spirit, then they will carry revelation to the world. When their egoic ray dominates the third ray and when the separative action of the fifth ray is transmuted into the revealing function of this ray, then France will enter into a period of new glory. Her empire will then be of the mind and her glory of the soul.

I personally found myself at odds with all the power politics in England. You could say that I am in exile here, but that might be dramatic.

The year we arrived I built the AUM thought form and the A-U-M over and over. It is still “there” in the next room subjectively. I can feel it just behind me now as I type.

I just wish people would try to understand each other better and cease from being so petty, argumentative and bellicose.

I have had one previous French life around 800 years ago.

Here there is way more nonverbal communication than in the UK.

One of the tradesmen we had visiting hit our roof with his white van and broke a slate or two. I said to him that he had broken it. I gestured towards some replacement slates which I had gotten out of my workshop. I said to him that these might help him.

So instead of getting annoyed I offered him an intelligent solution.

When he finished his work, I saw that he had fixed the roof, no drama.

So, I’ll wrap this up with a question.

Why are we, as one humanity, so quick to confront and so apparently unwilling to try to find an intelligent mutual solution?

P.S. Don’t worry trip hazard is alive and well