When Snipes told Harrelson he couldn't hear Jimi, he was referring to a depth of connection.
Anyone can listen, but not anyone can actually hear.
When you listen to the words coming from your partner's mouth, but you already have fixed notions about what they are thinking, feeling and believing, you aren't really taking in what they are actually saying unless what they are saying coincides with what you believe.
Hearing is a skill that needs to be developed. It implies putting your own thoughts and assumptions aside and creating space for new information.
This is really hard to do, especially when the information has to do with you.
That is the variable that makes hearing so much more complicated and challenging.
When our antennae detect threatening information, signals are immediately sent to activate the defenses. When the defenses are up, they protect you from attacks, but they also prevent new information from coming in.
You know that this is happening when you are arguing and feeling the adrenaline rush and you're going back and forth attacking each other and parrying blows.
This is not the time to hear each other. You have to wait until the dust settles to create the space to hear each other.
Here's a short video clip of the scene from White Men Can't Jump (if you are reading this on the Love After Kids website).