The worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself.

“But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”

Friedrich Nietzsche, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra

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I’m not like an ordinary world.

books worth reading #4

lilprinc

The Little Prince went to look at the roses again.

“You’re not at all like my rose.  You’re nothing at all yet,” he told them.  “No one has tamed you and you haven’t tamed anyone.  You’re the way my fox was.  He was just a fox like a hundred thousand others.  But I’ve made him my friend, and now he’s the only fox in all the world.”

And the roses were humbled.

You’re lovely, but you’re empty,” he went on.  One couldn’t die for you.  Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you.  But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered.  Since she’s the one I put under glass.  Since she’s the one I sheltered behind a screen.  Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three for butterflies).  Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all.  Since she’s my rose.”

And he went back to the fox.

“Good-bye,” he said.

“Goodbye,” said the fox.  Here is my secret.  It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart.  Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”

“Anything essential is invisible to the eyes,” the little prince repeated, in order to remember.

“It’s the time you spend on your rose that makes your rose so important.”

“It’s the time I spent on my rose…,” the little prince repeated, in order to remember.

“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said.  “But you mustn’t forget it.  You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.  You’re responsible for your rose…”

“I’m responsible for my rose…,” the little prince repeated, in order to remember.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,  in The Little Prince

The infamous “TPD Article 20”

TPD Article 20 imposes regulations on e-cigarettes and e-liquid including restrictions on bottle sizes, nicotine strength, tank sizes and devices that will be available. It prohibits advertising, and introduces a number of testing and reporting measures that will significantly increase production costs and therefore sale prices. The current indicative time frame has “implementing act” requirements starting in the last quarter of 2015, with an expectation that several if not all of the more severe restrictions will be in place by May 2016.

Reasons why you should support the legal challenge:

Vapers:

  • You will not be able to buy the devices you use now! 2ml tank capacity limit means a huge swathe of the most popular products will be unavailable. (The wording of TPD Article 20 is ambiguous in respect of this limit, but the first Member State to implement has decided on an outright ban on tanks over 2ml capacity.).
  • You will have less choice of e-liquids! Harsh regulations around fluid and emissions testing mean that small and artisanal e-liquid manufacturers will be unable to compete, or in many cases even stay in business. Larger manufacturers will be forced to restrict the choices in their fluid ranges.
  • You will have less choice of nicotine strength! The 20 mg/ml nicotine strength limit means that those most at risk from combustible cigarettes (heavy smokers) are least likely to be able to satisfy nicotine craving with e-cigarettes.
  • All e-cigarettes will start to look the same! Ensuring “leak free refilling” (to be supported by a proposed Pan-European standard filling mechanism) also outlaws the vast majority of refillable and all rebuildable products, to be replaced by e-cigarettes with the same generic and standardised filling mechanism.

Industry:

  • Advertising restrictions – we are unable to inform customers to enable them to make a positive choice for an alternative to combustible cigarettes.
  • Pre-market notification gives us a huge administrative burden, and a 6 month delay in getting products to market, but there is no evidence of any risks for this notification to mitigate.
  • Listing of all ingredients (recently suggested at down to 0.1% by the European Commission) in pre-market notifications and making that information publicly available means that we are forced to make public full “recipes” for flavoured e-liquids.
  • Toxicological testing of fluids and emissions for every product (every flavour, every strength) will present a disproportionate burden to suppliers that have the widest and most innovative e-liquid ranges. There is no precedent for this type of testing, and very little toxicological data available for flavourings “by inhalation”, so the costs are likely to be in excess of £10K per flavour and strength.
  • A standardised refill mechanism destroys a huge market sector, restricts innovative product designs, and homogenises a vibrant and diverse competitive market.

When does this disproportionate legislation become law?  It already is – and, unless this legal challenge is successful, it will come into force across the EU in 2016.

If you’re against it (being a vaper yourself or not) please sign and share with family and friends! You can do so clicking here

eternity

Spinoza, who was one of the wisest of men and who lived consistently in accordance with his own wisdom, advised men to view passing events ‘under the aspect of enternity’. Those who can learn to do this will find a painful present much more bearable than it would otherwise be. They can see it as a passing moment—a discord to be resolved, a tunnel to be traversed. The small child who has hurt himself weeps as if the world contained nothing but sorrow, because his mind is confined to the present. A man who has learned wisdom from Spinoza can see even a lifetime of suffering as a passing moment in the life of humanity. And the human race itself, from its obscure beginning to its unknown end, is only a minute episode in the life of the universe.

What may be happening elsewhere we do not know, but it is improbable that the universe contains nothing better than ourselves. With increase of wisdom our thoughts acquire a wider scope both in space and in time. The child lives in the minute, the boy in the day, the instinctive man in the year. The man imbued with history lives in the epoch. Spinoza would have us live not in the minute, the day, the year or the epoch but in eternity. Those who learn to do this will find that it takes away the frantic quality of misfortune and prevents the trend towards madness that comes with overwhelming disaster. He spent the last day of his life telling cheerful anecdotes to his host. He had written: ‘The wise man thinks less about death than about anything else’, and he carried out this precept when it came to his own death”

Bertrand Russell, in The New York Times Magazine, September 3, 1950

I’m so aware of where I am, but I don’t know where that is

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Tomorrow I was nothing, yesterday I’ll be
Time has fooled me into thinking it’s a part of me
Nothing in this room but empty space
No me, no world, no mind, no face

I’m so aware of where I am, but I don’t know where that is
And there’s something right in front of me and I
Touch the fingers of my hand
And I wonder if it’s me

Can you turn me off for just a second, please
Turn me into something faceless,
Weightless, mindless, homeless

Vacuum state of peace.