The expression “talking cigars” here is not used in the sense of cigar lovers meeting in their lounge and talking about cigars, but literally what is meant here is cigar lovers talking with their cigars.
Nino Inzerillo‘s book I Sigari Parlanti deep-dives into the non-verbal communication and interactions we have with a cigar.
Not all cigar lovers may consider their cigars as animated works of art, others do. Talking to our pets can be considered quite common, why not with plants or with creatures that may look as non animated? I vaguely recall, and my mother confirmed, that when I was 3-4 years old, I used to sit on the lawn and talk to flowers. In the first young age, symbolic or fantasy games of this type are very common and well accepted in society as children tend to merge their internal and external worlds.
Cigars don’t have neurons, but their chemical interaction with us, their lovers, is very strong. It’s true, in a world dominated by materialism and objectivity, there is little room for creativity and associated imagination. Nino elaborates on how reality is in fact concept, dream, illusion, projection. He turns our conventional thoughts upside down demonstrating, through science, philosophy, psychology how our fantasies and myths shape us, referring to Jung, Hillman, Plato, Schopenhauer, Stendhal and more.
More specifically, Nino quotes Proust to explain how some of us build a very deep relationship with our cigars. Our involuntary memory is always present when we smoke a cigar. We might be in a bad mood, and find a sudden intense joy from smoking a cigar that reminds us of an awesome past moment.
Voluntary and involuntary memory are not the same. Voluntary memory is a conscious effort to recall the past. Involuntary memory works based on analogy: one sensation can recall a similar one to our mind. It not only allows us to recall the past, but also to experience its sensations again, in an authentic way. It is not unusual and somehow it has happened to anyone.
Gustation and olfaction cause particular emotional suggestions. But recent experiments proved that words or thoughts are more efficient than scents, aromas and tastes.
The perceptions during the tasting of a cigar are not mental, it’s the act of perceiving them that is mental. 3 persons smoking a Romeo y Julieta Capuletos make personal associations based on their individual perceptions, but this does not mean the cigar is not the same or a similar one. The true issue is how to communicate the perception. Everyone perceives only based on what her / his cultural background allows them to understand. We have already written about the importance of using a commonly adopted language as part of the efforts to overcome lack of objectivity and allow cigar lovers to be understood by others when they talk about what they love in fine cigars.
Nino wrote about the concept of time in previous works. Time can be made objective by physics, but the real time for us, cigar lovers, is the one experienced by our mind, which is determined by our being relaxed or stressed: “Let’s change our representation of time and we’ll change the way we smoke!”.
We can’t waive pleasure. Pleasure is spontaneous. We can simulate it, but this could be very embarrassing. Pleasure is not perceived voluntarily, it can’t be controlled.
Time is extremely important to allow our perceptions in the most genuine way. There is a great difference between the time freed up by a cigar lover and the time consumed by an addicted smoker. The passionate cigar lover decides when and how to experience the complex ritual before and during the relationship with the cigar, whereas the addicted smoker’s pressure to repeat does not leave room to such enjoyment.