Oliver Wolf Sacks (1933 - 2015) was a prestigious British neurologist, naturalist and writer, fond of chemistry and popularizer of science, especially in relation to his specialty. He became well known for his books on the effects of neurological disorders, based on the real experiences of his patients, some of his books were even adapted to theater and cinema.
The best celebrity quotes from Oliver Sacks
Each act of perception, is to some extent an act of creation, and each act of memory is to some extent an act of imagination.
Above all, I have been a sensitive being, an animal of thinking on this beautiful planet, and this in itself has been a huge privilege and an adventure.
In examining the disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy, physiology and biology. In the examination of the person with illness, we gain wisdom about life.
There are defects, diseases and disorders that can play a paradoxical role, revealing capacities, developments, evolutions, latent life forms, which could never be seen, or even imagined in their absence.
Remember is always rebuild, not reproduce.
There will be no one like us when we are gone, there is no one like any other person, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. Holes come out that cannot be filled, since it is the destiny - destiny and neuronal genetics - of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own way, to live his own life, and die his own death.
If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows that he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost the self, if he has lost himself, he cannot know it, because he is not there anymore to know it.
My religion is the nature. This is what awakens the feelings of wonder, mysticism and gratitude in me.
People are going to build a life on their own terms, whether they are deaf or colorblind or autistic or whatever. And his world will be as rich and interesting and full as our world can be.
There is only one golden rule: one must always listen to the patient.
The brain is much more dedicated to movement than the tongue. Language is only a little of what exists within this immense ocean of movement.
We see with the eyes, but we see with the brain as well. And seeing with the brain is often called imagination.
The human being is not lacking in mind, he is not mentally deficient, because he does not have language, but he is very severely limited in the scope of his thinking, actually confined to an immediate, small world.
We have, each of us, a life story, whose continuity, whose meaning, is our own life.
And, in its broadest sense, neural Darwinism implies that we are destined, whether we like it or not, to a life of uniqueness and self-development, to create our own individual paths through life.
Any disease introduces a duplicity in life: an "it", with its own needs, requirements and limitations.
Music, unique among the arts, is both completely abstract and deeply emotional.
I must also remember that sex is one of those things - like religion and politics - capable of arousing intense and irrational feelings in otherwise decent and rational people.
Empirical science, empiricism, does not take into account the soul, does not take into account what constitutes and determines the personal self.
I think the brain is a dynamic system in which some parts exert control or other parts suppress it. And if perhaps one has damage in one of the areas that they control or suppress, then the appearance of something unexpected is possible, it may be an attack, a different trait or even a sudden passion for music.
We talk not only to tell people what we think, but we say what we think. Speech is a part of thought.
The power of music to integrate and cure ... is quite fundamental. It is the deepest non-chemical medicine.
In the same way that we can be horrified by the ravages caused by the development of a disease or disorder, we can also see them as something creative, because even when they destroy particular procedures, a particular way of doing things, they may force the nervous system to create other procedures and ways that force it to unexpected development and evolution.
I have to live in the richest, deepest and most productive way that I can.
The personality change in temporal lobe epilepsy may be the most important key we have when it comes to deciphering the neurological systems that are the foundation of emotional forces that guide behavior.
I feel that I should be trying to complete my life, whatever it means to complete a life.
I can't pretend to be someone without fear. But my predominant feeling is gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given a lot and I have given in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had a sexual relationship with the world ...
I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasm and lack of moderation in all my passions.
To be ourselves we must have our life stories. We must "remember" ourselves, remember the inner drama, the narrative of ourselves. A man needs a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his car.
I feel a clear focus and a sudden perspective. There is no time for anything inessential.
All of us (with very few exceptions) can perceive music, tones, timbre, intervals, melodic contours, harmony and (perhaps in a mostly elementary way) rhythm. We integrate all these things and "build" the music in our minds using many different parts of the brain. And to this largely unconscious structural appreciation of music is added an often intense and deep emotional reaction.
Psychotic hallucinations, whether visual or auditory, seduce you, direct you, humiliate you, make fun of you ... You can interact with them.
Now I am face to face with death. But I am not done with life.