Oliver Sacks was a leading British neurologist and writer who died in 2015 from terminal liver cancer.
Throughout his life, he published numerous works, including: “The Man Who Mistaken His Wife with a Hat”, “An Anthropologist on Mars” or “Awakening”.
Oliver Sacks’ best quotes and thoughts
This character has spoken many wise quotes. Therefore, in this article, we have prepared a list with your brightest phrases.
1. We are not only talking about telling people what we think, but we are saying what we think. Speech is part of thinking
Through speech, we can communicate our thoughts and emotions to others.
2. There are faults, diseases and disorders which can play a paradoxical role, revealing capacities, developments, evolutions, latent forms of life, which can never be seen or even imagined in the absence of these.
Mental problems and illness can change the way we interact with our environment.
3. I cannot pretend to be someone without fear. But my predominant feeling is gratitude
Oliver Sacks reflects on what his life has been like.
4. And then, as if they had painted it with a giant paintbrush, a huge, pear-shaped, trembling spot arose from the purest indigo. Luminous, numinous, it filled me with ecstasy: it was the color of the sky, the color, I told myself, that Giotto had spent his life trying to find without success, perhaps because the color of the sky did not. not seen in the earth
A quote from his work titled “Hallucinations”.
5. When faith in traditional figures is lost – demons, witches or harpies – other news takes their place: extraterrestrials, appearances from a “previous life”
He has always been interested in the inner world of people with psychotic disorders.
6. Patients who presented with delirium were almost always in medical or surgical wards, not neurological or psychiatric wards, as delirium usually indicates a medical problem caused by something affecting the whole body including the brain. and which disappears as soon as the medical problem is resolved
A reflection on how people with delusional disorders are treated.
7. Humans share many things with other animals – basic needs for food and drink, or sleep, for example – but there are additional mental and emotional needs and wants that are unique to humans.
Humans have superior abilities that other animals do not.
8. Studies by Andrew Newberg and others have shown that the continued practice of meditation produces significant alterations in blood flow to parts of the brain related to attention, emotions, and certain autonomic functions.
Meditation has been shown to have huge benefits for people’s emotional health.
9. There is only one golden rule: always listen to the patient
The treatment of the patient must be individualized and, therefore, the needs must be listened to.
10. Every act of perception is to some extent an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some extent an act of imagination.
A phrase from Oliver Sacks that invites the reader to think deeply.
11. Music, unique among the arts, is both completely abstract and deeply emotional.
Music has the power to change our behavior and affect our emotional state.
12. People will build lives on their own terms, whether they are deaf or color blind, autistic or otherwise. And your world will be as rich and interesting and full as our world can be
We all construct our schematic of the world despite our limitations.
13. There will be no one like us when we’re gone, there will be no one like no one else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. Holes come out that cannot be filled, for it is the fate – fate and neural genetics – of every human being to be a unique individual, to find their own path, to live their own life and to die their own death. .
Each of us has unique personal characteristics that make us different and irreplaceable.
14. I believe that the brain is a dynamic system in which some parts exercise control or others remove it. And if one can have damage in any of the areas that they control or suppress, then the appearance of something unexpected is possible, it can be an attack, a different plan or even a sudden passion for the music.
Our brains allow us to experience unique and impressive things.
15. 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 me, if he has lost himself, he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it
When you don’t know yourself deeply or connect with yourself, you are in a state of confusion and existential crisis.
16. Just as we can be horrified by the devastation caused by the development of a disease or disorder, we can also see it as something creative, for although they destroy particular procedures, a particular way of doing things. doing things, they can strain the nervous system. to create other procedures and manners, forcing it to unexpected development and evolution.
A positive mindset, despite the negative of an illness, is the best way to deal with it.
17. The brain is much more dedicated to movement than the tongue. The tongue is only a small part of what is inside this immense ocean of movement.
There are things we cannot express in words, but we must limit ourselves to hearing.
18. I must live in the richest, deepest and most productive way possible.
When someone suffers from an illness like cancer, they learn to accept the immensity of life.
19. The personality change in temporal lobe epilepsy may be the most important key we have in deciphering the neurological systems that underlie the emotional forces that guide behavior.
When the frontal lobe is affected by disease, a person’s personality changes.
20. Above all, I have been a sentient being, an animal to think about on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been a tremendous privilege and an adventure.
Oliver Sacks considered himself a great person.
21. I feel like I should try to end my life no matter what it means to end a life
Something he said once he knew he had cancer.
22. We each have a life story, continuity, meaning, it is our own life.
Throughout our life, we form an image of ourselves that accompanies us throughout our life.
23. I am a man of a vehement character, with a violent enthusiasm and a lack of moderation in all my passions.
Maybe Sacks got this far in the professional arena because of the passion he felt for what he did.
24. And, in its broadest sense, Neural Darwinism implies that we are destined, whether we like it or not, for a life of singularity and personal development, to create our own individual paths through life.
Our brain has an immense capacity to adapt.
25. We can all (with a few exceptions) perceive music, tones, timbre, intervals, melodic contours, harmony and (perhaps essentially elementally) rhythm. We integrate all of these things and “build” 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 response.
This character has always been interested in the relationship between music and the brain.
26. The power of music to integrate and to heal … is very fundamental. It is the deepest non-chemical drug
Such is the power of music, that it is used as a form of therapy. This is called music therapy.
27. To remember is always to reconstruct, not to reproduce
The imagination and our perception of life have a remarkable influence on what we remember about events or events.
28. Empirical science, empiricism, does not take into account the soul, does not take into account what constitutes and determines the Personal self.
Excessive empiricism can set aside certain phenomena that are difficult to measure.
29. My religion is nature. This is what awakens in me the feelings of surprise, mysticism and gratitude
Nature can surprise us many times, but it is rewarding to get lost in it.
30. Psychotic hallucinations, whether visual or auditory, seduce you, direct you, humiliate you, make fun of you … You can interact with them
People who suffer from hallucinations experience them as real and perceive them as if they really exist.
31. We see with the eyes, but we also see with the brain. And seeing with the brain is often called imagination
If the area of the brain responsible for vision is affected, our vision will not be the same.
32. Many revolutions, transformations, awakenings are reactions to immediate (and unbearable) circumstances
Many times change occurs as a result of an unbearable situation.
33. I must also remember that sex is one of those things – like religion and politics – capable of eliciting intense and irrational feelings in otherwise decent and rational people.
Sex is one of the best experiences humans can have.
34. I feel a clear focus and a sudden perspective. There is no time for anything inessential
Living in the present is the only thing we can experience unlike the present and the past.
35. By examining the disease, we have gained wisdom about anatomy, physiology and biology. By examining the sick person, we gained wisdom about life
When the disease affects a person, they become more aware of their surroundings.
36. Every disease introduces a duplicity into life: an “that”, with its own needs, demands and limits.
Illness involves a different outlook on life, which we may not have stopped to think about.
37. I am now face to face with death. But I’m not done with life
Sacks the disease, I can with him, but at the time of pronouncing this sentence, I did not know.
38. These are great survivors, and while the dinosaurs have appeared and disappeared, the ferns are still there.
A reflection that speaks of the complexity of the mind.
39. The human being has no mind, he is not mentally deficient, because he has no language, but he is very severely limited in the field of his thought, confined in fact to a small immediate world.
Language has a great effect on the way we think and relate.
40. You can have feelings for plants, although they probably don’t have feelings for us.
Humans and plants are different, and they can’t think because they don’t have a brain.
41. No two people describe an event the same. Neither of them is lying: they see things from different angles, they make their own associations, they have their own emotions
Each person lives life differently and interprets it according to their beliefs, expectations, patterns, etc.
42. To be ourselves we must have our life stories. We have to “remember” ourselves, remember the inner drama, the story of ourselves. A man needs a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his act
Memory is essential so that we can build our identity and our vision of the world.
43. It is almost certain that I will not witness my poloni birthday (number 84), nor would I want to have any poloni near me, with its intense and deadly radioactivity.
Sacks knew his illness could end him, but he never lost his faith.
44. I knew that the music seemed to somehow overcome, at least for a few minutes, Parkinson’s disease, and set them free, allowing them to flow freely.
Music has incredible therapeutic benefits, even for people with Parkinson’s disease.
45. I loved and I was loved, I received a lot and gave something in return, I read, traveled, thought and wrote
A definition of what the life of Oliver Sacks has been told by himself.
46. Three times I tried to be a serious scientist, but all three times it turned out to be terribly wrong and I could feel the relief of my colleagues when they realized that I was was giving up.
Despite these words, Sacks was a great science broadcaster.
47. Remember that you can be old without being close to death
There are people who, even though they are not of old age, feel good and are not enjoying their life to the fullest.
48. It is easy to detect a lie with a detector or with physiological programming because lying is difficult. Telling the truth is easier, but if you put aside the word truth, if you use the term believe, you will see, for example, that there are people who believe they have been abducted by aliens. And they don’t lie, they’re confused, which is different
You need to know how to tell the difference between what you are intentionally lying and what you think is telling the truth even if it is not true.
49. Being patient requires thinking
When we feel sick, we can seriously think about what life is like.
50. Flexibility, endurance and uncertainty, this kind of adventure, are in our nervous system, they are a part of life.
When we talk about the nervous system, it refers to our brain. In other words, the reality in which we live is a construction of it.
51. Everything that has a beginning must have an end
Unfortunately, everything that begins, sooner or later, ends.
52. Sometimes illness can teach us about life and allow us to live it more intensely.
Cancer, without a doubt, has made Oliver Sacks think deeply about his existence and what life is all about.
53. Illness must be studied with the sensitivity of a novelist
A meeting that refers to the need to study pathologies with enthusiasm.
54. I had a relationship with the world, the special relationship of writers and readers
Throughout his life, Sacks did things he was very proud of.
55. And above all, I have been a sensitive being, an animal who thinks about this beautiful planet and that, in itself, has been a huge privilege and an adventure.
Sensitivity was one of the hallmarks of this character.
56. I don’t know what I just did or where I come from at the moment … I remember my past very well but I have no memory of my present
A sentence taken from his play “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”.