Best 140 of Oliver Sacks quotes - MyQuotes

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Oliver Sacks
By Anonym 19 Sep

Oliver Sacks

What could we do? What should we do? 'There are no prescriptions,' Luria wrote, 'in a case like this. Do whatever your ingenuity and your heart suggest. There is little or no hope of any recovery in his memory. But a man does not consist of memory alone. He has feeling, will, sensibilities, moral being - matters of which neuropsychology cannot speak. And it is here, beyond the realm of an impersonal psychology, that you may find ways to touch him, and change him. [...] Neuropsychologically, there is little or nothing you can do; but in the realm of the Individual, there may be much you can do.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

We have, each of us, a life story, whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

My own first love was biology. I spent a great part of my adolescence in the Natural History museum in London (and I still go to the Botanic Garden almost every day, and to the Zoo every Monday). The sense of diversity of the wonder of innumerable forms of life has always thrilled me beyond anything else.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I feel I should be trying to complete my life, whatever completing a life means.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Scheele, it was said, never forgot anything if it had to do with chemistry. He never forgot the look, the feel, the smell of a substance, or the way it was transformed in chemical reactions, never forgot anything he read, or was told, about the phenomena of chemistry. He seemed indifferent, or inattentive, to most things else, being wholly dedicated to his single passion, chemistry. It was this pure and passionate absorption in phenomena-noticing everything, forgetting nothing-that constituted Scheele's special strength.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

The past which is not recoverable in any other way is embedded, as if in amber, in the music, and people can regain a sense of identity.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

The brain is more than an assemblage of autonomous modules, each crucial for a specific mental function. Every one of these functionally specialized areas must interact with dozens or hundreds of others, their total integration creating something like a vastly complicated orchestra with thousands of instruments, an orchestra that conducts itself, with an ever-changing score and repertoire.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Oliver Sacks

The real functional "machinery" of the brain, for Edelman, consists of millions of neuronal groups, organized into larger units or "maps". These maps, continually conversing in everchanging, unimaginably complex, but always meaningful patterns, may change in minutes or seconds. One is reminded of C. S. Sherrington's poetic evocation of the brain as "an enchanted loom", where "millions of flashing shuttles weave a dissolving pattern, always a meaningful pattern though never an abiding one; a shifting harmony of subpatterns".

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

There is no one part of the brain which recognizes or responds emotionally to music. Instead, there are many different parts responding to different aspects of music: to pitch, to frequency, to timbre, to tonal intervals, to consonance, to dissonance, to rhythm, to melodic contour, to harmony.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Oliver Sacks

We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative — whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives, a “narrative,” and that this narrative is us, our identities. If we wish to know about a man, we ask “what is his story — his real, inmost story?” — for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us — through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives — we are each of us unique.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I suspect that music has qualities both of speech and writing - partly built in, partly individually constructed - and this goes on all through one's life.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Oliver Sacks

We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognise and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us. But there are other senses -- secret senses, sixth senses, if you will -- equally vital, but unrecognised, and unlauded. These senses, unconscious, automatic, had to be discovered.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

My religion is nature. That’s what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I think there are dozens or hundreds of different forms of creativity. Pondering science and math problems for years is different from improvising jazz. Something which seems to me remarkable is how unconscious the creative process is. You encounter a problem, but can't solve it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

A disease is never a mere loss or excess. There is always a reaction on the part of the organism or individual to restore, replace or compensate for and to preserve its identity, however strange the means may be.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I was always the youngest boy in my class at high school. I have retained this feeling of being the youngest, even though now I am almost the oldest person I know.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Oliver Sacks

My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

If a man with a dog sits quietly enjoying music and smiling, his dog might sit down beside him and smile, too. But who knows whether the dog is having a comparable experience or whether the dog is simply happy that his master is happy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Enhancement not only allows the possibilities of a healthy fullness and exuberance, but of a rather ominous extravagance, aberration, monstrosity ... This danger is built into the very nature of growth and life. Growth can become over-growth, life 'hyper-life' ... The paradox of an illness which can present as wellness - as a wonderful feeling of health and well-being, and only later reveal its malignant potentials - is one of the chimaeras, tricks and ironies of nature.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Music is part of being human.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Sign language is the equal of speech, lending itself equally to the rigorous and the poetic, to philosophical analysis or to making love.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Dangerously well’— what an irony is this: it expresses precisely the doubleness, the paradox, of feeling ‘too well

By Anonym 18 Sep

Oliver Sacks

[photography]... wanted to understand, to master for myself, all the processes involved, and to manipulate them in my own way.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Oliver Sacks

For 'wellness', naturally is no cause of complaint--people relish it, they enjoy it, they are at the furthest pole from complaint. People complain of feeling ill--not well. Unless, as George Eliot does, they have some intimation of 'wrongness' or danger, either through knowledge or association, or the very excess of excess. Thus, though a patient will scarcely complain of being 'very well', they may become suspicious if they feel 'too well'.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

there  are  other  senses  -­  secret  senses,  sixth  senses,  if  you  will  -­  equally  vital,  but  unrecognized,  and  unlauded.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I think the brain is a dynamic system in which some parts control or suppress other parts. And if perhaps one has damage in one of the controlling or suppressing areas, then you may have the emergence or eruption of something, whether it is a seizure, a criminal trait - - or even a sudden musical passion.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

It seems that the brain always has to be active, and if the auditory parts of the brain are not getting sufficient input, then they may start to create hallucinatory sounds on their own. Although it is curious that they do not usually create noises or voices; they create music.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Some people with Tourette's have flinging tics- sudden, seemingly motiveless urges or compulsions to throw objects..... (I see somewhat similar flinging behaviors- though not tics- in my two year old godson, now in a stage of primal antinomianism and anarchy)

By Anonym 16 Sep

Oliver Sacks

In this, then, lies their power of understanding--understanding, without words, what is authentic or inauthentic. Thus it was the grimaces, the histrionisms, the false gestures and, above all, the false tones and cadences of the voice, which rang false for those wordless but immensely sensitive patients. It was to these (for them) most glaring, even grotesque, incongruities and improprieties that my aphasic patients responded, undeceived and undeceivable by words. This is why they laughed at the President's speech.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I rejoice when I meet gifted young people... I feel the future is in good hands.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

In terms of brain development, musical performance is every bit as important educationally as reading or writing.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Dr. Kertesz mentioned to me a case known to him of a farmer who had developed prosopagnosia and in consequence could no longer distinguish (the faces of) his cows, and of another such patient, an attendant in a Natural History Museum, who mistook his own reflection for the diorama of an ape

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I was fascinated that one could have such perceptual changes, and also that they went with a certain feeling of significance, an almost numinous feeling. I'm strongly atheist by disposition, but nonetheless when this happened, I couldn't help thinking, 'That must be what the hand of God is like.'

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

The same areas which are active in listening to music are also active when you imagine music, and this includes the motor areas, too. That explains why earlier, even though I was only thinking of the mazurka, I was thinking in terms of movement.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Music is...a fundamental way of expressing our humanity - and it is often our best medicine.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Thus the feeling I sometimes have - which all of us who work closely with aphasiacs have - that one cannot lie to an aphasiac. He cannot grasp your words, and cannot be deceived by them; but what he grasps he grasps with infallible precision, namely the expression that goes with the words, the total, spontaneous, involuntary expressiveness which can never be simulated or faked, as words alone can, too easily.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognize and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us. But there are other senses - secret senses, sixth senses, if you will - equally vital, but unrecognized, and unlauded ... unconscious, automatic.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work, and my friends.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Oliver Sacks

A union of literary and scientific cultures – there was not the dissociation of sensibility that was so soon to come ... Davy himself was writing (and sometimes publishing) a good deal of poetry at the time; his notebooks mix details of chemical experiments, poems, and philosophical reflections all together; and these did not seem to exist in separate compartments in his mind.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Fascinating, Doidge's book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Oliver Sacks

In 1966, after arriving in New York, I read two of Luria's books, Higher Cortical Functions in Man and Human Brain and Psychological Processes. The latter, which contained very full case histories of patients with frontal lobe damage, filled me with admiration [4]. [Footnote 4]. And fear, for as I read it, I thought, what place is there for me in the world? Luria has already seen, said, written, and thought anything I can ever say, or write, or think. I was so upset that I tore the book in two (I had to buy a new copy for the library, as well as a copy for myself).

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I think there is no culture in which music is not very important and central. That's why I think of us as a sort of musical species.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Muscular dystrophy ... was never seen until Duchenne described it in the 1850s. By 1860, after his original description, many hundreds of cases had been recognised and described, so much so that Charcot said: 'How is it that a disease so common, so widespread, and so recognisable at a glance - a disease which has doubtless always existed - how is it that it is recognised only now? Why did we need M. Duchenne to open our eyes?'

By Anonym 16 Sep

Oliver Sacks

I had no room now for this fear, or for any other fear, because I was filled to the brim with music. And even when it was not literally (audibly) music, there was the music of my muscle-orchestra playing — “the silent music of the body,” in Harvey’s lovely phrase. With this playing, the musicality of my motion, I myself became the music — “You are the music, while the music lasts.” A creature of muscle, motion and music, all inseparable and in unison with each other — except for that unstrung part of me, that poor broken instrument which could not join in and lay motionless and mute without tone or tune.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Oliver Sacks

The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain...Music expresses only the quintessence of life and of its events, never these themselves.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Oliver Sacks

Even when other powers have been lost and people may not even be able to understand language, they will nearly always recognize and respond to familiar tunes. And not only that. The tunes may carry them back and may give them memory of scenes and emotions otherwise unavailable for them.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Oliver Sacks

There are no files in my memory that are repressed,' she asserted. 'You have files that are blocked. I have none so painful that they’re blocked. There are no secrets, no locked doors—nothing is hidden. I can infer that there are hidden areas in other people, so that they can’t bear to talk of certain things. The amygdala locks the files of the hippocampus. In me, the amygdala doesn’t generate enough emotion to lock the files of the hippocampus.