Oliver Sacks Quotes


 
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Best 45 Quotes by Oliver Sacks – Page 1 of 2

“At 11, I could say ‘I am sodium’ (element 11), and now at 79, I am gold.”

“In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy and physiology and biology. In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life.”

“Language, that most human invention, can enable what, in principle, should not be possible. It can allow all of us, even the congenitally blind, to see with another person’s eyes.”

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

“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.”

“Waking consciousness is dreaming – but dreaming constrained by external reality.”

“When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”

“When the brain is released from the constraints of reality, it can generate any sound, image, or smell in its repertoire, sometimes in complex and 'impossible' combinations.”

A Leg to Stand On Quotes

“If we have youth, beauty, strength, and talent, if we find fame, fortune, favour, and contentment, it is easy to be kind, and to meet the world with a kind heart. But let us only lose favor, and beauty, and strength, and health; let us find ourselves sick, unhappy, and without apparent hope of recovery; Only then will our stamina and moral character be tested to the limit.”

A Leg to Stand On

“We can easily see in others what we do not care or dare to see in ourselves.”

A Leg to Stand On

Awakenings Quotes

“One must drop all presuppositions and dogmas and rules – for there only lead to stalemate or disaster; one must cease to regard all patients as replicas, and honor each one with individual reactions and propensities; and, in this way, with the patient as one's equal, one's co-explorer, not one's puppet, one may find therapeutic ways which are better than other ways, tactics which can be modified as occasion requires.”

Awakenings

Gratitude Quotes

“I am sorry I have wasted (and still waste) so much time; I am sorry to be as agonizingly shy at eighty as I was at twenty; I am sorry that I speak no languages but my mother tongue and that I have not traveled or experienced other cultures as widely as I should have done.”

Gratitude

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

Gratitude

“I feel glad to be alive – “I’m glad I’m not dead!” sometimes bursts out of me when the weather is perfect.”

Gratitude

“I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. 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.”

Gratitude

“My father, who lived to ninety-four, often said that his eighties had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’ too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and busts, revolutions and wars, great achievements and deep ambiguities. One has seen grand theories rise, only to be toppled by stubborn facts. One is more conscious of transience and, perhaps, of beauty.

At eighty, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was forty or sixty. I do not think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together. I am looking forward to being eighty.”

Gratitude

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“Children have the right to imagine. We need to give them full rights of citizenship in life and in society. It’s necessary that we believe that the child is very intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and has very ambitious desires and requests. This is the image of the child that we need to hold.

Those who have the image of the child as fragile, incomplete, weak, made of glass gain something from this belief only for themselves. We don’t need that as an image of children. Instead of always giving children protection, we need to give them the recognition of their rights and of their strengths.”


More quotes by Loris Malaguzzi

“There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”

Gratitude

Hallucinations Quotes

“To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see overall patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or at least the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology or in states of mind which allow us to travel to other worlds, to transcend our immediate surroundings. We need detachment of this sort as much as we need engagement in our lives.”

Hallucinations

Musicophilia Quotes

“Every act of perception, is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination.”

Musicophilia

“It really is a very odd business that all of us, to varying degrees, have music in our heads.”

Musicophilia

“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more – it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.”

Musicophilia

“Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring it's memory.”

Musicophilia

“Music is part of being human.”

Musicophilia

“Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional. It has no power to represent anything particular or external, but it has a unique power to express inner states or feelings. Music can pierce the heart directly; it needs no mediation.”

Musicophilia

“Perception is never purely in the present – it has to draw on experience of the past. We all have detailed memories of how things have previously looked and sounded, and these memories are recalled and admixed with every new perception.”

Musicophilia

“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.”

Musicophilia

“The power of music, whether joyous or cathartic must steal on one unawares, come spontaneously as a blessing or a grace.”

Musicophilia

“There are, of course, inherent tendencies to repetition in music itself. Our poetry, our ballads, our songs are full of repetition; nursery rhymes and the little chants and songs we use to teach young children have choruses and refrains. We are attracted to repetition, even as adults; we want the stimulus and the reward again and again, and in music we get it. Perhaps, therefore, we should not be surprised, should not complain if the balance sometimes shifts too far and our musical sensitivity becomes a vulnerability.”

Musicophilia

“There is certainly a universal and unconscious propensity to impose a rhythm even when one hears a series of identical sounds at constant intervals. We tend to hear the sound of a digital clock, for example, as 'tick-tock, tick-tock' – even though it is actually 'tick tick, tick tick'.”

Musicophilia

On the Move Quotes

“I have to remember, too, that sex is one of those areas — like religion and politics — where otherwise decent and rational people may have intense, irrational feelings.”

On the Move

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“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to.”


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