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The 56 best quotes of Oliver Sacks

The 56 best quotes of Oliver Sacks

July 27, 2022

Oliver Sacks was a great neurologist and British writer who died in 2015 due to terminal liver cancer.

Throughout his life he published numerous works, among which stand out: "The man who confused his wife with a hat", "An anthropologist on Mars" or "Awakenings".

  • Related article: "The 55 best sentences about Psychology ... and its meaning"

The best phrases and reflections of Oliver Sacks

There were many quotes full of wisdom that this character pronounced. Therefore, in this article, we have prepared a list with your brightest phrases .

1. We talk not only to tell people what we think, but we say what we think. Speech is a part of thinking

Thanks to speech we can communicate our thoughts and emotions with others.


2. There are defects, diseases and disorders that can play a paradoxical role, revealing capacities, developments, evolutions, latent life forms, that could never be seen, or even imagined in the absence of those

Mental problems and diseases can change the way we relate to the environment.

3. I can not pretend to be someone without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude

Oliver Sacks making a reflection of what his life had been like.

4. And then, as if they had painted it with a giant brush, there arose a huge trembling pear-shaped stain of 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 achieving it, perhaps because the color of the sky is not seen in the earth

A quote extracted from his work called "Hallucinations".


5. When faith in traditional figures is lost - devils, witches or harpies - new ones take their place: aliens, appearances of "a previous life"

He was always interested in the inner world of people with psychotic disorders.

6. The patients who showed delirium were almost always in medical or surgical wards, not in neurological or psychiatric wards, since delirium usually indicates a medical problem, a consequence of something that affects the whole body, including the brain, and disappears as soon as the medical problem is solved

A reflection on how people who suffer a delusional disorder are treated.

7. Humans share many things with other animals-the basic needs of food and drink, or sleep, for example-but there are additional mental and emotional needs and desires that are unique to humans

Humans have superior abilities that other animals do not possess.


8. Studies carried out by Andrew Newberg and others have shown that the continuous practice of meditation produces important alterations in the circulation of blood in parts of the brain related to attention, emotion and some autonomous functions.

Meditation has proven to have enormous benefits for the emotional health of people.

9. There is only one golden rule: one must always listen to the patient

The treatment with the patient must be individualized and, therefore, needs to 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 by Oliver Sacks that invites the reader to deep reflection.

11. Music, unique among the arts, is both completely abstract and deeply emotional

Music has the power to modify our behavior and affects our emotional state.

12. People are going to build a life according to their own terms, whether they are deaf or color blind or autistic or whatever. And your world will be as rich and interesting and full as our world can be

We all build our world scheme even though we have limitations.

13. There will be no one like us when we are gone, there is no one like any other person, ever. When people die, they can not be replaced. They leave holes that can not be filled, since it is the destiny - the destiny and the neuronal genetics - of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own way, to live his own life, and to die his own death

Each one 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 other parts suppress it. And if perhaps one has damage in one of the areas that control or suppress, then it is possible the appearance of something unexpected, it can be an attack, a different trait or even a sudden passion for music

Our brain allows us to experience unique and impressive things.

fifteen.If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows that he has lost a leg or an eye; but if you have lost self, if you have lost yourself, you can not know it, because you are not there to know it anymore

When someone does not know himself in depth or connect with himself, he finds himself in a state of confusion and existential crisis.

16. 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 system nervous to create other procedures and ways, which oblige it to an unexpected development and evolution

The positive mentality, despite the negative of a disease, is the best way to face it.

17. The brain is much more dedicated to movement than language. Language is just a little of what exists within this immense ocean of movement

There are things that we can not express with words, but we must limit ourselves to feel.

18. I have to live in the richest, most profound and most productive way I can

When someone suffers from a disease such as 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 when deciphering the neurological systems that are the foundation of emotional forces that guide behavior

When the frontal lobe is affected by a disease, the personality of the person changes.

20. Above all, I have been a sensitive being, an animal to think about this beautiful planet, and this in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure

Oliver Sacks considered himself a great person.

21. I feel like I should be trying to complete my life, whatever it means to complete a life

A phrase he said once he knew he had cancer.

22. We have, each one of us, a history of life, whose continuity, whose meaning, is our own life

Throughout our lives we are forming an image of ourselves that accompanies us throughout our lives.

23. I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms and lack of moderation in all my passions

Possibly, Sacks went so far in the professional field because of the passion he felt for what he was doing.

24. 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 creating our own individual paths through life

Our brain has an immense capacity for adaptation.

25. All of us (with very few exceptions) can perceive the music, the tones, the timbre, the intervals, the melodic contours, the harmony and (maybe in a mostly elementary way) the 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 profound emotional reaction

This character was always interested in the relationship between music and the brain.

26. The power of music to integrate and heal ... is quite fundamental. It is the deepest non-chemical medication

The power of music is such that it is used as a form of therapy. It is what is known as music therapy.

27. Remembering is always rebuilding, not reproducing

The imagination and our perception of life significantly influence what we remember of 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

The excess of empiricism can set aside some phenomena that are difficult to measure.

29. My religion is nature. This is what awakens the feelings of amazement, of mysticism and gratitude in me

Nature may surprise us many times, but it is gratifying 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 hallucinations feel them as real, and perceive them as if they will actually exist.

31. We see with the eyes, but we see with the brain too. And seeing with the brain is often called imagination

If the area of ​​the brain that is 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, the change is the result of an untenable situation.

33. I must also remember that sex is one of those things - like religion and politics - that can awaken intense and irrational feelings in otherwise decent and rational people

Sex is one of the best experiences that human beings can feel.

34. I feel a clear focus and a sudden perspective. There is no time for anything inessential

Living the present is the only thing we can experience unlike the present and the past.

35In the examination of the disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy, physiology and biology. In the examination of the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life

When the disease affects a person, he becomes more aware of his surroundings.

36. Any disease introduces a duplicity in life: an "it", with its own needs, demands and limitations.

The disease brings with it a different vision of life, something that perhaps we have not stopped to reflect on.

37. Now I'm face to face with death. But I have not finished with life

Sacks disease I can with him, but at the time of saying this sentence I did not know.

38. They are great survivors, and while the dinosaurs appeared and disappeared, the ferns are still here

A reflection that talks about the complexity of the mind.

39. The human being does not lack mind, is not mentally deficient, because he does not have language, but he is very severely limited in the scope of his thought, confined in reality to an immediate world, small

Language has a great effect on how we think and relate.

40. You can have feelings towards plants, although they probably have no feelings towards us

Humans and plants are different, and they can not think because they do not have a brain.

41. No two people describe an event in the same way. None of them lie: they see things from different perspectives, they make their own associations, they have their own emotions

Each person experiences life differently and interprets it based on their beliefs, expectations, schemes, etc.

42. To be ourselves we must have our life stories. We must "remind" ourselves, remember the inner drama, the narrative of ourselves. A man needs a continuous interior narrative, to maintain his identity, his self

Memory is essential so that we can build our identity and a world view.

43. It is almost certain that I will not witness my polonium birthday (number 84), nor would I want to have polonium near me, with its intense and murderous radioactivity

Sacks knew that his illness could bring about its end, but he never lost faith.

44. I knew that the music seemed to somehow surpass, for at least a few minutes, Parkinson's disease, and free them, allowed free movement

The music has incredible therapeutic benefits even for those with Parkinson's.

45. I have loved and been loved, I have received a lot and I have given something in return, I have read, and traveled, and thought, and written

A definition of what Oliver Sacks's life was, told by himself.

46. ​​On three occasions I tried to be a serious scientist, but all three times it went terribly wrong and I could see the look of relief among my colleagues when they understood that I was giving up.

Despite these words, Sacks was a great scientific popularizer.

47. Remember that you can be old without being near death

There are people who, despite not having an advanced age, feel older and do not enjoy their life in fullness.

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 leave 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're not lying, they're confused, that's different

You have to know how to differentiate between the one who intentionally lies and the one who believes that he is telling the truth, even though it is not true.

49. Being a patient forces one to think

When you feel sick, you can seriously reflect on what life is like.

50. The flexibility, the resistance, and the uncertainty, that kind of adventure, are in our nervous system, they are part of life

When it talks about the nervous system, it refers to our brain. That is, the reality we live is a construction of his.

51. Everything that has a beginning has to have an end

Unfortunately, everything that begins, sooner or later, ends.

52. Sometimes the disease can teach us what life has valuable and allow us to live it more intensely

Cancer, without a doubt, caused Oliver Sacks to reflect deeply on his existence and on what life is.

53. You have to study the disease with the sensitivity of a novelist

An appointment that refers to the need to study pathologies with impetus.

54. I have 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, a thinking animal in this beautiful planet and that, by itself, has been an enormous privilege and an adventure

Sensibility was one of the characteristic features of this character.

56. I do not know what I have just done or where I come from at this moment ... I can remember my past very well but I have no recollection of my present

A phrase taken from his work "The man who confused his wife with a hat".


TOP 20 Oliver Sacks Quotes (July 2022).


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