Oliver Sacks Quotes

We all learned the horrible news today that Oliver Sacks has terminal cancer. (If you haven't read his NYtimes essay, go right now and read it//nyti.ms/1AVTP3H ) Here are some of his gems:
  1. “I cannot pretend I am without fear. But 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; 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.” - nytimes
  2. "Every act of perception, is to some degree and act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree and act of imagination."
    Musicophilia
  3. “In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy and physiology and biology. In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life.”
  4. “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.” - the man who mistook his wife for a hat
  5. "If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self-himself-he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it."
    The man who mistook his wife for a hat
  6. “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 over-all 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 that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings."
  7. “To be ourselves we must have ourselves – possess, if need be re-possess, our life-stories. We must “recollect” ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self.”
    Hat