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Oliver Sacks Quotes

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Oliver Sacks Quote: “There is only one cardinal rule: One must always listen to the patient.”

There is only one cardinal rule: One must always listen to the patient.

— Oliver Sacks



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

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Sacks


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

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear.”

Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “We see with the eyes, but we see with the brain as well. And seeing with the brain is often called imagination.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Sign language is the equal of speech, lending itself equally to the rigorous and the poetic, to philosophical analysis or to making love.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I regard music therapy as a tool of great power in many neurological disorders – Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – because of its unique capacity to organize or reorganize cerebral function when it has been damaged.”

I regard music therapy as a tool of great power in many neurological disorders – Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – because of its unique capacity to organize or reorganize cerebral function when it has been damaged.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Much more of the brain is devoted to movement than to language. Language is only a little thing sitting on top of this huge ocean of movement.”

Much more of the brain is devoted to movement than to language. Language is only a little thing sitting on top of this huge ocean of movement.

— Oliver Sacks



Oliver Sacks Quote: “Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring it’s memory.”

Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring it’s memory.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.”

We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me.”

It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “The power of music and the plasticity of the brain go together very strikingly, especially in young people.”

The power of music and the plasticity of the brain go together very strikingly, especially in young people.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Memory is dialogic and arises not only from direct experience but from the intercourse of many minds.”

Memory is dialogic and arises not only from direct experience but from the intercourse of many minds.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional.”

Music, uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Music has a bonding power, it’s primal social cement.”

Music has a bonding power, it’s primal social cement.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “There is among doctors, in acute hospitals at least, a presumption of stupidity in their patients.”

There is among doctors, in acute hospitals at least, a presumption of stupidity in their patients.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “In terms of brain development, musical performance is every bit as important educationally as reading or writing.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives – we are each of us unique.”

Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives – we are each of us unique.

— Oliver Sacks



Oliver Sacks Quote: “We have, each of us, a life story, whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms, and extreme immoderation in all my passions.”

I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms, and extreme immoderation in all my passions.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “People will make a life in their own terms, whether they are deaf or colorblind or autistic or whatever. And their world will be quite as rich and interesting and full as our world.”

People will make a life in their own terms, whether they are deaf or colorblind or autistic or whatever. And their world will be quite as rich and interesting and full as our world.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I often feel that life is about to begin, only to realize it is almost over.”

I often feel that life is about to begin, only to realize it is almost over.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “If we have youth, beauty, blessed gifts, strength, if we find fame, fortune, favor, fulfillment, it is easy to be nice, to turn a warm heart to the world.”

If we have youth, beauty, blessed gifts, strength, if we find fame, fortune, favor, fulfillment, it is easy to be nice, to turn a warm heart to the world.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I feel I should be trying to complete my life, whatever completing a life means.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I am now face to face with dying. But I am not finished with living.”

I am now face to face with dying. But I am not finished with living.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Music is part of being human.”

Music is part of being human.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “We now know that memories are not fixed or frozen, like Proust’s jars of preserves in a larder, but are transformed, disassembled, reassembled, and recategorized with every act of recollection.”

We now know that memories are not fixed or frozen, like Proust’s jars of preserves in a larder, but are transformed, disassembled, reassembled, and recategorized with every act of recollection.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “If migraine patients have a common and legitimate second complaint besides their migraines, it is that they have not been listened to by physicians. Looked at, investigated, drugged, charged, but not listened to.”

If migraine patients have a common and legitimate second complaint besides their migraines, it is that they have not been listened to by physicians. Looked at, investigated, drugged, charged, but not listened to.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Psychotic hallucinations, whether they are visual or vocal, they address you. They accuse you. They seduce you. They humiliate you. They jeer at you. You interact with them.”

Psychotic hallucinations, whether they are visual or vocal, they address you. They accuse you. They seduce you. They humiliate you. They jeer at you. You interact with them.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “A profound intriguing and compelling guide to the intricacies of the human brain.”

A profound intriguing and compelling guide to the intricacies of the human brain.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “When I was five, I am told, and asked what my favorite things in the world were, I answered, smoked salmon and Bach.”

When I was five, I am told, and asked what my favorite things in the world were, I answered, smoked salmon and Bach.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Studies by Andrew Newberg and others have shown that long-term practice of meditation produces significant alterations in cerebral blood flow in parts of the brain related to attention, emotion, and some autonomic functions.”

Studies by Andrew Newberg and others have shown that long-term practice of meditation produces significant alterations in cerebral blood flow in parts of the brain related to attention, emotion, and some autonomic functions.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “The miracle is that, in most cases, he succeeds – for the powers of survival, of the will to survive, and to survive as a unique inalienable individual, are absolutely, the strongest in our being: stronger than any impulses, stronger than disease.”

The miracle is that, in most cases, he succeeds – for the powers of survival, of the will to survive, and to survive as a unique inalienable individual, are absolutely, the strongest in our being: stronger than any impulses, stronger than disease.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I have often seen quite demented patients recognize and respond vividly to paintings and delight in the act of painting at a time when they are scarcely responsive, disoriented, and out of it.”

I have often seen quite demented patients recognize and respond vividly to paintings and delight in the act of painting at a time when they are scarcely responsive, disoriented, and out of it.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Fascinating, Doidge’s book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Sacks


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

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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.”

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.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “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...”

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...

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Waking consciousness is dreaming – but dreaming constrained by external reality.”

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

— Oliver Sacks


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

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

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “Creativity involves the depth of a mind, and many, many depths of unconsciousness.”

Creativity involves the depth of a mind, and many, many depths of unconsciousness.

— Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks Quote: “First thing about being a patient-you have to learn patience.”

First thing about being a patient-you have to learn patience.

— Oliver Sacks

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