Quotes from Awakenings

Oliver Sacks ·  464 pages

Rating: (8.8K votes)

“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.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“As Sicknes is the greatest misery, so the greatest misery of sicknes, is solitude...Solitude is a torment which is not threatened in hell itselfe.
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“We rationalize, we dissimilate, we pretend: we pretend that modern medicine is a rational science, all facts, no nonsense, and just what it seems. But we have only to tap its glossy veneer for it to split wide open, and reveal to us its roots and foundations, its old dark heart of metaphysics, mysticism, magic, and myth. Medicine is the oldest of the arts, and the oldest of the sciences: would one not expect it to spring from the deepest knowledge and feelings we have?”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“Diseases have a character of their own, but they also partake of our character; we have a character of our own, but we also partake of the world’s character: character is monadic or microcosmic, worlds within worlds within worlds, worlds which express worlds. The disease-the man-the world go together, and cannot be considered separately as things-in-themselves.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“from such abysses, from such severe sickness, one returns newborn, having shed one's skin … with merrier senses, with a second dangerous innocence in joy, more childlike and yet a hundred times subtler than one has ever been before.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“Other worlds, other lives, even though so different from our own, have the power of arousing the sympathetic imagination, of awakening an intense and often creative resonance in others.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“there is no necessary dilution of reality in representation; quite the opposite, if the representation has power. Reality is conferred, re-conferred, by every original representation.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“there is a world of difference between complexity and anarchy. The weather is complex, it is not anarchic.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“Ci ricordano che siamo sovrasviluppati in fatto di competenza meccanica, ma manchiamo di intelligenza, intuizione, consapevolezza biologiche; ed è questo, soprattutto, che dobbiamo riguadagnare, non solamente in medicina, ma nella scienza in generale.”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

“The structure of chaos is not static but dynamic;”
― Oliver Sacks, quote from Awakenings

About the author

Oliver Sacks
Born place: in London, The United Kingdom
Born date July 9, 1933
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