Sacks at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival
|Born||Oliver Wolf Sacks
9 July 1933
Cricklewood, London, England
|Died||30 August 2015
Manhattan, New York City, US
|Education||The Queen’s College, Oxford|
|Profession||Physician, professor, author, neurologist|
|Institutions||New York University
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
University of Warwick
Little Sisters of the Poor
I often feel that life is about to begin, only to realize it is almost over.
I was always the youngest boy in my class at high school. I have retained this feeling of being the youngest, even though now I am almost the oldest person I know.
With any hallucinations, if you can do functional brain imagery while they're going on, you will find that the parts of the brain usually involved in seeing or hearing – in perception – have become super active by themselves. And this is an autonomous activity; this does not happen with imagination.
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.
Elements and birthdays have been intertwined for me since boyhood, when I learned about atomic numbers.
I think hallucinations need to be discussed. There are all sorts of hallucinations, and then many sorts which are okay, like the ones I think which most of us have in bed at night before we fall asleep, when we can see all sorts of patterns or faces and scenes.
I feel I should be trying to complete my life, whatever 'completing a life' means.
In general, people are afraid to acknowledge hallucinations because they immediately see them as a sign of something awful happening to the brain, whereas in most cases they're not.