My favorite statement from Oliver Sacks is this one. I have printed it on a plaque that is mounted on the wall outside my office:
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.
Hallucinations simply amazed me. To find an explanation for the puzzling experiences of childhood after all these years is so wonderful, as I have spent a lifetime trying to convince myself I was either nuts or imagined the whole thing. As a child I was able to hallucinate at will...as my own private video. My favourite was to bring forth an ad from the old `Scribners Magazine`` of people in lovely elegant clothes dancing to music drifting across my bedroom wall after bedtime. I saw them, heard the music ad was filled with delight. Also had a print of Loki on me bedroom wall I was terrrified of him because he used to reach out from the picture and beckon me to him. I was so scared I would go into his picture and never be seen again. I felt its evil. Thanks for letting me vent. I am now ninety five but these experiences are still as vivis as they were many years ago. Thanks for your light. Islay Wyckham
I have been inspired and moved by Oliver Sacks' great works. Reading his books sparked an interest in pursuing neuroscience as a career for me. While most 16-year-old girls would have a One Direction poster hanging up in their room, I have my 'On the Move' poster, a birthday present, proudly displayed in a place of honor. I am so excited to celebrate his life tomorrow, but it also brings great sadness on the anniversary of his passing. I deeply regret never being able to thank him for the influence he has had on my life. RIP, Doctor Sacks.
Dr. Oliver Sacks,
I can feel your compassion and kindness to your patients. Your books are really worthy-reading.
Oliver Sacks's books are wonderful. They are all about human nature and human thoughts. I really want to be a part of this Foundation. Can I become a member?
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I am writing to say my gratitude to Dr. sacks and to those who make contribution to Science. I am very sad that he is not with us anymore, but I am sure his energy, his spirit, his soul, his mind are the candles for many of living.
It happened so that one of his books, the book 'A Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat' played a great role in my life and in the history of my disease.
The matter is that I had and still have problems with the health which were not diagnosed by neurologists. The clinical symptoms are allergy which looks like endotoxicosis, the lack of proprioception, disability to move softly like all humans do.
I am a Russian girl from medical family, I have 6 doctors among my relatives, I myself is public relations manager and I am also specialized in sociology. These health problems appeared 3 years ago and neurologists interpreted them as 'vegetative dystonia syndrome'. But time passed by and never the less I could not walk normally. And this moment I came across the Book of Dr. Sacks and I studied the case of his patient Cristy who 'lost' her body.
This was insight in my studying and observing my disease. My peripheral neuropathy, edema, head aches and all other symptoms seemed to be pieces of one chain which became clear for my perception just because of the Book of Dr. Sacks.
I know, I am absolutely sure that all what happens is not occasionally and I know there is a deep sense in my coming across The Book of this great Scientist and extraordinary person. I pray for his soul to be in peace and I will try to do all my best to spread and increase his ideas by my own scientific work. I don't have medical education, but I hope to work in cross-specialized field of psychology, sociology, public relations and culture studying. I hope to contribute in studying the Mind and Soul. I thank God for letting me know the works of Dr. Sacks.
I have read a lot of Dr. Sacks books. He was a wonderful man. I am now reading his book "ON THE MOVE." I wish I met him as my neurology problems - migraine and occipital neuralgia My grandfather had this too. I was terribly upset about him dying. I have seen him on PBS also.
I have just finished reading "On the move"; what a wonderful book and what a wonderful man. It saddens me that I am only now getting to know Dr. Sacks - I only wish I would have somehow had the chance to listen to him or even meet him.
It is difficult to pick out one story that I liked best (there are so many - and I still have so much to read...); however the description of how he fell in love with Billy at 75 was very touching.
If you ever need help from someone in Germany... feel free to look me up!
Dr. Oliver Sacks has been seducing me with his wonderful way of talking about the brain and people's lives. I love to read him!!
There is a photograph in 'On the Move' of Dr Sacks sitting opposite an older female patient, both have arms outstretched, knuckles almost touching. The look of complete joy & energy passing between them expresses, for me, everything that was/is so exceptional about Dr Sacks. He opened so many doors. May they stay open.
Oliver Sacks passed away one week after my father's own death, both due to cancer. Not having heard the news of Oliver Sacks' passing yet, in the wee hours of the morning of the 30th, I decided to use a passage from his essay to read at my father's memorial service on the following day. ("There will be no one like us when we are gone"; my dad was a "weird dude", a unique individual, something I celebrated and still do). Imagine my shock, when I heard that Oliver was gone. His works, teachings, brilliant discoveries and zest for his own life however remain. I just read the latest work, "Gratitude" while shedding a couple of tears for my father, and for the man I never knew, whose life touched so many of us. Thank you, Oliver, for sticking to your many passions in your final moments, mostly for your gift of writing. I'm sure that I'm not alone in being grateful to you for all you accomplished in your 82 years of living.
Hello. I am reading "on the move".. A book which has been following me for the past few months and I finally am reading it. Before this i knew nothing of Oliver Sacks. Now I am crying, weeping that he is no longer with us but travelling elsewhere. I was hoping to talk with him. I am inspired though to write more of what I know to be real and not real in this world... And to "take the bull by the horns", and finally accept that I see things clearly yet differently.... Having worked with the elderly in many ways, and in the area of Alzheimers, neurosurgery, healing, psychotherapy and Shamanic methods of knowing and seeing this incredible world of ours. I have somehow been leaving an aspect unattended. The part that knows and that needs to share.... I am humbled and grateful for having come upon this wonderful being... Many many thanks...
We will miss you Dr Sacks. R.I.P
I've read so much of what you've written & you touch me deeply. My son, knowing how much I enjoy you, gave me "On the Move" for my b'day. You're cover photo blew me away, "What a HUNK!" I'd never thought of you that way! And then I wondered, if you were gay (like my son). I felt so sad for you, in your relationship with your Mom & your sexual awakening. It pleased me SO much at the end, to find you HAD found a love & a relationship. My heart goes out to Billy now that you've gone. I can't imagine how much HE misses you. I only know how much I miss you from this world. I want to give something in your memory. I've chosen Drs. Without Borders. I think that's what YOU WERE, A doctor without borders!
Oliver Sacks is a man I wish I could have met, in person. Fortunately, when I read his work, or hear him tell stories on radio programs, I feel I have met the man. And I am better for it. We all are. It is very appropriate that his final work is titled, "Gratitude," for I am filled with gratitude to have him live on through his work.
I am finding myself moved nearly to tears while writing about the first Oliver Sacks book I ever read (The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat) for one of my college application essays to St. Johns College. Oliver Sacks not only got me interested in the brain and how it works but made me feel good about my own messy brain which I am constantly trying to overcome. Since age 15 I wished to meet him and I was so sad when he died I haven't been able to read anything of his because I am sad that such a great and caring mind is gone. I am glad he has immortalized his ideas through his writing so he can continue to inspire generations to come and help them see the beauty in the brain and its disorders. Thank you Oliver Sacks.
I am deeply impressed by his inspiring work. I am a 21 year old medical student and he is one of my shining examples of how to deal with the privilege of being a doctor. Patients are no personified diseases but amazing human beings with heaps of life experience and it is touching me deeply that Dr. Sacks focused on the human being behind the disease.
It was my greatest wish to have my dissertation in his studies and i am very sad that such an inspiring man passed away.
Thank you for being my example of which doctor I would like to become.
Just finished reading "On the Move" a wonderful narrative and checked this website to sadly discover that OS had died in August. Delighted I was regarding Billy. I am a metallurgist who worked on creep fracture in tungsten - as did my brother John in Osram Works, London. I now am in the early stages of Parkinson's and hoped to seek insight on treatment from OS. A Great Life.
I fell in love for a wonderful child portrayed in "Brilliant Light", an article in The New Yorker. That boy made me want to know the man he had become, the things he had lived and done, so further readings followed, never to be stopped. In them, what always touched me the most was his generosity: "Very occasionally he shows a 'normal' or middle state, but these are only seen once or twice a month and then only last a few seconds or minutes".