When you delve into the writing of another Human being, you are allowed a glimpse into the mind of something mysterious. There are worlds within worlds in the minds of those we encounter every day of our lives, but generally all we ever see is a small slice of the pie, never really diving deep enough to witness anything of substance.
Books, and writing to be more specific, afford us that deeper dive into the conscious and subconscious of another mind. Works of fiction, which I have been enamored with for decades, bring us even further, because not only are we seeing how someone else’s mind works, but also seeing them create entirely new worlds out of the seemingly unconnected information they have encountered since they were children.
Because of how fascinating I have found fiction novels since I was young, I never really explored non-fiction to the same degree until I began being obsessed with all things health, this led me to read nutrition, fitness, philosophy, psychology, poetry. But biographies still turned me off for quite some time, I just didn’t see the point in reading a book about someone just talking about their own lives. That is until I accidentally read Oliver Sacks On the move without realizing what it was.
Oliver lived a relatively normal life, being raised in England, moving to the states, becoming a medical practitioner, studying the human mind, all while struggling with love and life as a gay man. There was no big flashy tales to share within this book, and yet he has such a curious and earnest way of looking at life that it was one of the most pleasant reads I have had ever. He offers a special glimpse into the inner workings of medicine and hospitals, research and writing. And his relationships, whether with family, friends or lovers, are heartfelt and I think would resonate with people of all walks of life.
His book Musicophilia, which I read right after finishing On the move, explores the increasingly complex understanding we have of the inner workings of the human brain in relation to sound, language and music. It gets pretty difficult to understand at some points, but overall is written in a way that anyone can follow along and pull something from.
Finding out that some people have music playing in their mind without fail 24 hours a day, to seeing how music can help brain damaged people connect with the present and be a part of life again is both terrifying and inspiring.
I highly recommend everyone takes some time to read both of these splendid books, and also anything else from Oliver Sacks they come across!
On a sidenote, I will generally be making a video to go along with every post I write. I have a new youtube channel that you can follow here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdRtmMRFYcn1PlgqWKVmO6g?view_as=subscriber