The river of consciousness – a librarian’s pick

Title: The river of consciousness

Author: Oliver Sacks

Yan’s Pick

Like most of his other works, this book of Sacks, two weeks before his demise, is a collection of extraordinary stories of our brain, plus many more. Some stories are informative and others are inspiring all with the author’s very conscious observations and research.

In the chapter called ‘Darwin and the meaning of flowers’ I first read detailed stories about Darwin who after the publication of ‘On the origin of the species’, he turned his full attention to plants.’ Sacks mentions that ‘where his early work was primarily as an observer and a collector, experiments had now become his chief way of obtaining new knowledge’. Indeed, Darwin was a biologist as well as a botanist, if we want to describe him. The meaning of flowers is clear to Sacks ‘life on our planet is several billion years old and we literally embody this deep history in our structures, our behaviors, our instincts, our genes’. Therefore, human beings are one of those living organism, just like any plant, and related to each other – ‘humans are related not only to apes and other animals but to plants too.’ (p 24 – 25)

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