Oliver Sacks on Drugs and Hallucinations

Oliver SacksMein Lieblingsneurologe Oliver Sacks („Der Mann, der seine Frau mit einem Hut verwechselte“) spricht mit den New Yorker in ihrem Out Loud Podcast über seine Drogenerfahrungen, die Hallus, die er hatte und wie das sein Interesse an Neurologie und dem Schreiben weckte. „I was heavily into Amphetamines.“ Der Podcast nervt erstmal fünf Minuten lang mit etwas anderem, dann kommt Olli: „Here Sacks talks with John Bennet and Sasha Weiss about some of his drug-induced hallucinations, how his interest in neurology connects to his experimentation with drugs, and how one drug experience led to his writing career.“

Auf dem Interview basiert ein aktueller Artikel im New Yorker, den gibt’s allerdings nur für Abonnenten, sollte der online auftauchen, sag ich Bescheid. Und: Das ganze ist natürlich Promo für sein im November erscheinendes Buch über Halluzinationen. Im Grunde macht Sacks hier sowas wie auf einen neurobiologischen Timothy Leary und das Buch ist für mich absolutes Pflichtprogramm.

Oliver SacksHave you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?

Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing eyesight, paradoxically, may become immersed in a hallucinatory visual world. Hallucinations can be brought on by a simple fever or even the act of waking or falling asleep, when people have visions ranging from luminous blobs of color to beautifully detailed faces or terrifying ogres. Those who are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body.

Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along with his early migraine experiences, launched a lifelong investigation into the varieties of hallucinatory experience.

Amazon-Partnerlink: Hallucinations (via MeFi)

Vorher auf Nerdcore:
Oliver Sacks @ Google and other Podcasts
Oliver Sacks über Augenkrebs
Oliver Sacks TED-Talk über Halluzinationen
Das neue Buch von Oliver Sacks: So funktioniert Musik