Saturday, February 9, 2013

Oliver Sacks and "Hallucinations"

"Do the arabesques and hexagons, in our own minds, built into our brain organization, provide us with the first intimations of formal beauty?"

- Oliver Sacks, from his book "Hallucinations".   The quote references the geometric hallucinations that sometimes precede migraine headaches.  He points to this being a universal phenomenom, occurring in humans of all cultures, ages (Sacks himself experienced them as a three-year-old) and throughout history, one that connects us directly to nature through patterns-- an example being snowflakes.

"In this sense the geometrical hallucinations of migraine allow us to experience in ourselves not only a universal of neural functioning but a universal of nature itself."

- "Migraine-like patterns, indeed, can be found in Islamic art..."

"... in Zapotec architecture..."

"... Aboriginal artists in Australia..."

" Acoma pottery..."

"... in Swazi basketry..."

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