Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran Quotes

A culture without mythology is not really a civilisation.... - Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

A culture without mythology is not really a civilisation.
— Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

facebook-icon whatsapp-icon twitter-icon email-icon

Ask, 'How are we different from the great apes?' We have culture, we have civilisation, and we have language to be celebrated as part of being human.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

Everyone knows that metaphors are important, yet we have no idea why.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

I was socially isolated as a kid. I had friends, but I wasn't very good at sports and that sort of thing so I became quite comfortable being by myself, exploring. The world was my private playground, and in it, I was supreme. Darwin, Faraday, Huxley and other great scientists were my companions.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

If there is anything about your 'self' of which you can be sure, it is that it is anchored in your own body and yours alone. The person you experience as 'you' is here and now and nowhere else.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

If we knew about the real facts and statistics of mortality, we'd be terrified.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

If you're a thinking person, the liver is interesting, but nothing is more intriguing than the brain.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

It may well be our brains are wired up to be slightly more optimistic than they should be.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

Lofty questions about the mind are fascinating to ask, philosophers have been asking them for three millennia both in India where I am from and here in the West - but it is only in the brain that we can eventually hope to find the answers.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

My interests span biology, though sometimes I feel like an anachronism, somebody from the Victorian era when there weren't so many boundaries dividing the sciences.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

My mother was religious; she was knowledgeable about mythology and scriptures; she could tell the metaphysical nuances and make the story come to life with their deeper significance. The current generation is missing out on this.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

My views as an individual ought not to be confused with my views as a scientist - the minute you try to mingle God and science, you get into trouble. Metaphysics has its place, and science has its place; don't mix the two.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

Our ability to perceive the world around us seems so effortless that we tend to take it for granted.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

People often ask how I got interested in the brain; my rhetorical answer is: 'How can anyone NOT be interested in it?' Everything you call 'human nature' and consciousness arises from it.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

Remember that politics, colonialism, imperialism and war also originate in the human brain.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

Science is like a love affair with nature; an elusive, tantalising mistress. It has all the turbulence, twists and turns of romantic love, but that's part of the game.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

The adage that fact is stranger than fiction seems to be especially true for the workings of the brain.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

The boundary between neurology and psychiatry is becoming increasingly blurred, and it's only a matter of time before psychiatry becomes just another branch of neurology.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

The brain abhors discrepancies.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

The fact that hype exists doesn't prove that something is not important.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

The minute you succumb to outside pressure, you cease to be creative.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

We are not angels, we are merely sophisticated apes. Yet we feel like angels trapped inside the bodies of beasts, craving transcendence and all the time trying to spread our wings and fly off, and it's really a very odd predicament to be in, if you think about it.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

When I speak of artistic universals, I am not denying the enormous role played by culture. Obviously culture plays a tremendous role, otherwise you wouldn't have different artistic styles - but it doesn't follow that art is completely idiosyncratic and arbitrary, either, or that there are no universal laws.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

You can't just take an image and randomly distort it and call it art - although many people in La Jolla where I come from do precisely that.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

You need to have tremendous confidence in your work, even a touch of arrogance, chutzpah. Many very fine researchers lack intellectual daring. It's human nature to want to be cozy, secure. But that can be a cul de sac.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran

A culture without mythology is not really a civilisation.

Vilayanur Subramanian Ramachandran