When I walked back to my hotel after dinner with Gerry that evening, I found myself in a sort of rapture. It seemed to me that the moon over the Arno was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I had the feeling of having been liberated from decades of epistemological despair -from a world of shallow irrelevant computer analogies into one full of rich biological meaning, one which corresponded with the reality of brain and mind. Edelman’s theory was the first truly global theory of mind and consciousness, the first biological theory of individuality and autonomy.
I thought, “Thank God I have lived to hear this theory.” I felt as I imagined many people must have felt in 1859 when the Origin came out. The idea of natural selection was astounding but, once one thought about it, obvious. Similary, when I grasped what Edelman was about that evening, I thought, “How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of this myself!” just as Huxley had said after reading the Origin. It all seemed so clear suddenly.
Oliver Sacks, On the Move, 2015.