Everyone, epileptic or not, should read the work of Dr. Neu, because he understands the philosophy of neurology, how the cellular phenomenon called consciousness is so much more than a blip of energy; it’s a blue light, a flame we can feel but not find; it’s mystery and love…
…And then I held my breath. I felt myself go very still, the fear. Now, now I was afraid. They had promised me it would not hurt; they had told me the brain, which is the seat of feelings, has no nerves in it. How could that be? The brain seemed to me to be as tender as the tongue, each bump a bud with which to taste the world. I heard a small zap. ‘Okay,’ Dr. Neu said. And all my fear went away. I saw yellow, puffs and puffs of it, a yellow so pure, so true, it seemed extracted from the center of the sun.
‘I see colors,’ I said.
‘Yes,’ said Dr. Neu. ‘That’s because we’re stimulating your visual cortex.’
I watched the yellow. After awhile it moved into my mouth, and I tasted lemons and soil. I smacked my tongue.
‘Are you having taste sensations?’ Dr Neu asked.
‘Yes,’ I said. The word yes had a taste, too; it was like speaking through a strawberry sucker.
‘Pleasurable tastes, I hope,’ Dr. Neu said.
‘Yes,’ I said.
‘And now?’ he said.
‘Voices,’ I said. ‘I hear voices. I hear a woman calling me,’ and she was calling me, this woman, standing by a brick house in a long forgotten place. ‘Lauren, Lauren, Lauren,’ and when I turned I saw her with her hands cupped round her cry and all the grass was moving.
‘And now?’ Dr Neu said. I had caught on to what he was doing. He was moving the probe from place to place on my bare brain, and each time he moved it, a new color, a new taste, probing all the pieces of me back so fast it was salmon swimming upstream, a surge beneath glassy water, and then there was that woman again - who was she? - walking down a flagstone path, and it filled me with a feeling like I wanted to cry; I did cry. ‘She’s crying,’ I heard someone say, and I heard Dr. Neu say, ‘If only Freud could witness this, the material id.’
— Lauren Slater, Lying