Oliver Sacks - Victor the Wild Boy and what he learnt
Type of Spiritual Experience
Not a spiritual experience but a bit of background information on how our personality and circumstances dictate what we learn.
Perhaps one of the most extreme cases of a person who had learned what he needed to know was Victor the Wild Boy…
He was not going to be able to learn language in the woods because he had no one to learn it from, but it is clear that all the learning that did take place was very clearly aimed at survival – what was good to eat and what not, what was a threat to his survival, what opportunities were there for getting food water and what did he want to do with his life. It would seem that knowing no other he was happy ‘living like an animal’.
The perceptions he thus extracted would have been of his environment – the woods, the animals and other wild life, the weather and so on.
Geertz "We are incomplete unfinished animals who complete or finish ourselves through culture"
A description of the experience
Oliver Sacks – Seeing Voices
Victor the Wild Boy was first seen in the woods of Aveyron in 1799 going on all fours, eating acorns, leading an animal’s life. When he was brought to Paris in 1800, he aroused enormous philosophical and pedagogical interest. How did he think? Could he be educated?
The Wild Boy never acquired language for whatever reason.