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The act of smelling something, anything, is remarkably like the act of thinking. Immediately at the moment of perception, you can feel the mind going to work, sending the odor around from place to place, setting off complex repertories through the brain, polling one center after another for signs of re recognition, for old memories and old connection.

This quote is about memory.

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A bit about Lewis Thomas ...

Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913 - December 3, 1993) was a physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher.

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