Consciousness and Liquid Crystals
Consciousness is probably related to the liquid crystalline physical state of animal brains.
“In this scheme of things consciousness is an emergent property of the liquid crystal, which need be no more mysterious than the ‘wateryness’ of water or the ‘colour’ associated with a wavelength.”
— R. K. Mishra, “The ‘Mind’ — Brain Relation: A Physical Analogy” (1965)
∘ States of Matter
∘ Universality and Aesthetics
∘ Learning and Knowledge
∘ Fluidity, Disorder, Dynamism and Learning in Idioms
∘ Solidness, Order, Stasis and Knowledge in Idioms
∘ Works Cited
States of Matter
The liquid crystallinity, ordered fluidity and dynamic stasis of living matter and especially brains is evident in the way other parts of the local universe exist exclusively in either fluid or frozen states and can therefore only freeze or melt, respectively, while life and brains can participate in both transitions. There’s a range of environmental temperatures at which we don’t melt into a dynamic, chaotic fluid or freeze into a motionless, geometric solid, and this goes for the brain more so than the body. Heating or stimulating a brain beyond some point must produce more molecular motion, disorder and overall fluidity than those at which it can operate, resulting in unconsciousness and then death. Cooling the brain must involve relative molecular stasis, order, overall solidness, unconsciousness and death again.
Another way to think about bodies and material states is to imagine taking bodies apart and laying out the pieces in a line according to how solid or fluid they are. On the far right, say, would be blood, tears, saliva, bone marrow, aqueous humor, spinal fluid and so on. On the far left would be bones, nails, scales, spines, horns, shells and teeth. Nonliving material, aside from that derived from life, is either more solid or more fluid than anything in the line and would fall at the left and right extremes.