Candace Pert - Body Is The Subconscious Mind


The Living Force
I recently listened to an audio lecture of Dr Candace Pert (neuroscientist and pharmacologist who discovered the opiate receptor and author of Molecules of Emotion) with the title "Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind". It was interesting and in order to get some clarification on some terms she had used in that audio lecture, I got her more recent book "Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d". In this book, she carries on from the Molecules Of Emotion and outlines findings in mainstream scientific research which throw light on a new view of the body mind. The book is written as an experiential journey with scientific data and I found it an interesting read despite some New Agey slant that crept up in places. I am sharing portions of the audio lecture and the book here.

Starting off with a primer on the cell biology and the molecules of emotion.

[quote author=Dr Pert]
Virtually every cell in the body is is studded with thousands of tiny structures called receptors. Like the sense organs - the eyes, nose and ears - the job of the receptors is to pick up signals coming at them from the surrounding space. They are so important that a full 40% of our DNA is devoted to making sure they are perfectly reproduced from generation to generation.
Once the receptors receive a signal, the information is transferred to deep within the cell's interior where tiny engines roar into action and initiate key processes. Data coming in this way directs cell division and growth, cell migration for attacking enemies and making repairs, and cell metabolism to conserve or spend energy - to name just a few of the receptor activated activities.
The signal comes from other cells and is carried by a juice that we call an informational substance. These juices from the brain, sexual organs, gut and heart - literally everywhere - communicate cell to cell, providing an infrastructure for the conversation going on in the body mind. You know these juices as hormones, neurotransmitters and peptides, and we scientists refer to all three with one word: ligand. This term is from ligare, a Latin word meaning "to bind", and is used because of the way that the substances latch on so tightly to the cell's surface receptors.
Information carrying ligands are responsible for 98% of all data transfer in the body and brain. The remaining 2% of communication takes place at the synapse, between brain cells firing and releasing neurotransmitters across a gap to hit the receptors on the other side.
My personal favorites among the ligands are the peptides, which consists of a string of amino acids, joined together like beads in a necklace; larger strings of amino acids are called proteins. There are over 200 peptides mapped in the brain and body, each one sounding a complex emotional chord - such as bliss, hunger, anger, relaxation or satiety - when their signal is received by the cell. I've devoted my 30+ year career to studying peptides such as endorphins and other substances.
In addition everyone should know that most ligands have chemical equivalents found outside the body, such as Valium, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and caffeine, to name a few. [BTW, valium and alcohol bind to the GABA receptor]
You've now learned about two components that make up this bodymind communication system - the receptor and the ligand. These are what I have called molecules of emotion. But how do the two find each other across the vast reaches of intercellular space, hook up - or bind- and then transfer information to affect cellular bodywide activity?

We used to explain the attraction by a quality called receptor specificity, which is that each receptor is specifically shaped to fit one and only one ligand. A lock and key model helped with visualizing this method of connecting or binding, The key (a peptide) floats by until it finds its perfect keyhole (the receptor). The key inserts into the keyhole, opening the lock of the cell, and cellular activities begin.

While this is partially accurate, w now understand a more dynamic relationship between ligand and receptor, involving something called 'vibratory attraction'. Sitting on the surface of the cell, the receptor wiggles and shimmies, changing from one configuration to another in a constant state of flux. This dance creates a vibration that resonates with a ligand vibrating at the same frequency, and they begin to resonate together. Cellular resonance - it's like when you pluck one string in on two different guitars in the same room - one will resonate with the other, both striking the same note. This creates a force of attraction, and that way the peptides resonate with their receptors and come together to strike the emotional chord as they bind.

I've said that the emotions are the link between the physical body and the non-physical states of consciousness, and the receptors on every cell are where this happens. The attracting vibration is the emotion, and the actual connection - peptide to receptor - is the manifestation of the the feeling in the physical world.
What we experience as a 'feeling' is the actual vibrational dance that goes on as the peptides bind to the receptors, whether it happens in your conscious awareness or not. Below what we notice happening,a huge amount of emotionally mediated information is being exchanged throughout the body and the brain, much of which never rises into our consciousness. This is why I say : "Your body is your subconscious mind."

What is the result of all this activity? On a bodywide scale, the receptors are dynamic molecular targets , modulating our physiology in response to our emotion. One example is that receptors wax and wane in number and and sensitivity, depending on how often they are occupied by peptides or other informational substances. In other words, our physical body can be changed by the emotions we experience.

We used to think that peptides latched on to a single receptor, but we know now that receptors are often clumped together in tight, multiple complexes. Together they form the walls of deep channels leading into the interior of the cell; and they open and close with a rhythmic, pumping action. As they move, these channels let substances in and out of the cell, setting up an ionic flux, or electrical current, which can course throughout the bodymind. One of the things that this current does is influence the firing set point of neurons in the brain, determining the path of brain cell activation. So you can see that the molecules of emotion are directly affecting how you think.

In 1985, Dr Pert and her husband Michael, an immunologist proposed the existence of a psychosomatic network that is mediated by emotions in a paper published in the Journal of Immunology. This paper eventually launched a new field known as psychoneuroimmunology (PNI).

The body is not an appendage dangling from the almighty brain that rules over all systems. Instead, the brain itself is one of the many nodal or entry points into a dynamic network of communication that unites all systems - nervous, endocrine, immune, respiratory, and more. This is called the psychosomatic network, and the linking elements to keep it all together are the informational substances - peptides, hormones and neurotransmitters - known as the molecules of emotion.

Stem cells and migration

Dr Pert cites the research of Dr Eva Mezey at the NIH laboratory where it was found that stem cells migrate from the bone marrow into the brain and become neurons as an irrefutable case of body and mind being one and the same. The initial reaction to Dr Mezey's data almost got her lab closed down.

Stem cells - cells that are undifferentiated and have yet to become organ cells - are made in the bone marrow, which we already knew. We also knew that stem cells move through the blood to other systems and organs. But the news that they move out of the bone marrow, eventually becoming neurons in the nervous system was shocking.
Dr Mezey found that this migration happens not only in response to illness, as when stem cells grow into immune cells, but as a matter of course, And even more shocking was that these stem cells were not just showing up in the spinal cord but also in the highest part of the brain, a structure known as the frontal cortex.
The bones are giving rise to the brain. Ancient Chinese medicine says that chi, loosely translated as the life force, originates in the bone. Now we are showing in the Western model that cells start as baby stem cells born in the bone marrow, become immune like cells as they pass through the body, and then arrive in the brain as brain cells. This migration, our lab had shown in the 80's, was directed by the molecules of emotion in a process known as chemotaxis.

Emotions and Memory

Classically, the hippocampus is the structure of the brain associated with memory, because when you remove it surgically, a person will have deficits in memory. But contrary to what many neuroscientists believe, this does not necessarily prove that the hippocampus is the seat of memory. In fact recent findings support the theory that recall is stored throughout the body, not in the brain alone. Dr Eric R. Kandel, a neurobiologist at Columbia University , received a NObel Prize for medicine in 2000 for showing that memory resides at the level of the receptor.

The activity of cellular binding throughout the body can impact neuronal circuitry, influencing memory and thinking. When a receptor is flooded with a peptide or other ligand, the cell membrane is changed in such a way that the probability of an electrical impulse traveling across the membrane is affected.

Recent discoveries are important for appreciating how memories are stored not only in the brain but in the body as well, where a psychosomatic network extends throughout all systems of the organism. A major storage area is in the receptors distributed near the spinal cord, between nerve and ganglia and all the way out to the internal organs and the surface of the skin.

Whether your memories are conscious or not is mediated by the molecules of emotion. They decide what becomes a thought rising to the surface, and what remains buried deeply in your body. What this means is that much of memory is emotion driven, not conscious, although it can be made conscious by intention.
Buried painful emotions from the past make up what some psychologists and healers call a person's "core emotional trauma". The point of therapy - including bodywork, some kinds of chiropractic, and energy medicine is to gently bring that wound to gradual awareness, so it can be re-experienced and understood. Only then is choice possible, a faculty of your frontal cortex, allowing you to reintegrate any disowned parts of yourself; let go of old traumatic patterns; and become healed or whole.
Studies by Dr Donald Overton on dissociated states demonstrates that what you learn in one drug induced state, you can't retrieve from your memory at a later time unless you are in the same condition.

This chimes well with the core ideas of trauma healing as espoused by Peter Levine and others. Also brings to mind the central tenet of homeopathy that for a body to heal itself of a disease, a substance which produces symptoms similar to the state created from the disease, is required - or "like cures like" .

Multiple Personalities

Dr Pert has some interesting findings which relate the "many I" model of 4th Way Work. She cites Dr Richard Schwartz who described a theory of non-pathological multiple personalities in a single person and created the Internal Family System (IFS) of therapy. She studies findings from pathological MPD cases and correlates them to non-pathological cases using the underlying substratum of molecules of emotion.

[In pathological MPD cases] The fact that subpersonalities such as these have been shown to have different brain scans is less interesting than the fact that they truly look physically distinct. This is not just because they have different hairstyles and clothes, but because the muscles of their faces are held and shaped differently from one personality to the next. Films of patients taken by psychologists show that these whole body "state changes" occur instantaneously during transition - truly qunatal shifts.
[Alternate personalities are also known to show completely different physiological responses - like one would have a severe allergic reaction to cats while the other personality would be completely unaffected.]
In normal people, emotions are the quantal trigger for changes from one personality to the next.The link, the bridge between them that transforms one to the other, is the emotions. Like light, which is both a particle and a wave, feelings become matter (receptors, ligands, and sudden expressions of gene programs like that for inflammation) as they vibrate in the quantum field.
Emotions are the flow of information perceived to be essential for the survival of any particular state of consciousness being observed. This definition recognizes that our own observations, perceptions, beliefs and notions of reality can switch around. because emotions have their hardwired roots in millions of years of our survival and evolution, any given subpersonality observing the world will be pretty darn sure that he or she is the "right" one. This explains why being right sometimes feel like a matter of life and death.

To be contd.


FOTCM Member
Too bad she doesn't know polyvagal theory... the vagus nerve carries the signals and makes the responses based on a lot of factors in the brain.


The Living Force
In Polyvagal Theory, Dr Porges categorizes Level 1 processes as those which involve homeostatic regulation of physiological systems as well as emotional regulation. These processes use
1. interoceptors located on the heart, stomach, liver and other organs to sense internal conditions of the body,
2. sensory pathways to convey such information to the brain
3. brain structures to interpret sensory information
4. motor pathways to communicate information from brain back to the internal organs to change the state of such organs
The last step is said to be achieved by
[quote author=Polyvagal Theory pp79]
stimulating nerves that either directly control internal organs (eg. increase or decrease heart rate, constrict or dilate blood vessels, inhibit or facilitate peristaltic activity etc) or indirectly manipulate the organs by releasing specific hormones or peptides (eg adrenaline, insulin, oxytocin, vasopressin, gastrin, somatostatin etc).

One of the issues that scientists are confronted with when using the standard neuronal communication model is that the almost instantaneousness and coherence of response that is observed across the multiple systems distributed across the body does not chime with the speed at which neurons communicate. Dr Pert writes that neurotransmitters and peptides are found to be secreted simultaneously across multiple body sites (brain, heart, gut etc) in response to stimuli. There does not seem to be any consensus among scientists yet regarding the underlying process of information transfer through the body. Dr Pert uses a model of cellular resonance.

Continuing on the psychosomatic network theme, Dr Pert and her husband Michael, who is an immunologist, worked together at NIH studying the interaction between opiate receptors and the immune system and came up with research papers describing the psychosomatic communication network in the body.

[quote author=Dr Pert]
This psychosomatic communication network has many features..
First, the system exists to send and receive emotionally encoded information. ..
Another element of this informational network is that it accesses all components of the body - the systems, the organs, tissues and cells. The network is distributed and integrated, much like a computer system with its many sites plugged into a greater system and able to come online. There is no fixed hierarchy. The brain isn't in charge, nor is the immune system, nor any other system or organ. Instead directional input moves around the network, accessing the system at different point, depending on what needs to be done at any given time or in any given situation.

In Dr Pert's view, frequent meditation involving the strengthening of the frontal cortex, music, affirmations with intent (prayer would probably be better in this context imo ), movements like dance, various body work modalities (massage, acupuncture, types of chiropractic practices etc) - can all access this psychosomatic network at various points and affect beneficial changes and healing in the bodymind. In this matter, her views seem to be quite in line with what we have learned in this network - EE/POTS, Gurdjieff's sacred dances and music, bodywork etc.


The Living Force
Matrix and the Liquid Crystal Model

Dr Pert cited the research of Dr James Oschman in her book.
[quote author=Dr Pert]
"Oschman's work is important", I began, "because he is providing teh gateway through which the energetic healing phenomenon - Reiki, acupuncture, hands-on healing, therapeutic touch, and a whole host of bodywork and massage modalities, as well as the new field of energy psychology - will move out of the realm of 'woo-woo' and into the scientific mainstream."
[After describing the neuronal communication model - electrical firing, neurotransmitters across the synaptic junction, and the parasynaptic pathway of receptor-ligand binding, she says]
" But my point is that neither of these systems can explain the speed and distance of messages communicated spontaneously throughout the bodywide system. For that explanation, Jim had to look to another mechanism altogether, which is how he discovered the matrix - and he had some company in his quest.
[The matrix] is a physical structure in the body composed primarily of collagenous fibers, the kind that make up your connective tissue to hold your skeleton together. Think protein - a fine mesh or web extending throughout your body, coating every cell and connecting muscles, tendons and bones to your brain. This highly malleable web actually reaches into each and very cell, which is a new understanding that flies in the face of the classical view of cells as empty little bags whose interior is not hooked up to existing structures.
The purpose of the matrix, Jim tells us, is to provide a high speed system of communication, permitting information flow that unites the entire organism for spontaneous, seemingly miraculous healing and performance.
The matrix is actually a semiconductor, a substance capable of supporting fast-paced electrical activity. In many ways it is like a giant liquid crystal.

That seemed quite fantastic and somewhat New Agey. There was not much detail supporting these claims in the body of the text but following the list of references cited, and going back to trace down original papers, I came across the work of biophysicist Dr Mae-Wan Ho. She has co-authored a book on bioelectrodynamics with Dr Fritz-Albert Popp, the scientist who discovered bio-photons and was mentioned in the book "Field" By Lynne Mctaggart ( link ). She is also a strong critic of genetic engineering. Research in her lab has shown that under polarized light microscopy, organisms show a remarkably regular structure and appear to be liquid crystalline. Based on empirical evidence and continuing on the lines of the work done by Dr Popp, Dr Ho has come up with a theory of organism based on quantum coherence which is presented in a book called "The Rainbow and the Worm". I have not read the book but here are some quotes from Dr Ho's papers which are available on the internet.

[quote author=Dr Ho]
Quantum coherence in living organisms was still firmly rejected by mainstream biologists when I proposed it in 1993 (Ho, 1993). I was in turn inspired by the idea that organisms may store energy as `coherent excitations', which originated with solid-state physicist Herbert Fröhlich in the 1960s (see Fröhlich, 1968). Later on, quantum physicist turned biophysicist, Fritz Popp, suggested that organisms are quantum coherent photon fields (see Popp et al, 1981; 1992). Today, mainstream scientists including physicist Roger Penrose (1994) have begun to invoke quantum coherence to account for the macroscopic, phase-correlated electrical activities observed by neurophysiologists in widely separated parts of the brain (see Freeman, 1995; Ho, 1997).

I must emphasise that the theory of the organism just presented is firmly based on empirical experimental findings from our own laboratory as well as from established laboratories around the world. Many of the findings are published in scientific journals, but there is little or no satisfactory explanation for them within conventional mainstream biology. I won't have time to describe all the experimental results which have built up a picture of coherence in the organism (see Ho, 1998). Perhaps the most suggestive evidence is our discovery in 1992 that all organisms are liquid crystalline.
What we actually discovered was a novel noninvasive optical imaging technique based on the polarised light microscopy (Ho and Lawrence, 1993; Newton et al, 1995; Ross et al, 1997). It is a technique that earth scientists and other have used for studying mineral crystals, and more recently liquid crystals; in other words, any material with molecular order. But crystals have static order, so how can living, mobile organisms be crystals? Indeed, the imaging technique demonstrates that organisms are so dynamically coherent at the molecular level that they appear to be crystalline (Ho and Saunders, 1994; Ho et al, 1996). That is because light vibrates at 1014Hz, much faster than the molecules can move coherently together, which is at most 1010 Hz. So long as the motions among the molecules in the cells and tissues are sufficiently coherent, they will appear to be statically ordered, or crystalline, to the light passing through. This is analogous to the ability of a very fast film to capture the image of a moving object as a sharply focussed ‘still’ picture. This imaging technique is telling us that the living organism is coherent beyond our wildest dreams, with dynamic order that extends from the molecular to the macroscopic.

There is a dynamic, liquid crystalline continuum of connective tissues and extracellular matrix linking directly into the equally liquid crystalline cytoplasm in the interior of every single cell in the body (see Ho, 1997; Ho, 1998; Ho and Knight, 1998, and references therein). Liquid crystallinity gives organisms their characteristic flexibility, exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness, thus optimizing the rapid, noiseless intercommunication that enables the organism to function as a coherent, coordinated whole. In addition, the liquid crystalline continuum provides subtle electrical interconnections which are sensitive to changes in pressure, pH and other physicochemical conditions; in other words, it is also able to register ‘tissue memory’. Thus, the liquid crystalline continuum possesses all the qualities of a ‘body consciousness’ that may indeed be sensitive to all forms of subtle energy medicines including acupuncture.

The connective tissues of our body include the skin, bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilege, various membranes covering major organs and linings of internal spaces. We tend to see them as serving purely mechanical functions to keep the body in shape, or to act as packing material. Actually, connective tissues may also be largely responsible for the rapid intercommunication that enables our body to function effectively as a coherent whole, and are therefore central to our health and well-being.
The clue to the intercommunication function of connective tissues lies in the properties of collagen, which makes up 70% or more of all the proteins of the connective tissues. Connective tissues, in turn form the bulk of the body of most multicellular animals. Collagen is therefore the most abundant protein in the animal kingdom.

Aligned collagen fibres in connective tissues provide oriented channels for electrical intercommunication, and are strongly reminiscent of acupuncture meridians in traditional Chinese medicine. As collagen fibres are expected to conduct (positive) electricity preferentially along the fibres due to the bound water, which are predominantly oriented along the fibre axis, it follows that these conduction paths may correspond to acupuncture meridians. By contrast, acupoints typically exhibit 10 to 100-fold lower electrical resistances compared with the surrounding skin, and may therefore correspond to singularities or gaps between collagen fibres, or, where collagen fibres are oriented at right angles to the dermal layer. The actual conducting channels may bear a more subtle relationship to the orientation of the collagen fibres, as conductivity depends predominantly on the layer(s) of bound water on the surface of the collagen molecules rather than the collagens themselves.

The hydrogen-bonded water network of the connective tissues is actually linked to ordered hydrogen-bonded water in the ion-channels of the cell membrane that allow inorganic ions to pass in and out of the cell. There is thus a direct electrical link between distant signals and the intracellular matrix of every single cell in the body, leading to physiological changes inside the cells, including all nerve cells. This electrical channel of intercommunication is in addition to and coupled with the mechanical tensegrity interactions between the connective tissues and the intracellular matrix of every single cell, a continuum that always changes as a whole. Any mechanical deformations of the protein-bound water network will automatically result in electrical disturbances and conversely, electrical disturbances will result in mechanical effects.

As mentioned earlier, proton jump-conduction is a form of semi-conduction in condensed matter and much faster than conduction of electrical signals by the nerves. Thus the ‘ground substance’ of the entire body may provide a much better intercommunication system than the nervous system. Indeed, it is possible that one of the functions of the nervous system is to slow down intercommunication through the ground substance. Lower animals which do not have a nervous system are nonetheless sensitive. At the other end of the evolutionary scale, note the alarming speed with which a hypersensitive response occurs in human beings, or how rapidly they can respond to an emergency. There is no doubt that a body consciousness exists prior to the ‘brain’ consciousness associated with the nervous system.
I have argued that a body consciousness possessing all the hallmarks of consciousness -- sentience, intercommunication and memory -- is distributed throughout the entire body. Brain consciousness associated with the nervous system is embedded in body consciousness and is coupled to it (Ho, 1997; 1998).

Under normal, healthy conditions, body and brain consciousness mutually inform and condition each other. The unity of our conscious experience and our state of health depends on the complete coherence of brain and body.

Sounds quite fantastic that our connective tissues are similar to a liquid crystal which has semiconductor-like, photoelectric, piezoelectric and thermoelectric properties. Some of Dr Robert Becker's work with bioelectricity and the discovery of a weak DC current in the body of organisms which could not be adequately explained earlier could now perhaps be explained with the LCD like properties of the connective tissue.
Thoughts, inputs welcome. Anyone see serious flaws?


FOTCM Member
Well, I certainly don't have enough knowledge to see serious flaws or to give any really valid critique. But it seems to me that consciousness is all that exists and is a better explanation of life forms than a mechanical/accidental explanation. In other words, consciousness and quantum effects must play a part -- and the major part -- in giving rise to all the innumerable life forms in existence.

It's just too improbable that consciousness was an accidental and mechanical byproduct of matter accidentally forming living organisms when enough complexity was reached accidentally. This claim seems much more fantastic and far fetched to me than saying consciousness is supreme and gives rise to matter -- both living and inanimate. If this is the case, then a non-physical "soul-consciousness" would be responsible for all the forms and functions of the physical body of a living organism. I guess this consciousness would coalesce all the matter and their states, etc. for the consciousness to be able to inhabit the physical vehicle as a tool for its lessons, so to speak.

If there is considerable empirical experimental evidence for the liquid crystal model, then someone more qualified should look into the experimental protocols and the data to give any valid criticism. But again none of this stuff seems too fantastic to me without having enough technical qualifications. It seems a much better explanation that living organisms should have quantum coherence, etc. Just my layman's 2 cents.


Jedi Master
Hi to all,

I was looking more deeply into connective tissue and its role, but I can't seem to access Ho's papers. However a review in literature shows that some proteins including collagen and DNA are crystalline liquids and behave as such. However, what I couldn't find anywhere is the role of these crystalline liquids for information processing or communication. Even though, I don't know much about quantum coherence and other physics subjects, a network of hydrogen bonds communicating doesn't seem realistic to me from a chemical and biological perspective. Yet, anything can happen, we don't know.

What I wanted to say is that Ho mentions something right, such as crystalline liquid structure of collagen, then jumps to the communication cells. I don't think there is enough data at hand to talk with certainty like she does. I was looking at other mechanisms proposed for cellular communication and was interested with a guy called Jonathan Edwards from University Collage London where he proposes that microtubules interacting with cellular membranes generate phonons which can be described as acoustic waves I suppose .He also proposes that each cell contains an individual consciousness rather than a person having one singular consciousness:

If one neurone benefits from sentient pattern-based processing why not all? I suspect that 99% of what goes on in my brain is decided on somewhere other than the site of any subjective viewpoint that I see it from. This 99% is termed unconscious, but a lot of the clever things that brains do emerge from this unconsciousness. It would be easier if, rather than being unconscious, these events were in other cellular consciousnesses, or at least sentiences. This would resolve a problem with Penrose's (1994) masterly argument that conscious thought is non-computable; that the best thoughts often seem to surface from somewhere else.

Physics is a completely foreign area for me and some of these writings are very confusing, so any input from knowledgeable members is appreciated.


The Living Force
SeekinTruth said:
...consciousness and quantum effects must play a part -- and the major part -- in giving rise to all the innumerable life forms in existence.

Perhaps the mechanism of such a 'rise' could be feedback loops between those two factors you mention?

SeekinTruth said:
It seems a much better explanation that living organisms should have quantum coherence, etc.

I agree. Seems to me a good question goes like: where an absence or inhibition of quantum coherence would be a dominant condition, how could there be any consciousness to speak of, on any scale larger than a single cell or two anyway?

Biomiast said:
I was looking more deeply into connective tissue and its role, but I can't seem to access Ho's papers.
I was looking at other mechanisms proposed for cellular communication and was interested with a guy called Jonathan Edwards from University Collage London where he proposes that microtubules interacting with cellular membranes generate phonons which can be described as acoustic waves I suppose .He also proposes that each cell contains an individual consciousness rather than a person having one singular consciousness...

I had some papers of Ho and someone else's work but can't find them ATM. The crux of the work was an explanation of a scaffolding support of said microtubules (if memory serves). That work proposed that consciousness (or was it awareness/sentience?) was created as effect of interaction between cells within the structure and personal awareness/sentience/consciousness as an aggregate of all the structures all the way up the scale to what we can be aware of around us.

Essentially consciousness requires interaction, as contrasted with the idea of consciousness existing as a static 'thing'. Maybe the same goes for 'attention'? Our ability to control attention would be a matter of exercising the will to influence or control a flow already in flux.

Is the body the subconscious mind? I think 'conscious' is misused in this context (maybe it just supports life in 3D and a super-fast subliminal awareness mode) but I think body is a required and indispensable part of our cognitive abilities, though (re: the solar plexus and abdominal area as gut brain, for example), even if perception and thought is done differently than the language center in the PFC.

Edit: additions to better reflect what I recall


The Living Force
Biomiast said:
I was looking more deeply into connective tissue and its role, but I can't seem to access Ho's papers.

Ho's papers are mostly available at _

Biomiast said:
However a review in literature shows that some proteins including collagen and DNA are crystalline liquids and behave as such. However, what I couldn't find anywhere is the role of these crystalline liquids for information processing or communication. Even though, I don't know much about quantum coherence and other physics subjects, a network of hydrogen bonds communicating doesn't seem realistic to me from a chemical and biological perspective. Yet, anything can happen, we don't know.

The liquid crystal structure has properties which enable electromagnetic modes of communication. People have theorized of such communication for a long time - but experimental proof of the substrate required for efficient communication of this nature has been available after the discovery of the liquid crystalline structure.

What I wanted to say is that Ho mentions something right, such as crystalline liquid structure of collagen, then jumps to the communication cells. I don't think there is enough data at hand to talk with certainty like she does.

That could be true. Ho's approach towards understanding of organisms is different from the more popular scientific approaches of the day. Instead of chopping up an organism into smaller and smaller parts and then trying to study components of the organism in isolation, her approach is more wholistic where the interconnected global system is observed. If you are interested in this approach, you may want to read her book "The Rainbow And The Worm".

About the book, the author (Mae Wan Ho) writes
[quote author=Rainbow And The Worm]
Be prepared for an intellectual odyssey that takes off from equilibrium to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and extensions of quantum theory, with incursions into solid state physics., the physics of liquid crystals, as well as relevant physiology, developmental biology, biochemistry and molecular biology of cells and organisms. I shall not be referring much to the details of molecular genetics and gene control mechanisms which already fill volumes, including one that I have written in 2003 on how genetic engineering and much of molecular biology is still stuck in the mechanistic paradigm, and failing to catch up with the new organic genetics of the fluid genome. Genes and molecules are all part of the rich tapestry of life that will find their rightful place when our life picture has been sufficiently roughed out. I am more concerned here with the fundamental physical and chemical principles that make life possible rather than the molecular nuts and bolts.
I promise neither easy nor definitive answers. Our education already suffers from a surfeit of facile, simplistic answers which serve to explain away the phenomena, and hence to deaden the imagination and dull the intellect.
To me, science is a quest for the most intimate understanding of nature. It is not an industry set up for the purpose of validating existing theories and indoctrinating students in the correct ideologies. It is an adventure of the free enquiring spirit that thrives not so much on answers as unanswered questions.
Out of sheer necessity to communicate with my readers, I shall offer my own tentative definition [of life] for now, which to me at least, seems closer to the mark: life is a process of being an organising whole . ........
Life resides in the pattern of dynamic flows of matter and energy that somehow makes the organism alive , enabling it to grow, develop and evolve. The "whole" does not refer to an isolated monadic entity. On the contrary, it refers to a system open to the environment, which it enfolds and organizes into highly reproducible or dynamically stable forms.

The book is not a fast and easy read. Parts of it are quite technical. I have not finished it yet - but so far it has been an enriching experience from a layman perspective.

As a scientist, Mae Wan Ho seems to have a conscience being a strong critic of genetic engineering and gmo foods. In her own way, she sees the corruption of science. Her integrative view for approaching scientific questions is quite refreshing in the world of compartmentalized experts who never talk to each other. Overall, my impression is that her philosophy is more in tune with the worldview that this forum espouses. Her work is published in peer reviewed journals and while I do not have the technical capability to critically evaluate it, the overall philosophy is appealing to me .



Jedi Master
Hi obyvatel,

I have read a few of the articles from the links you have provided which were interesting. But I couldn't find a research paper that Ho published, outlining the research and presenting its results. Then I realized why this is so.

Ho says that biological molecules are found in Liquid Crystal state, which is well established in scientific literature. But after that point, she didn't perform any experiment to explain the mechanism of communication. With the knowledge she has on LC's, she enters the realm of quantum physics and using LC's as a possible model for explaining her point. I guess this is normal for quantum physics, so what she says isn't wrong, but it is not proven using experimental tools(or maybe it can not be proven). I was looking for an experiment on this point, but there isn't any. I can not judge her claims on quantum physics or coherence etc., so what she says maybe true.

As for her philosophy and personality, I tend to agree with you. I am just uncomfortable when quantum physics gets into the picture and I can not grasp what was being said or can not decide whether it is factual or not.

Just my two cents.
Top Bottom