I just had a great conversation with Dr. Dean DePice. It was the monthly TLC philosophy call. I was the guest philosopher/historian. We covered so much ground in an hour that we didn’t even have time for questions.
Here is a key to the philosophy call. Links for TIC MEMBERS are posted below. Links for non-members are posted in the text. Hopefully, everyone will explore this vital territory.
Dr. DePice opened with some interesting quotes about principles and methods and also the relationship between philosophy and science. He even brought up some of the implications of the Uncertainty Principle. (We didn’t go down that road, but please check out my recent review of Chopra and Kafatos’ book. There are many interesting parallels between quantum theory and chiropractic theory.)
Principles in Practice
Dr. DePice shared some wisdom about bringing the chiropractic principles into daily practice from patient care to answering phones. Principle 17 does say it all!
I love this approach. But how do you teach your office staff to embody the Major Premise?
This line of reasoning was congruent with the lecture of the week at TIC, last week. We talked about at least four ways that individuals could arrive at the Major Premise using Wilber’s four-quadrant approach.
Universal Intelligence from the First-person perspective
The approach that is most fascinating to me is viewing Universal Intelligence from the first-person perspective. This was how D.D. Palmer and later B.J. Palmer probably got there. They did not initially use the third-person-perspective methods taught by Stephenson and by most contemporary schools.
For example, Stephenson writes, “There are many self-evident truths in Chiropractic; so many and such common evidences of the expression of Universal Intelligence everywhere about us, that they are overlooked because of their simplicity and frequency.”
And yet, D.D. Palmer first used the term “Intelligence” in 1872 in relation to hypnotic states. He practiced immersing himself in such states for more than two decades before he invented chiropractic and developed the chiropractic paradigm.
States of consciousness related to hypnosis could bring the individual into a rapport with the universe and immerse one in a cosmic field of oneness.
B.J. Palmer started accessing hypnotic states around age 18. Years later he wrote, “This man, at the age of eighteen, “found himself” in relation to this fundamental principle.”
From this perspective, staff training would include personal development and state training.
The Development of the Principles
From that point, we discussed how Stephenson’s text was an attempt to simplify and codify the ideas that came before it. That element of the history is extremely interesting.
In 1906, D.D. Palmer was jailed for practicing medicine without a license. After 23 days, he was released, split the Palmer School assets with his son B.J., and moved to Oklahoma. While D.D. was in Oklahoma and trying to stay in the school business, B.J. continued with the publication of their first book, The Science of Chiropractic.
By 1908, D.D. Palmer moved to Portland, Oregon, to open another school. In Portland, he became acquainted with several of B.J. Palmer’s students, some of whom had copies of B.J.’s first two books, Vols. 2 & 3 of the new Green Book series.
D.D. spent most of 1909 teaching, writing articles, and critiquing B.J.’s lectures found in those books. The tension between father and son erupted into a doctrinal dispute over the chiropractic ideas.
D.D. Palmer’s writings during this time were meant to “adjust” the misconceptions of chiropractic by B.J. and other chiropractors in the field like A.P. Davis, Willard Carver, and Joy Loban. The articles became the core of D.D. Palmer 1910 book.
Stephenson’s text was mainly an evolution from B.J. Palmer’s first five books, which developed from his father’s original ideas. Also, while Stephenson was on faculty at the Palmer School in the 1920s, B.J. published selected writings of D.D. Palmer’s two books. So we know that R.W. Stephenson was at least aware of D.D. Palmer’s theories.
By the time of the publication of Stephenson’s text, there were already three chiropractic paradigms in full swing. This was also addressed in our philosophy call and initially published in a paper in 2015.
D.D. Palmer’s chiropractic paradigm emphasized the chiropractic adjustment of the vertebral subluxation so that normal Innate functions mediated through the nervous system could be expressed as health.
Many of his first students were naturopaths, osteopaths, medical doctors, and homeopaths. Some of them integrated his paradigm into their own approaches. Howard pioneered the Middle Chiropractic Paradigm, which included all natural methods as adjuncts to the adjustment. Gregory pioneered the Medical Chiropractic paradigm, which sought to integrate chiropractic as a therapy in medical practice.
Epistemology and Metaphysics
Our conversation grew in depth as Dr. DePice discussed the importance of Epistemology and Metaphysics in relation to how chiropractors view their own practice, chiropractic in general, and in terms of their personal worldviews.
At TIC, we utilize the Integral Framework as a guide to these types of questions. It is incredibly useful because there is so much excellent research on worldviews and how adults develop in the complexity of their thinking. The topic is beyond the scope of this blog post.
I have published about it in relation to the foundation of chiropractic’s philosophical perspectives and professionalization. There are also several core lectures available for TIC MEMBERS to learn more.
Vertebral Subluxation and TIC’s Mission
As we wrapped up the call, Dr. DePice was very curious about TIC and how we might build relationships between our groups. I really love this because it was not about business, coaching, or signing people up, it was really about connections and moving forward as a community and a profession.
The key is all about the facts. Our mission at TIC is to assist as many chiropractors as possible to have the SAME set of facts about the history of ideas in chiropractic. And at the center of this should be a shared understanding of the history of the chiropractic subluxation. The more chiropractors that understand the richness of subluxation history, theory, research, assessment methods, and models, the more we can combat the misunderstandings that are prevalent in the chiropractic literature, chiropractic colleges, and chiropractic politics.