Lesson 2 of 4
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Behind Palmer’s Chiropractic Principles

November 27, 2023

The history of chiropractic philosophy and its concepts of universal intelligence and innate intelligence originated with D.D. Palmer in the early 20th century. D.D. Palmer equated universal intelligence with God or a divine, organizing force behind life, though later generations separated out the spiritual meanings. We can’t simply equate Palmer’s ideas with older philosophical traditions, since Palmer was working with modern scientific ideas and ways of thinking unavailable to past thinkers. D.D. Palmer was a pioneer representing a new, wider perspective emerging at the start of the 20th century. Though later chiropractic attempted to eliminate the spiritual meanings to focus just on the principle of innate intelligence organizing the body, both aspects have value if held together logically. Integral Theory is introduced as a framework to do this by tracing perspectives over time, allowing us to talk about the relationships between concepts like universal intelligence, spirit, and soul.

Key Takeaways:

  • D.D. Palmer originally defined universal intelligence as equivalent to God or a divine force behind life. He saw it as the source of innate intelligence.
  • Later chiropractic attempted to separate out the spiritual aspects and focus just on innate as an organizing principle of the body.
  • We can’t equate Palmer’s concepts directly with older philosophical traditions because he was working with modern scientific perspectives unavailable to past thinkers.
  • Palmer pioneered a wider, more universal perspective emerging in the early 20th century.
  • Both the spiritual and biological aspects of his concepts have value if held together coherently.
  • Integral Theory provides a framework to trace the development of philosophical perspectives over time.
  • This allows us to discuss the relationships between Palmer’s key concepts like universal intelligence, spirit, soul, and innate intelligence organizing the body.