Biogen by Andrew Taylor Still 1892

Chapter XI from The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy [PMPO]

These are The Philosophical Utterances of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still

Introduction byWalter Llewellyn McKone, DO, 2005

It has been of some concern of mine for many years that my peers had not informed me about the philosophy of osteopathy. Surprising, as it may seem Dr. Andrew Taylor Still said, “osteopathy is a philosophy.” The usual response for students, colleagues and peers was, “well nobody really knows what osteopathic philosophy really is.” I know realise that this is a combination of not knowing and fear of the unknown. They had all fallen into the trap of looking at the end of the osteopathic method, manipulation. Manipulation is mesmerising but it is the end not the beginning of osteopathy. Many professions have an end in manipulation but no professions have a beginning like osteopathy. Osteopaths had fallen into the Thoreauian trap. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Man cannot afford to be a naturalist, to look at nature directly, but only with the side of his eye. He must look through her and beyond her. To look at her is as fatal as to look at the head of Medusa. It turns the man of science to stone.” Osteopaths had turned to stone. This Medusa is the musculoskeletal system and all structures resulting in secularisation of the body into the name of soma.

Origins of soma come form the mystic ancient Greek cult known as the Orphics; believed to have come from the writings of the poet and musician Orpheus. Their belief was that the physical body (soma or sema) was the prison-chamber of the true essence (psyche, meaning butterfly), naturally once the body was dead it, as the coffin for the soul, would allow the butterfly (psyche) to fly to the after-life.

Osteopathy is a true philosophy under the terms set by Immanuel Kant; Savater (2002) wrote, “..Kant remarked that one cannot teach philosophy, one can only teach how to philosophize; for philosophy does not transmit the kind of knowledge arrived at by others that can then be learnt by anybody, as one would learn names of the European capitals – to philosophize is a method, that is a road along which thought travels, a way of looking at things, a way of approaching arguments.” The same is for osteopathy, you can not teach osteopathy you can only teach how to osteopathize as a method of coming to an idea.

“In order to the proper perspective and setting of Dr. Still’s ideas we believe it will fully repay the student to note the essential features of the thoughts of the early Greeks, of Descartes, Copernicus, and Galileo, of Hobbes, Lock and Hume, of Kant and Goethe, of Fichte and Hegel of Darwin, Spencer and Huxley, to mention just a few” (McConnell, 1915, p.642,). 

McConnell, C. P. (1915). The Teachings of Dr. Still – Dr. Still’s Philosophy. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August, p.641-651.

And “Neither osteopathy nor surgery, let alone dentistry would have got very far by ignoring it (the organic approach)…They are directly related to mental operations, which are developed in the philosophy of Phenomenology, itself a post-Cartesian outlook. Relating this method to current philosophy of science it (osteopathy) cannot be judged in any way less powerful than Cartesian science, for while the latter has no verification procedure, relying upon falsification alone, Goethean science entails both falsification and verification, and thus might even be said to be more complete than Cartesian. Again, the only real problem with this approach is the fact that very few know if its existence.”

Toward a Man-Centred Medical Science. Forward by Rene Dubos, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York. Published in 1977.

So, this is an attempt at an interpretation of Biogen for those of my peers who couldn’t be bothered in the past to make the effort and those who would like to know in the present. As it is my contribution you are welcome to add, detract and criticise as you please. In fact I encourage it, only if it is for the good of the profession and not in the form of the usual osteopathic personal attack on anybody trying to make a difference.

Before we begin our interpretation we have to be aware of the background and context under which Biogen was conceived.

The Philosophical Background


Osteopathy is a historicity and has to be understood in the context of nineteenth century science and philosophy. Since the beginning of the twentieth century osteopathy has been fragmented and the focus has been on the end i.e. manipulative technique, cranial, structural etc. rather than the beginning, the mode of consciousness of the osteopath. It is the osteopath that is the instrument not the patient or the learned technique, drug or manipulation. As a consequence it has moved from a practical philosophy of health to a physical therapy, rooted in disease. Osteopathy has become a philosophical orphan and a schizophrenic profession.

To understand osteopathy is to understand the coming-into-being of an idea. Once this is written or practised it is the end of the idea. Dr. Still did not want his students to watch him work, “I did not want you to mimic me” (Booth, 1905).

This short paper is an introduction to the reclamation, development and application of osteopathy from its nineteenth century roots into the modern setting, within the space available.

 The Modern Scientific Movement

“In mathematics you don’t understand things, you get used to them.” John von Neumann,1903-1957, Hungarian mathematician.

Modern scientific method could be said to have started Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) with with modern scientific thought intensified by René Descartes (1596-1650). Descartes had trouble coping with the death of Galileo and wanted to continue his work, ordering the world by using the tool of God, mathematics particularly geometry, hence Cartesian geometry (Toulmin, 1990). He altered mathematics to “decode” the book of nature. Numbers imposed an order but the true immediate order came with the use of the “=” sign. The top line is God and the bottom line is all outside the soul (Jonas, 1966). The result of the mathematics would lead to a New Order delivering us from the chaos of Nature.

Modern science derives from a religious methodology and is still performing the work on earth (universe) that God began. Today scientists have forgotten they are performing God’s work and have forgotten what science actually means. Instead they strive for “facts” or certain knowledge about the world, which is very well when building a car but is weak when involved with natural phenomena. This style is known as the hypothetico-deductive method, championed by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), which squeezes natural phenomena into pre-set criteria and is then called “research.” This kind of research or “fresh look” is a Spanish Inquisition style of inquiry. We take it for granted that the objective/subjective experimental approach is the only way, this is habit not proof.

The hypothetico-deductive approach has taken theory (originally from theoria – to see) and placed it before the encounter with the phenomenon. So our “seeing” or “palpating” is already formed before the experience of the patient, making our encounter with the patient a second hand experience. Osteopaths practice this approach in the teaching of osteopathic manipulative technique. For this reason A. T. Still did not teach technique, as “the tail would wag the dog.” It is therefore theory-laden, before the experience of the phenomena (patient), resulting in seeing and palpating what has been conditioned to think-sense, and not what is there (Hanson, 1958). As Henri Bortoft (1999) wrote, “it’s a bit like trying to find milk by starting with cheese.” He went on to write:

“The paradigm of modern scientific method is Kant’s “appointed judge who compels the witness to answer questions which he has formulated.” Science believes itself to be objective, but is in essence subjective because the witness is compelled to answer questions which the scientist himself has formulated. Scientists never notice the circularity in this because they believe they hear the voice of “Nature” speaking, not realising that it is the transposed echo of their own voice”(Bortoft, 1996).

Nineteenth century North American philosophy and science

The development of science as a practical and historical influence in North America is attributed to Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) (Richards, 2002; Walls, 1995 and Walls, 2003). ‘The problem of the knower in the perspective of the modern understanding was formulated over and over again from the beginning of the modern university dispensation by the man, not a member of the German university, who, along with Kant, most influenced it – Goethe’ (Bloom, 1987). Goethe was known as the first modern man (Cromphout, G.V., 1990) and his influence with Kant gave rise to the Transcendentalist and Metaphysical philosophical movements as a way of seeing Nature. The Transcendentalists took their name from transcendental, to reason beyond the senses, from Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The most famous of the Transcendentalists were Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), and Sarah Margaret Fuller (1810-1850). Emerson’s Nature reads like an osteopathic manifesto and is a reflection of the works of Goethe.

Post-American Civil War saw the formation of the Metaphysical Club; the most famous members were Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), William James (1842-1910), John Dewey (1859-1952) and Charles Pierce (1926-1999). Between these men arose the philosophy of pragmatism, knowing-through-doing, and the educational style of pedagogy, literally hands-on (Kuklick, 2001). Dr. Still knew of these men and kept company with their members.

William James, the psychologist, read Goethe on a summer convalescing in Germany from a bad back and was one of the most open minded to the new sciences. Menand, 2002, wrote:

‘He (James) used hypnotism regularly in his work as a psychologist…and publicly defended mind-cure practitioners, magnetic healers, Christian Scientists, and osteopaths when the Massachusetts Board of Health proposed a bill making it illegal to practice medicine without a licence.’

Osteopathy – The Metaphysical Medicine

Why a metaphysical medicine? Metaphysics is attributed to Plato and his two-world approach. One world is the Real world of Ideas and Forms and the other world is that of the senses which is not to be trusted. The other approach to metaphysics is that of Aristotle. For Aristotle has a two-fold world metaphysics. It is the Platonic approach that dominates today. Reading the work of Dr. Still in a Platonic way leads to contradiction read in the Aristotelian manner leads to a dynamic poetic movement of thought. It is due to this Platonic approach that metaphysics is commonly confused with spiritualism.

Due to this Aristotelian approach the word “Osteopathy” is a metaphor. ‘He (Dr. Still) always spoke in metaphors, he was hard to understand’ (Booth, 1905) and ‘Still’s religious discourse was also a bit more rambling and inconsistent, which allowed his followers to read increasingly material meanings into his theories of medical etiology’ (Fuller, 1989). The nineteenth century natural philosophers/scientists saw bone as the last tissue to degenerate after death; therefore, it was the most harmonious with nature. To read the form of the bones is to come into direct sympathy/empathy with nature, hence the word pathology (Walls, 1995). This is a primal understanding developed by Goethe, calling it the Urphänomen. Dr. Still was well aware of this naturphilosophie approach. As Booth, 1905 wrote, ‘Primal nature was an essential environment for the independence necessary to accomplish his (Dr. Still’s) work.” Without the Goethian-Stillian philosophy osteopathy has no meaning.

Recognition of bone as the central tissue reflecting Nature through mammals, including human kind, came directly from Goethe. The University of Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität) houses Goethe’s collection of bones, including skulls with arrows showing the direction of cranial movement. It is because of the Goethian word morphology that Dr. Still has his head held back while looking at the femur; it is the total form he is trying to take in. As Dr. Still said, ‘I wanted to call my science osteopathy, and I did not care what Greek scholars said about it’ (Booth, 1950). Osteopathy does not mean bone-disease. For Dr. Still “Osteo” was the form of Nature to be read, in a “pathy” or sympathetic/empathetic mode of consciousness.

Osteopathy, as a philosophy, would use a psychology similar to William James; this is published by Dr. John Martin Littlejohn in Lectures in Psychophysiology, 1899. And here Littlejohn criticises the mind-in-the-brain movement and mentions the famous Phineas Gage. This is combined with the hands and is based on the surgical (meaning handcraft) approach to health as a first hand experience participating with the patient. This is why Dr. Still said, “anatomy, anatomy, anatomy.” Today osteopathy has been reduced to a second hand objective-subjective biomedical-biomechanical series of experiments as a second hand experience treating the body as a philosophically dead machine, psychosomatic.

Osteopathy is not yet dead, as some have professed. It is alive, well and sleeping in every osteopath. All that needs to take place is a formal teaching of the Goethian-Stillian philosophy of science in health care. It is the mode of consciousness and the worldview of the osteopath that makes osteopathy a philosophy and a physician centered health care system. The word physician means to return to normal and is participation between practitioner and patient. This is why osteopathy is a complete system.

Lastly, be aware of osteopaths selling quantum mechanics and spiritual journeys as a philosophy of osteopathy. This is a Platonic two-world experience of waves and particles.

Nineteenth century North American science was heavily influenced by German ideals, from Humbolt to Agassiz. Taking Bloom’s quote further:

“The problem of the knower in the perspective of the modern understanding was formulated over and over again from the beginning of the modern university dispensation by the man, not a member of the German university, who, along with Kant, most influenced it – Goethe. A classic summation of his views is to be found in Faust, the only modern book that can be said to have made a national heroic model to rival those of Homer, Virgil, Dante and Shakespeare. The scholar Faust, meditating in his cell, translates the first line of the Gospel According to John, “In the beginning was the word (logos)”; then, dissatisfied with the description he says “the feeling,” which also does not quite do; finally and definitively he chooses to reinterpret it as “the deed.” Action has a primacy over contemplation, deed or speech” (Bloom, 1987).

This leads us to one of the main philosophical influences of osteopathy, that of pragmatism,” knowledge through doing.” It reminds me of the marketing- pragmatic approach by Nike, “Just do it.” As I have touched on earlier, pragmatism was the end result of the movement of the Transcendentalists formed by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henri David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller to name a few. The word transcendental, “to reason beyond the senses” came from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This lead to a group of intellectuals called the Metaphysical Club (Menand, 2002); membership included William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Dewey and Charles Pierce. Osteopathy was known as the Metaphysical Medicine.

Don’t forget there was very little organised medicine in late nineteenth century North America and it wasn’t until 1910 that the Flexner Report was published to improve the state of “medical” schools.

Nineteenth century science was under the influence of evolutionary theories from Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, to the man Darwin referred to as the greatest British philosopher Herbert Spencer. Dr. Still was influenced by Spencer’s First Principles written in 1862. The original idea of First Principles came from Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Spencer’s was an evolutionary idea and so Dr. Still’s new approach was a philosophy based in the constant movement, unfolding or evolution of the human form. Reading Spencer’s First Principles you see the influence of Still’s ideas and work.

Goethe was one of a few that influenced Darwin. But Goethe considered all living things as phenomena in-themselves expressing a common plan or infinite archetype in full relation to the environment, as a polar distribution of form.  This is why Darwin’s work is called Origin of Species and Natural Selection, and like Dr. Still has been misunderstood as there is nothing about evolution (Lewontin, 2005). Darwin placed the changes of Natural Selection within the organisms themselves not in the hands of a higher omnipotent being.

Darwin Wrote: “The elder Geoffroy and Goethe propounded, at about the same period, their law of compensation or balancement of growth; or, as Goethe expressed it, ‘in order to spend on one side, nature is forced to economise on the other side.’ I think this holds true to a certain extent with our domestic productions: if nourishment flows to one part or organ in excess, it rarely flows, at least in excess, to another part; thus it is difficult to get a cow to give much milk and to fatten readily. The same varieties of the cabbage do not yield abundant and nutritious foliage and a copious supply of oil-bearing seeds. When the seeds in our fruits become atrophied, the fruit itself gains largely in size and quality. In our poultry, a large tuft of feathers on the head is generally accompanied by a diminished comb, and a large beard by diminished wattles. With species in a state of nature it can hardly be maintained that the law is of universal application; but many good observers, more especially botanists, believe in its truth. I will not, however, here give any instances, for I see hardly any way of distinguishing between the effects, on the one hand, of a part being largely developed through natural selection and another and adjoining part being reduced by this same process or by disuse, and, on the other hand, the actual withdrawal of nutriment from one part owing to the excess of growth in another and adjoining part.”

Walls (1995) refers to an “Indian wisdom” of those who used a more direct experience with nature such as Henry David Thoreau, preferring “to explore nature not in literature but on foot.” This “Indian wisdom” has been misunderstood by many osteopaths to mean an Indian influence on the development of osteopathy.

Words such as God and Nature were used interchangeably (McConnell, 1915 and Richards, 2002) as in the opening introduction, My Authorities, in Andrew Taylor Still’s The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy, “I quote no authors but God and experience. Books compiled by medical authors can be of little use to us, and it would be foolish of us to look to them for advice and instruction on a science of which they know nothing. They are not able to give an intelligent explanation of their own composite theories, and they have never been asked to advise us…The student of any philosophy succeeds best by the more simple methods of reasoning.”


It is thorough Dr. Still’s love of astronomy (McConnell, 1994) that he seemed to have followed the path of the great scientist astronomers. This is shown in Biogen by his understanding of the relationship of Celestial dynamics and Terrestrial mechanics in a formulation of a philosophy of health and adjustment. Conformation of this approach to the development of science came more recently from Westfall, 1977. How could we get it so wrong?

“Nothing apparently escaped his notice. No doubt he received much refreshment in this way. But beyond all he was a child of nature. He saw far beyond the mere objects. Everything to him seemed to be literally pulsing with life, of which the inner meaning was sought, analysed and arranged after a certain order of cause and effect and its relationship to the universe. Nothing was isolated. There was order and a completeness, subject to the law of change, in his scheme of life. Natural history and astronomy evidently had special fascination. many a striking biologic conclusion worked out in his actual experience with disease received added confirmation due to his keen observation and understanding of wildlife.” (McConnell, 1994, p.3)

“He [Still] always sees beyond the part; physiological unification along normal is his practical goal.” (McConnell, 1994, p.1)


Bloom, A. (1987) The Closing of the American Mind. A Touchstone Book, New York.

Booth, E. R. (1905) History of Osteopathy and Twentieth Century Practice. The Caxton Press, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bortoft, H. (1996) The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s Way of Science. Floris Books, Edinburgh.

Bortoft, H. (1999) Dialog on Leadership: Interview with Henri Bortoft.

Cromphout, G. V. (1999) Emerson’s Modernity and the Example of Goethe. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

Fuller, R. C. (1989) Alternative Medicine and American Religious Life. Oxford University Press, New York.

Hanson, N. R. (1958) Patterns of Discovery. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Jonas, H. (1966) The Phenomena of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology. A Delta Book, New York.

Kuklick, B. (2001) A History of Philosophy in America: 1720-2000. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Lewontin, R. C. (2005) The Wars Over Evolution. The New York Review of Books, Vol. 52, No. 16, October 20.

McConnell, C. P. (1994) Selected Writings of Carl Philip McConnell, D.O. Editor, Theodore Jordan, D.O. and Richard Schuster, D.O. Squirrel’s Tail Press, Columbus, Ohio.

McConnell, C. P. (1915) The Teachings of Dr. Still. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March, p.318-320.

Menand, L. (2002) The Metaphysical Club. Flamingo, London.

Reed, E. S. (1997) From Soul to Mind: The Emergence of Psychology, from Erasmus Darwin to William James. Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

Richards, R. J. (2002) The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and the Philosophy in the Age of Goethe. University of Chicago Press.

Schneider, H. W. (1947) One Hundred Years of American Philosophy: A Century of Romantic Imagination in America. The Philosophical Review, Vol. 56, p. 351-356.

Still, A. T. (1892) The Philosophy and Mechanical Principles of Osteopathy. Hudson-Kimberly, Kansas.

Toulmin, S. (1990) Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Trowbridge, C. (1991) Andrew Taylor Still: 1828-1917. The Thomas Jefferson University Press, Kirksville, Missouri.

Walls, L. D. (1995) Seeing New Worlds: Henri David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science. The University of Wisconsin Press, Wisconsin.

Walls, L. D. (2003) Emerson’s Life in Science: The Culture of Truth. Cornell University Press, Ithaca.

Westfall, R. S. (1977) The Construction of Modern Science: Mechanisms and Mechanics. Chapter I: Celestial Dynamics and Terrestrial Mechanics. The Cambridge History of Science Series. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Further Reading –

Bortoft, H. (1997) Goethe’s Organic Vision. Network. The Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network. P. 3-7. Also at

Buell, L. (1995) The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Gower, B. (1997) Scientific Method: An Historical and Philosophical Introduction. Routledge, London.

McKone, W. L. (2001) Osteopathic Medicine: Philosophy, Principles and Practice. Blackwell, Oxford.

Merchant, C. (1980) The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution. Harper and Row, San Francisco.

Miller, D. ed. (1988) Goethe: The Collected Works – Scientific Studies. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Notes –

What was Goethe’s influence on Darwin? Before Darwin evolution was via God. But Goethe considered all living things as phenomena in-themselves expressing a common plan or infinite archetype in full relation to the environment, as a polar distribution of form.  This is why Darwin’s work is called Origin of Species and Natural Selection. Darwin placed the changes of Natural Selection within the organisms themselves not in the hands of a higher omnipotent being.

Darwin Wrote: “The elder Geoffroy and Goethe propounded, at about the same period, their law of compensation or balancement of growth; or, as Goethe expressed it, ‘in order to spend on one side, nature is forced to economise on the other side.’ I think this holds true to a certain extent with our domestic productions: if nourishment flows to one part or organ in excess, it rarely flows, at least in excess, to another part; thus it is difficult to get a cow to give much milk and to fatten readily. The same varieties of the cabbage do not yield abundant and nutritious foliage and a copious supply of oil-bearing seeds. When the seeds in our fruits become atrophied, the fruit itself gains largely in size and quality. In our poultry, a large tuft of feathers on the head is generally accompanied by a diminished comb, and a large beard by diminished wattles. With species in a state of nature it can hardly be maintained that the law is of universal application; but many good observers, more especially botanists, believe in its truth. I will not, however, here give any instances, for I see hardly any way of distinguishing between the effects, on the one hand, of a part being largely developed through natural selection and another and adjoining part being reduced by this same process or by disuse, and, on the other hand, the actual withdrawal of nutriment from one part owing to the excess of growth in another and adjoining part.”

Possibly the greatest misunderstanding in modern medicine. Rudolf Virchow was supposed to have said the following:

Es gibt keine Allgemein krankheiten, es gibt nur Local krankheiten.

There is no general, only local disease.

Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), the father of modern pathology.

On this basis modern medicine began. But according to Ronal Pies, MD, in On Myths and Countermyths,, this was a misunderstanding. “ Aschoff, Virchow’s colleague, has argued that the latter wished merely to localize lesions, not disease. The distinction is between Krankheiten [diseases] and die Krankheit [disease in general] Virchow once commented that one could localize “diseases,” but “not disease.”” If this is correct modern medicine is disease(s) hunting but will never understand the concept of disease. Virchow looked upon the lesion, local changes as pathology and representing infinite diseases, not the beginning of the problem, only the end. Today we treat the end of the problem with drugs and surgery. Dr. Still placed the patient into the Idea of the disease (dis-ease, uneasy or upset in structural relationship) within the context of many diseases. One patient, One disease, Many diseases! Modern medicine may be looking down the wrong end of the microscope. Dr. Still’s osteopathy was one for lesion hunting in the context of the patient. It was a two-fold approach to health rather than the  two-world approach so dominant in medicine and osteopathy today.

We have a habit of looking at the past with the eyes of a 21st century scientist not with the eyes of a 19th century scientist. It’s like trying to understand the creativity of children with the eyes and consciousness of an adult.

Modern medicine will be forever incomplete. You can not have a complete medicine if its philosophy is a philosophy of two-or-more parts. Osteopathy is a complete medicine as it has a holistic philosophy. Medicine is based on the philosophy that you are complete not on the infinite addition of skills. An more skills to osteopathy and it is still complete, add more skills to medicine and you get a bigger collection of skills.

To be whole you have to stay where you are. Modern medicine keeps advancing in a linear direction from the past to the present and projecting thought into the future. Wholeness is not a linear development and is always in the present. You can have advances in modern medicine but you cannot have advances in osteopathy.

Osteopathy was a bedside medicine. But after the Flexner Report medicine was primarily laboratory and pathology based. Pathology came first the patient came second. Whereas in osteopathy patient came first, pathology came second.

Medicine became pathology based due to control of institutions. Before the Flexner Report “medical” schools were money-mills, including osteopathic schools, other than Still’s American School of Osteopathy. A combination of a research based approach and a paid faculty, based on the German system, lead to this pathological dominant approach.

The Misunderstandings of the Nineteenth Century

James Parkinson (1755-1828), the father of palaeontology, the natural philosopher who studies included fossils (palaeontology), evolution, Latin, Greek, and medicine. Commonly known for his name given to the neurological disorder known as Parkinson’s’ Disease. Parkinson probably looked at illness from an evolutionary base as most natural philosophers did at the time. The bowel came before the highly organised nervous system. Hence Parkinson himself in 1817 first described constipation in the context of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson found that constipation is one of several gastrointestinal dysfunctional precursors characteristic of the disease. More careful examination of the enteric ganglion cells in a patient with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and acquired megacolon showed the myenteric plexus neurons containing numerous Lewy bodies in both pigmented and non-pigmented cells. This suggests that in some patients with the disease, there is primary involvement of the enteric nervous system as well as of central nervous system neurons (Appenzeller and Oribe, 1997).

Louis Pasture (1822-85) is renowned for his contribution to the development of antibiotics. Once again parts of his work were taken out of context. He later realised that he had made a mistake, and just like Darwin, tried to correct it, but to no avail. It was due to the studies of Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908) that Pasture finally gave way. Pasture realised that it was not the germ that was the cause of disease but the internal environment of “terrin” or soil in which the germs occupy that allows them to cause damage. Nobody listened to Pasture but Pasture listened to Béchamp when he wrote in 1883, “The primary cause of disease is in us, always in us.” Too late, the purveyors of medications were on the way to another shareholders dream. We now know about antibiotics.

From the Foreword to Philosophy of Osteopathy by Andrew Taylor Still the Committee of Publication of the Academy of Applied Osteopathy, January 15, 1946, wrote the following:

“It should be remembered that at about the time that DR. Still developed and announced his theory of Natural Immunity Lister was developing the first methods of antisepsis and Koch was identifying the first known specific disease produced organisms such as tuberculosis, typhoid, tetanus and diphtheria. Dr. Still was a pioneer in his own right and gave the world a theory of immunity a half century in advance of his time.” So, Dr. Still developed a system of Natural Immunity, no mention of backpain here!


My notes are in italics. I have also highlighted what I think are significant statements.

Development and Progress

1.  Wonders are daily callers, and seem to have been greatly on the increase during the last century. As we read history we learn that no one hundred years of the past has produced wonders in such number and variety. Stupid systems of government have given place to better and wiser systems. Ocean trips have had months by sail reduced to days by steam. Journeys overland that would require six months by horse or ox are now accomplished in six days by rail. Our law, medical, and other schools have taken strides in advance, the facilities for giving the pupil an education are so far superior, and the knowledge sought can be obtained in less time. Our schools are not intended for time-consumers. Our aim is to obtain useful knowledge in the quickest and most thorough way that it can be obtained. If there is any method by which arithmetic can be taught so that we can master it in thirty days instead of thirty months, let us have it. We want knowledge, and we are willing to pay for it. We want all we pay for, and we want our heads kept out of the sausage-mill of time wasting. A great question stands before us: What are the possibilities of still improving our methods of gaining knowledge, saving time, and getting greater and better results? I am free to say the question is too sweeping for me to give it an answer, as each day brings a new problem for the man or women who reasons on cause and gives demonstration by effects.

 2.   No one knows who the philosopher was that first asked the question, What is life? But all intelligent persons are interested in the solution of this problem, at least to know some tangible reason why it is called “life”; whether life is personal, or so arranged that it might be called an individualised principle of Nature.

 “Stupid systems of government have given place to better and wiser systems.” Is this a political response to the abolition of slavery and post-Civil War decisions? “Our aim is to obtain useful knowledge in the quickest and most thorough way that it can be obtained. If there is any method by which arithmetic can be taught so that we can master it in thirty days instead of thirty months, let us have it.” One thing is for sure; Dr. Still hated time wasting. He expresses this in his famous quote in relation to derangement of the body, “find it, fix it, leave it alone.” Find the problem, correct it, and trust in Nature to carry out the rest. This is also a reference to the non use of medication.

And “the sausage-mill of time wasting” which today we would probably call “engine-wiping” i.e. not getting on with the job. This is present in massage style approaches to the body, although thousands of years old, as a disease treatment it would probably drive Dr. Still mad with impatience, at the lack of self-discipline when he could “see” the problem. Although he did say, “there are no short cuts in Osteopathy,” which means you should learn the anatomy thoroughly so you don’t waste time when correcting. In 2004 the anatomy of the osteopathic graduate is poor therefore there is plenty of engine wiping to be had.

“What is Life?” is the central tenet of philosophy. Philosophy is about the question, “what’s it all about?”

The Origin of Action

3.    If life in man has been formed to suit the size and duties of the being, if life has living and separate personage, then we should be governed by such reasons as would give it the great-beast. We know by experience that a spark of fire will start the principles of powder into motion, which, were it not stimulated by the positive principle of Father Nature, which finds this germ lying quietly in the womb of space be silently inactive for all ages, without being able to move or help itself, save for the motor principle of life given by the Father of all motion.

4.    Right here we should ask the question, Is action produced by electricity put in motion, or is it the active principle that comes as spiritual man? If the latter, it is useless to try or hope to know what life is in its minutiae. But we do know that life can only display its natural forces by the visible action of the forms it produces. If we inspect man as a machine, we find a complete building, a machine that courts inspection and criticism. It demands a full exploration of all its parts, with their uses. Then the mind is asked to find the connection between the physical and spiritual. By Nature you can reason that the powers of life are arranged to suit its systems of motion. If life is an individualised personage, as we might express that mysterious something, it must have definite arrangements by which it can be united and act with matter.

Then we should acquaint ourselves with the arrangement of those natural connections, the one or many, in all parts of the completed being. As motion is the first and only evidence of life, by this thought we are conducted to the machinery through which life works to accomplish the results as witnesses in “motion.”

5.    If the brain be that division in which force is generated or stored, you must at all hazards acquaint yourself with the structure of this machine; trace the connections from the brain to the heart, from heart to lungs, and other organs that can be acted by the brain, whose duty may be to construct the fleshy and bony parts of the body. Trace these connections from the brain to the chemical laboratories, and note the results as they unite and prepare blood and other fluids that are used in the economy of this vital, self-constructing and self-moving wonder known as man, wherein life and matter unite and express their friendly relation one with the other. While this relation exists we have the living man only, expressing and proving the relation that can exist between life and matter, from the lowest living atom to the greatest worlds. They can only express form and action by this law. Harmony only dwells where obstructions do not exist. 

6.    The osteopath finds here the field in which he can dwell forever. His duties as a philosopher admonish him that life and matter can be united, and that union cannot continue with any hindrance to free and absolute motion. Therefore his duty is to keep away from the track all that will hinder the complete passage of the forces of the nervous system, that by that power the blood may be delivered and adjusted to keep the system in a normal condition. Here is your duty. Do it well, if you wish to succeed.

Forces Combined

7.    We see the form of each world, and call the united action biogenic life. All material bodies have life terrestrial and all space has life, ethereal or spiritual life. The two, when united, form man. Life terrestrial has motion and power; the celestial bodies have knowledge or wisdom. Biogen is the lives of the two in united action, that give motion and growth to all things. Thus we have life terrestrial, or the power to move, and the wisdom from the celestial to govern all motions of worlds and beings, by union of the life of space and the life of matter. The force and wisdom of both by that union is driven into motion by temperature from the ethereal life, to form and control the universe and all worlds and beings of each planet. If a seed is planted in the earth and it obeys both the terrestrial and the celestial forces, then the result is a tree. A man, biogenic force, means both lives in united action to construct all bodies in form, with wisdom to govern their actions. Thus endowed, two beings or worlds, when in contact, give wisdom and force to work out greater problems than either could accomplish alone. As both have been formed by terrestrial forces aided by celestial wisdom, then greater results can be hoped for, and in friendly unison in action such results will appear as the effects of that harmonious union of two great causes. Thus biogen or material life of the two obeys the wisdom of the celestial mind or life. The result is faultless perfection, because the earth-life shows in material forms the wisdom of the God of the celestial. Thus we say biogen or dual life, that life means eternal reciprocity that permeates all nature. The celestial worlds of space or ether-life give forms wisely constructed in exchange for the use of the material substances. Reciprocity through the governments of the celestial and terrestrial worlds is ever the same, and human life, in form and motion, is the result of conception by the terrestrial mother from the celestial father. Thus a union of mind, matter, and life, or man. 

Richard S. Westfall in his book The Construction of Modern Science, the first chapter is titled Celestial Dynamics and Terrestrial Mechanics.  As in the case here with Dr. Still’s idea, he seemed to understand the beginnings of modern science, or any science for that matter, as a relationship between the celestial dynamics of the universe and the terrestrial mechanics of movement on earth. This approach developed from the Copernican revolution, a change in our relationship with God, the universe and us. Initiated by Copernicus and continued by many including Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) these men reformed the planetary alignments. But Kepler and Galileo went further than Copernicus had probably wished. Originally Copernicus was a following an Aristotelian approach, of wholeness, where as Kepler and Galileo took it to the Platonic level of two-separate worlds. Plato, in this case, would have separated the celestial and terrestrial into two-separate worlds. René Descartes developed this approach with the result of soul, psyche or mind being separated from body, matter, and nature. There was a celestial mechanics and a terrestrial mechanics. Mechanics in this early sense was understood firstly as an appreciation of motion or movement and then examined or expressed in language (poetry) or symbols (mathematics).

Dr. Still sort a reciprocal relationship not a celestial or terrestrial dominance, the celestial and terrestrial are dependent on each other, they are the same difference.  This relationship or polarity is between the earth, the universe and all in between; wholeness.  Our relationship with the universe or celestial is all or nothing. The arterial is understood as dynamic and celestial while bone is mechanical and terrestrial. Dr. Still is adopting the approach of Heidegger – The real world is Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics.

What does celestial mean? This is derived from ethereal or delicate and moving. This reflects the ever-changing delicateness of the arterial system. Celestial bodies or spheres were perceived as bodies of “one circular movement.” hence the word universe. The delicacy of the arterial system is in relation with the vasomotor system otherwise known as the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. Named the sympathetic system by Galen, the first physician to the gladiators, because it is in sympathy with the environment.

What does terrestrial mean? Generally, operating, living or growing on land but in its more subtle uses it can mean mundane or everyday worldly matters. The tissue that is literally down to earth is bone.

The idea of reciprocity was the joining of a physical and moral universe championed by Thoreau (Walls, L. D. 1995, p.141)

8.     To bring this subject within the comprehension of the student, that he may know why the arterial or celestial force should be brought to act with full force upon the terrestrial or the substances of the body, he has only to think for a moment that man contains in his physical organization all chemical substances that belong to the earth, and that these substances are put into growing motion, first by the living force or nourishment obtained from the soil. So far no growth could appear without the assistance of the celestial, heavenly, or atmospheric forces, such as dews, rains, light, darkness, and temperature to suit the vital action of vegetation. He has only to think a moment to see that the laws governing the growth of vegetation govern animal bodies in a similar way. The earth substance has its biogen peculiar to giving strength to vegetation, and the body of man, which is composed of material substances taken from the earth, has its equivalent to the biogen necessary to vegetable growth. This biogen is peculiar in its nature to the growth of animal bodies. The kinds of substance consumed in vegetable growths are very different for those used in the growths of animal bodies or forms. The circulation of the fluid substances is very similar, both being obliged to pass through arterial channels suited to the requirements of each, so we see that the law of assimilation, appropriation, and growth is very much alike. It is just as important for the healthy growth of the tree that the plentiful supply of sap and substances necessary to the growth of the tree should be undisturbed, as it is necessary that the blood or sap of human life meet with no hindrances if successful growth of a bone or muscle is to be expected. Since the purest of blood is required to do physical work in the human body through the whole system in the best of shape, we will offer as a substitute some impure or inferior quality of blood to be appropriate in the economy of life, and ask what can be expected but bad results in all organs supplied or fed by such low nutritious diet. As a little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf, would not a little diseased blood disease the whole viscera? By way of illustration, let us wound the liver, omentum, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, or bowels, or cause blood to die and decompose in one of the organs. Have we not made a nucleus for an increase in the quantity and quality of the poisonous blood that will extend with its poisons through the whole system? If so, we have no other question to ask. We know the cause and should well understand and relieve the sufferer by opening up drainage, forwarding the best of blood for the repair of damages done by stagnant impurities. To illustrate this thought, we will begin the preparation of diseased blood by deranging the colon from the rectum through the descending colon or the caecum, which contains the gate of exit through which the fluids must pass to keep the faecal matter in soft, digestible, and moveable condition. We will bruise, poison, ligate, kink, or twist the colon from the caecum to the descending curve on the left side. If we stop the blood, we have stagnation, congestion, fermentation, death of fluids, and poisonous blood to be absorbed by the lymphatics and other members of the secretory family, and to be conveyed to the liver through the venous system. This diseased blood becomes nourished from the liver, which is expected to be healthy and act as a purifying laboratory for the blood – the blood of life, and not the blood of death, with poisonous impurities. A physiologist with even a moderate degree of anatomical knowledge knows just what arteries supply the liver and what veins keep the organ pure. He also knows just as well that the damage of the whole abdomen passes directly to the liver, through which blood passes on its journey to the heart and lungs for further purification. He knows that diseased blood returned from the rectum or colon becomes poor food for a healthy liver. He knows that diseased blood from the bladder, the uterus, or any membrane or gland of the pelvis is thrown into the channels and conducted to the liver without regard to its purity. The venous system and the liver itself must report and deposit fluids, good or bad, in the liver. The man of our school knows, if he has the brains to be a successful osteopath, that this diseased blood becomes a fire to the hepatic laboratory, and that fire of disease circumnavigates the whole system, bone, brain, nerve and muscle. Thus, you see, if liver is diseased, and the cause of this deadly compound has had its origin in the rectum, low down, by displaced members of the viscera. We see the process of generating poisons by cutting off or disturbing the venous flow of blood in the rectum long enough to allow it to lose its vitality and decompose and do the deadly work of forming poisonous gases and deposits.

Matter in the Atom

9.   When matter is reduced to its greatest degree of atomic fineness, then it can submit to any bodily form, because all substances contain in kind that of all other kinds by nature, and can easily take the form of man, beast, bird, or reptile, because this fineness is equal to that of spiritual food or the motor powers of life. An atom is the limit of inaction, the point at which life rests in matter, because of its crudity. When matter passes beyond the degree of being atomized farther, then it is life, and it acts and forms itself to suit the body of any being or the world. When matter ceases to be divisible, it then becomes a fluid of life and easily unites with other atoms, and is a mass or body of living matter and recrystallizes into the form given by the parent causes. Thus man’s body is a form given by celestial life to the terrestrial life that is reduced back from the living matter to a man, world, or being, with form of a being given by the celestial forces acting on living matter whilst in the living state of matter, so fine that the atoms blend and become a unit, or melt and become one being or body of living matter, with quality equal to all qualities of life, wisdom, and material substances, never to return to their original state, either as matter or life. In man’s body have been prepared and united the two kinds  of life, the celestial and terrestrial, and the result is man and beast. “All matter,” says one, “is living substance.” We know life only by the motion of material bodies. That self-motivating principle which we see in all animal bodies or forces. That life acts and moves in that being of its own force. Life is individualized and has its limit of action, which extends no further than the man or beast governed by that individual power known as the life of man or beast. Then we behold a living body, and we say, “That body is all alive; every atom moves.” How long have years in that form of associated atoms, and the atoms were living when they first met, how long have they been alive, and when and how did they become living atoms, or is life eternally the same in the atoms?

The Material and the Immaterial

10.   It matters very little to man where mind, motion, and matter came from, the one place or the other. They are all in his make-up, and he is interested in keeping them all healthy. If he is a doctor, he is interested in quick cures, because his living depends on his success. The doctor does not have to furnish his patients mind, matter, or motion. His work is to keep the body adjusted so it can supply itself with brain and muscle; then mind and motion will appear and keep the laboratory full of the choicest chemicals and free from disease. Healthy organs and food are what keeps a man healthy. The doctor can aid in keeping the organs in place. This he can do if he knows the forms and functionings of the different parts of the body. If not, he is of but little use or benefit to the sick.

The Visible and Invisible

11.    All visible matter is life from labor to rest. All motion is matter in action. An explosive is matter at rest, and an explosion is matter in motion; so of motion in man. Life begins to unfold by explosions of lower orders of material life in matter. Thus all action marks the amount and quality of explosives used by the body that moves. What we call life is matter at labor; death is matter minus explosive ability and at rest. The velocity of the union of the two forces doubles the explosive powers of either. Animal life appears on the stage of action. We see “motionless matter, earth, stone, and on to all visible bodies.” And we see moving matter; we say “living matter.” When we see dead bodies that do not move, we say “dead matter.” But it is dead, or it is in a state of inaction or rest only, and waiting its time to fall in line as living active matter that is rested and ready to take up the line of march and give its energies to the orders of Nature? We speak of life, but know of it only as we see bodies move by life back of the visible matter. Does Nature have a finer matter that is invisible and that moves all that is visible to us? Life surely is a very finely prepared substance, which is the all-moving force of Nature, or that force that moves all nature from worlds to atoms. It seems to be a substance that contains all the principles of construction and motion, with the power to endow that which it constructs with the attributes necessary to the object it has formulated from matter and sent forth as a living being. We think it is not unreasonable to conclude that life is matter in motion, with ability to carry its kind and impart the same to other bodies. To illustrate, we would say that smallpox is the effect of living matter that permeates all systems in which it may dwell, and consumes to partial or complete destruction. The same law is true with other contagious substances. They are materials reduced to the degree of living fineness. They proceed to take possession of the human body and inflict their wounds and cause disease and death. These are effects – not of dead matter, but of living matter, that seeks to live and destroys organic bodies by subsisting on the substances that should sustain the life of man. Thus one dies of starvation and a new creature lives, takes his fight in search of nourishment, and keeps up a perpetual journeying as one of the finest principles and efforts of Nature, which is matter refined to the condition known as life.

12.    Thus far we see nothing in matter but life at rest. Even the human body that we see every day is matter called to a halt and at rest. This is life of a lower order submitting to the edicts of the higher life, which life keeps up motion by the combustion of the terrestrial substances within the body. This combustion is conducted, prepared, and brought into action by the refining laboratory that issues nothing but the active substance know as life. That life substance, when conducted to a higher condition of unfoldment, is ready to take its place and send forth the wondrous action of the principle known as mind, when prepared by Nature to that degree of incomprehensible refinement known as mind, whose existence feasts and flourishes upon the water of the ocean of universal intelligence, which speaks and proves the intelligence of God as the wisest of all chemicals, who has united the necessary substances at His command to produce a union of matter endowed with action and the power of continuing the refining process until mind, [PMPO/257] the incomprehensible, appears with man as the crowning effort of the wisdom of an all-wise chemist, be he known as God, Nature, the Unknowable, or the ever-living Genius of the universe.  

13.     We have given a few thoughts on this line of life, hoping the osteopath will take up the subject and travel a few miles farther toward the foundation of this great source of knowledge and apply the results to the relief and comfort of the afflicted who come for counsel and advice.

Man is Eternal

14.    Human life is eternal. We have no proof otherwise. Life enters the forest of flesh as man. It carries constructing wisdom and ability. It begins with the atoms of flesh, adds by one to countless millions, and carefully adjusts each to suit the form of the plans and specifications to make a physical habitation to suit the union of mind and matter. Thus we see the form, material man. It, man, begins work as a wise and great builder. It plans at it goes. All requirements are known and are well finished with perfect skill throughout. All parts fit to suit all other parts, he qualifying and preparing each atom of matter to the greatest gauge of purity of each kind, with forms to suit each atom, previous to being placed in its required position to harmonise with all other atoms entering into the form of bone or muscle. All work is so nicely done that we are forced as critics in the fine arts to conclude, from the work and skill shown in man’s physical being, that man began as a skilful life, led on and on by perfect wisdom, each stroke in unison from start to finish. We must conclude that he is a builder guided by wisdom to the fullest and most satisfactory proof that life is the essence of wisdom in action in all nature, and man is life and mind without beginning of days or end of time. Man could not be man and not be a wise builder when he dwells in worlds of matter whose powers to select and build have no limit short of perfection. He came to the forest of matter a master builder, and used such material as perfect wisdom only could select. In him we find no assistance given, nor was any necessary. He alone builded his own house, with all thereunto belonging. Where he got his power and wisdom is the silent witness of his abilities to do perfect work. When he picked up the first atom of matter and placed it, he added others to countless millions as his work progressed to the finished man. He did not come as a living germ, but as man, who was able to prove that he was master of matter and was perfection as a building genius, and only asked the skeptic to contradict his word or prove that it was not true by bringing forward the builder who made man, if he, man himself, did not handle the first, last, and all the other atoms in his form. He burrowed timber for the maternal forest and bore all the burdens of the required labor in building the house in which he lives. If he partakes of the nature of the universe, then, by that quality, he has constructiveness to perfection as a natural quality of animal perfection. Thus, by nature, he not only proves to be perfection as a builder, but endowed also with power to reason, to care for and conduct his house of life and locomotion through its journey of physical union. In him nothing is imperfect excepting his reason. There seems to be greater wisdom shown in his construction than in his reasoning powers. We find him a skilled workman, and not “an atom of life, a living germ of protoplasm.” Man. Who made him? One says, “God made him.” Another thinks that if God had anything to do with man-making, that He, God, or the universal law under which man comes, put into his life-compound the essence of perfect constructive ability, which quality pervades the whole universe in the construction of worlds and beings of animal forms. Thus, to construct wisely is natural to all things.

The Advent of Man

15.    No record shows the exact time when man’s foot first appeared on earth. A knowledge of his advent might be profitable. The unwritten history of the human races, if we had it, might to us be a book of great knowledge. It is not supposed that the mind of man has become observingly active only in the last few centuries. Absolute evidence of purer and deeper reason than we have been able to present stands recorded on the faces of many valuable “lost arts” which we have never been able to equal. It is not reasonable to suppose that the powers of mind have also degenerated from some cause?

16.    The stock-raiser carefully chooses the best and most healthy of the males and females of his flocks and herds for breeding purposes, that their offspring may be healthy and well developed for the purposes of which he raises them. As a result, he raises from year to year stock with marked improvement in form, strength, and usefulness. Should he be foolish enough to kill off the healthy and well-developed males as they appeared in his stock, for one or two generations, would anyone with average intelligence suppose that the standards would or could be kept up? If for breeding purposes he would save calves, colts, lambs, pigs, goats, or any other young males that had had legs frozen off, one or both eyes plucked out, necks and ears torn by panthers, what would you think of the man’s sanity?

The Survival of the Weakest

17.     On this line we would ask, What has been the procedure in human life? Has it not been to select and healthy males and drive them out to the field of battle to destroy a million or more of other strong men? Our war of the sixties illustrates this. Since that war closed, the fathers of our children have been mainly crippled, worn-out, and degenerated physical wrecks, and the “refused,” who, for lack of physical ability, were barred from entering the service of the United States. Many of these physical and mental wrecks have been the fathers of children born during the last thirty-five years. Every healthy young lady who married and became a mother after the early sixties had to select a husband from a war or heredity wreck. From that degenerated stock of human beings our asylums are filled and the beams of the gallows pulled down by the weight of the bodies of those mental dwarfs. Run this train of reason back for a few hundreds or thousands of years. This degenerating force has been bearing upon the offspring, and is it a wonder that we have physical and mental wrecks all over the country?

18.    Now if we have been mentally degenerating, killing our best men for a few thousand years’ time, and still have a few left who are fairly good reasoners, what were the mental powers ages ago as compared with now? They could think from native ability; we only through acquainted ability by our methods of education. Should an original thinker occasionally appear from among the crippled and maimed, he is generous enough to credit the cause to an effect produced by the lack of mental and physical forces in the sires just described. A man who is able to reason cannot afford to wear out his physical and mental forces by spreading time in tiresome discussions with such blank masses, who are fortunate if they have intelligence enough to make a living under the methods that require the least mental action. It would not be unwise for him to allow a feeling of combativeness to arise and to spend his forces on such persons. Prenatal causes have dropped them where they are, and a philosophers is sorrowful instead of combative. All that is left for him to do is to trim his lamps and let the lights defend themselves.

19.    The ancients did much thinking. Great minds existed then, as is evidenced by the architecture displayed in the building of temples and pyramids. In philosophy, chemistry, and mathematics we have living facts of their intelligence. In some ways we are equal and even surpass them, but in the establishment of religious and political governments, national and tribal creeds, powerful minds and bodies of thousands and millions have been slain and their wise counsels lost by death. Reason says that under the circumstances we must make and do the best we can for our day and generation.

This is the opposite of Henry Spencer’s “survival of the fittest” quote.

Methods of Healing

20.    Some evidence crops out now and then that ancient methods of healing were natural and wisely applied, and crowned with good results. As far as history speaks of the ancient healing arts, they were logical, philosophy, and good in results, and harmless. It is true we have great systems of chemistry that are useful in the mechanical arts, but they are very limited in their uses in the healing arts. In fact, a great percentage of the gray-haired philosophers of the medical schools unhesitatingly assert that the world would be better off without them. These conclusions are sent forth by competent and honest investigators, who have tested all known combinations of chemicals and drugs and carefully observed the results attained in the science of drugs from a quarter to a half a century. Let us call it “a trade,” as the use of drugs is not a science. The drug practitioner in a majority of cases, when he administers drugs, gives one dose for health and nine for a dollar. 

21.    As it becomes necessary to throw off oppressive governments, it becomes just as necessary to throw off other useless practices and customs. Drugs have had their day. Their fate is sealed just as surely as the millions of human victims. 

22.    Allopathy, a school of medicine known and fostered for these many years, attempted to find the real cause and cure of diseases, but gave up the search and went into camp and constructed temples to the god who purged, puked, perspired, opiated, and drank whiskey and other stimulants. Allopathy has destroyed its thousands, ruined nations, established whiskey saloons, opium dens, insane asylums, naked mothers, and hungry babies, and still cries aloud, and says: “Come unto me, and I will give you rest. I have opium, morphine, and whiskey by the barrel. I am the god of all healing knowledge, and want to be recognised by people and statute. I do not like osteopathy any better than I do a tiger. It scratches me and tears away all my disciples. I cannot destroy it. It uses neither opium nor whiskey, and it is impossible to catch it asleep. It has scratched our power out of seventeen States, and there is no telling where it will scratch next. We must prepare for more war. I have heard from my scouts that on osteopathy’s flag the inscription reads thus: ‘No quarter for allopathy in particular, and none at all for any schools of medicine farther than surgery, and war to the hilt on three-fourths of that as practiced in the present day. The use of the knife in everything and for everything must be stopped; not by statute law, but through a higher education of the masses, which will give them more confidence in nature’s ability to heal.”

By “sleep he means intellectual sleep. This is reflective of Goethe’s quote: “Hypotheses are lullabies with which the teacher soothes his pupils to sleep. The thoughtful and faithful observer grows increasingly conscious of his limitations, for he perceives that the more knowledge extends the more numerous are the problems that emerge.” In addition we should be aware of the Arthur Koestler’s The Sleepwalkers.

Primitive Man

23.   It is reasonable to suppose that the Mind that constructed man was fully competent to undertake and complete the being to suit the purposes for which he was designed. After giving him physical perfection in every limb, organ, or part of his body, it is reasonable to suppose that at that time He gave him all the mental powers necessary for all purposes during the life of his race. With perfection in the physical, it is supposable he approached very near to intellectual perfection. Primitive man was a mathematician, not by collegiate process, but by native ability. He did not have to take a course in a university to study chemistry, because of the fact that he was a chemist when he was born. Possibly he could speak or understand all languages spoken by the human tongue for the powers of his mind, which occupied a pure and healthy physique. In a word, he was well made and fully endowed with all the physical and mental forces necessary for the whole journey of his life. Now a question arises, When did he begin to degenerate physically and mentally? Let us reason a little along this line. History is young and has had imperfectly recorded only such events as have transpired during a few centuries, and with records imperfectly preserved.

24.   We see evidences all along of prehistoric man’s life, though the being and his bones have been mostly obliterated. We see close to his bony remains the stone axe and the flint dart. We find acres of ground in many places close to mounds and caves with countless millions of slivers that have been scaled from flints and formed to suit war’s purposes. Bones found in caves and in buried heaps indicate that many thousands fell in mortal combat here and there. Possibly they were old in the skilled arts of war at that day. Great and powerful men, who should have been parents of the coming generations, were slain and destroyed, and the conquered became the captives and slaves of the conquerors, with all opportunities for mental development suppressed. Other nations and tribes entered the bloody fields of battle, and have nothing to report excepting the death of their best physically formed men, leaving the propagation of the race or races to those who were left behind as physically unfit for battle, owing to lack of strength of either body or mind.

25.    This process of destroying the mentally and physically great had been kept up to the limits of our history’s record. We must go to school about one-half of our time, in order to cultivate and stimulate our mental energies sufficiently well to follow the ordinary business pursuits of life.

Mental Dwarfs

26.    Without worrying the patience of the reader, we will ask him if it is not reasonable to believe that during all the past thousands of years that men have fought over their gods and governments, there has resulted a mental dwarfage? Our professional men are only imitators of one another. They spend many years in school because of a lack of native ability. This is our condition, and we must make the best we can of it. Most of our so-called learned men of to-day stand upon heaps of mental rubbish. You seldom see in an editor’s columns any evidence of originality and mental greatness. He clips, quotes, and sells his “wisdom.” He takes up some hobby, religious or scientific. He lauds his own religious views. His scientific ideas he wishes embalmed for the use of future generations. His law is the law. His medicine is God’s pill, notwithstanding he is the laughing-stock of all who know him. I want to be good to these fellows. I expect to be good to them, as they are suffering from the effects of prenatal causes thrown upon them by their ancestors for thousands of years. By those causes they possibly have been wounded worse than I have, and I do not expect to spend any time in combats with mental dwarfs, be they political, religious, or scientific bigots. If I can successfully run my boat over the riffles of time, I shall credit it to the deep plowings of metal dwarfage, the result of the slaughter of all the great and good men for ages before us.

The Appearance of Oedema

27.     Oedema is one word that appears at the first showing of life and death in animal forms. Previous to death there is [PMPO/265] a general swelling of the system, a watery swelling of fascia and lymphatics, even to those of nerve-fibres. If a disease should destroy life withholding all fluids, we can trace such cause to a time when there was a watery swelling of the centers of the nerves of nutrition to such an extent as to cut off nerve supply until sensation ceased to renovate and keep off accumulating fluids as long a fermentation did the work of heating till all fluids had dried up, and the channels of supply had closed by adhesive inflammation, and death followed by the law of general atrophy. 

28.    To make the assertion that all diseases have their beginning in oedema may be wide in its range, but we often find one principle ruling over much territory. Mind is the supreme ruler of all beings, from the mites of life to the monsters of the land and sea. There we see a ruling principle without limit. The same of numbers. By heat all metals melt. Acids must have oxygen to make them solvents of metals. We only speak imperfectly of a few common laws to prepare the student to think along the line of possibilities as I hold them out for consideration. Suppose we begin at the atoms of fluids, such as enter the construction of animal or vegetable forms, and have them held up until decomposition begins. In a delay like that, does not Nature call a halt and refuse to obey the laws of construction and let all other supplies pile up even unto death? Is not all this the result of oedema? Oedema surely begins with the first tardy atom of matter. Pneumonia begins by oedematous accumulations of dead atoms, even to the death of the whole body, all having found a start in atoms only.

We will now propound a few questions which the osteopath should keep in mind:

  • Are animal forms complete as working machines?
  • Has Nature furnished man with powers to make his bones and give them the necessary form?
  • Does a section in Nature’s law provide fastenings to hold those to one another?
  • How will this body move, and where and how is the force applied?
  • Where and how is this force obtained?
  • How is it generated and supplied to these parts of motion?
  • What makes these muscles, ligaments, nerves, veins, and arteries?
  • Are they self-forming, or has Nature prepared machinery to make them?
  • Does animal life contain knowledge and force for the construction of all parts of man?
  • Can it run the machine after it has finished it?
  • Is there a blood-vessel running to every part of this body to supply all these demands?
  • If it has a battery of force, where is it?
  • What does it use for force?
  • Is it electricity? If so, how does it collect and use this substance?
  • How does it convey it powers?
  • How does man keep warm without fire?
  • How does he build and lose flesh all the time?
  • Where and how is the supply made and delivered to proper places?
  • How is it applied and what holds
    it to its place when adjusted?
  • What makes it build the house of life?
  • Do demand and supply govern the work? If not, what does?
  • Are the laws of animal life sufficient to do all this work of building and repairing wastes and keeping it in running condition?
  • If they are, what can man do or suggest to help them?
  • Is this machine capable of being run fast or slow if need be?
  • Does man have in him some kind of chemical laboratory that can turn out such products as he needs to fill all physical demands?
  • If by heat, exercise, or any other cause he gets warm, can that chemistry cool him to normal?
  • If too cold, can it warm him? Can it adjust him to heat and cold?
  • If so, how is it done? Is the law and longevity fully vindicated in man’s make-up

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s