Monthly Archives: March 2014

Chiropractic Clear Light Books

It has been an amazing year thus far! Nine new books reissued, republished, or coming soon! I have decided to call the volumes, The Chiropractic Clear Light Books. I wasn’t going to continue with the “volumes” theme but then something happened! The books just took on a life of their own.

At first I was planning to dedicate this blog post solely to the historic republishing of the 1965 text Segmental Neuropathy: The First Evidence of Developing Pathology (announced to my email list in February). The book is just amazing, especially when we consider that it was published 49 years ago. As incredible as it is however, it was part of a much larger project and inspiration.

Inspired by Drain, Valdivia Tor, & Ratledge

As many of you know, in 2013, I republished J.R. Drain’s 1927 text, Chiropractic Thoughts. I was inspired by Drain’s book. I decided to republish it as the first of the new chiropractic classics series. If you haven’t gotten a copy yet – you will love it. It is philosophically on par with The Green Books and much easier to read!

I was also inspired by Joaquin Valdivia Tor, DC. Joaquin not only translated D.D. Palmer’s 1914 text into Spanish, but also wrote an index to that book in Spanish and English. His new book will be released next month. It includes the translation as well as an early history of chiropractic in Spanish!

With these two projects underway, I decided to re-release three of my four books and also publish the first of the Ratledge books. Ratledge was one of the last students of D.D. Palmer, a chiropractic educator for fifty years, and one of the true leaders of non-therapeutic chiropractic. Ratledge Philosophy: Volume 1 was written by his student, Paul Smallie.

It is very important for all chiropractors to study Ratledge’s work. Please consider this sentence the official announcement that Ratledge Philosophy: Volume 1 is now available for the first time since 1979.

Chiropractic Classics

Segmental Neuropathy, Chiropractic Thoughts, Ratledge Philosophy, and Valdivia Tor’s translation of D.D. are part of the Chiropractic Classics series. We should also include the new edition of D.D. Palmer’s Traveling Library. This book is the second half of my book, Chiropractic Foundations (Volume 3). It is an abridgment of the books D.D. Palmer was studying about magnetic healing, Spiritualism, and the philosophy of disease prior to his discovery of chiropractic.

There are other major texts written by 1st and 2nd generation chiropractors. Most of these books are virtually unknown to the profession today. I have already made a few of these classics available as free downloads, such as Carver’s 1936 book, History of Chiropractic (retyped by Keating), Forster’s 1921 book, The White Mark (scanned by the National archives), and Stephenson’s other 1927 book, The Art of Chiropractic. The republished classics will be growing each month.

The Breakthrough

While doing the layout and design for these books, I got inspired to redo my first three books. This has been on my wish list for years. I wanted to make them bigger, more professional, improve the quality, edit some text, and convert the books into the print on demand format like my fourth book. I did.

The big breakthrough came after a visit with Ken Wilber, while I was in Boulder studying with Donny Epstein in January. I asked Wilber if I could use some of the diagrams from his books to enhance my book Chiropractic Foundations. He gave me permission. I expanded chapter three from that book with 30 new diagrams.

This addition of the AQAL diagrams so transformed Chiropractic Foundations that the book is no longer in production. I decided to split it up into two shorter books.

Success, Health, and Happiness (2010)

The first book is based on my lectures at the Academy of Chiropractic Philosophers in 2007. The topic was the history of philosophy from Socrates to D.D. Palmer from an Integral perspective. It is being totally rewritten and republished as Towards An Integral Philosophy: A History of Universal and Innate Intelligences. The second book is D.D. Palmer’s Traveling Library: The Essential Inspirations (mentioned above). It includes several of the original chapters (from Chiropractic Foundations) establishing an historical and philosophical context as well as 300 pages of D.D.’s favorite authors.

Even though I decided in 2010 (with the reorganization of B.J.’s Epigrams) to stop referring to my books as volumes, with the publication of these nine books, I realized it was time to embrace the inevitable. A new chiropractic canon has emerged.

Reggie, Thom, and the Greenbooks

When I published my first book with a white cover and a subtitle of Volume 1, I did so with intention. There is an amazing tradition in chiropractic to publish books according to volume in a series with a colored cover.

This tradition was started by B.J. Palmer with his 39 volumes of green books with gold writing. Many have copied this style and a few have even created their own colored volumes (Cleveland’s Red books, Strauss’ Blue books, and Barge’s volumes are the most well-known attempts). I remember my own philosophy teachers, Val Pennacchio and David Koch used to jest about the colors of their own future series (purple for Val I recall – David’s book is green with gold writing!).

Triune of Life (1998)

While president of Sherman College, Koch issued two small volumes in hardcover, Reggie Gold’s Triune of Life, and Thom Gelardi’s Inspirations. Thus, I continued, with Volume 2, The Secret History of Chiropractic: D.D. Palmer’s Spiritual Writings and Volume 3, Chiropractic Foundations: D.D. Palmer’s Traveling Library.

Inspirations (1999)

The Clear Light Books

I decided to refer to the volumes as The Clear Light Books. One of the main reasons for this comes from Wilber’s model of consciousness, referred to in his books as Altitude. An Altitude of Consciousness (think climbing higher on a mountain) is the space into which consciousness emerges. Each new level leads to new views of reality for the individual. Wilber refers to this as ladder (levels/structures), climber (individual), view (the perspective the individual views the world through at the new level). The philosophy of chiropractic emerged from a view of reality gravitating at a highly complex level of consciousness. Books on the philosophy should reflect this.

Altitudes of Consciousness from Wilber (Integral Vision, 2007)

As you can see from Wilber’s diagram, the color spectrum is used as a way to unify several lines of development. “Clear Light” is the highest of the levels in the diagram. So the books, especially mine, point toward ever higher levels of growth and development. (This is also why my publishing company is called Integral Altitude.)

Clear Light has many other meanings as well. This is important, especially for my friends in the Sandbox (if you have read this far). One meaning relates to Gebser, one of the great cultural historians of the last century. He explained that as each new level of consciousness emerges, a greater transparency becomes evident. He called this diaphaneity. I have written about Gebser’s work in this context elsewhere.

We should be able to use the philosophy to see through the stuff that has kept the profession from developing, the shadow stuff, the un-integrated stuff, the junk that no one ever seems to talk about. Clear Light dispels shadows.

Agreement and Disagreement

The idea behind these books is not agreement although we will probably find much in common throughout The Clear Light Books. By bringing together lost classics, as one series, we capture our history and bring it forth into the future. It is time we learn from the men and women that led the first and second generations. Unfortunately their ideas have been lost to the current generation. For example, there should be a national board question that asks the aspiring chiropractor to distinguish philosophical differences between D.D. Palmer, B.J. Palmer, T.F. Ratledge, and J.R. Drain. Chiropractors should not just understand the basic facts of history. They should be taught to integrate the development of the ideas and the underlying principles of the chiropractic paradigm into daily practice.

 I have already been “warned” that some groups in chiropractic might not recommend me because of the content in Segmental Neuropathy (it may go against their views on vertebral subluxation). I only posted it two weeks ago and have already gotten flack! (Please be sure to get on the email list as there are some big announcements coming up – just click the drop-down arrow above)! Why should a 1960s text critiquing a 1930s view of the nervous system stir controversy in 2014?

Controversy may also get stirred up by some of the content from Ratledge, Drain, and certainly from some of the future books. As my friends in Mexico say, “history is history.” Do we learn from the greats? From those who spent decades pondering all things chiropractic? Or do we continue to blindly fight our way into the future? I think we can widen our foundation just a bit. Don’t you?

The First Ten Volumes of Chiropractic Clear Light Books

Volume 1: The Spiritual Writings of B.J. Palmer: 10th Anniversary Edition

The tenth anniversary edition is filled with over three dozen high resolution pictures as well as some excellent edits and additional content. This book has taken on a life of its own. Many chiropractors have told me it sits on their desk for daily inspiration. That was my hope. The new edition rocks!

Volume 2: The Secret History of Chiropractic: Second Edition

This expanded edition of Secret History has some important editorial changes. As new historical facts come to light, we need to change the way we understand what happened. The core of the text is the same although it too has expanded and has much nicer pictures. Many of the changes are focused on Solon Langworthy as his contributions to the profession, while important, were not as profound as I once thought. Other important changes relate to the landmark Morikubo trial. The book is a great introduction to the early history without losing the depth of the philosophy developed by D.D. Palmer.

Volume 3: Chiropractic Foundations (retired)

As noted above, this book is no longer in print.

Volume 4: Success, Health, and Happiness: The Epigrams of B.J. Palmer

Interestingly, I wrote the title of this book without realizing that James Parker used that phrase as B.J.’s writings on success, chiropractic, health, medicine, women, and food. Other topics are organized by chapter with excerpts of his later writings as context. The book is a real treasure.

Volume 5: Chiropractic Thoughts by J.R. Drain

Drain’s book was written in 1927 after over a decade of practice and about seven years of teaching. He was one of the leaders of chiropractic education in the first of the twentieth century. His philosophical insights around everything from the normal complete cycle to retracing are invaluable to the modern chiropractor. To read my preface to the 2013 edition, please click here: Chiropractic Thoughts Preface.

Volume 6: Los Origenes de la Quiropractica by Joaquin Valdivia Tor

It is a great honor to help bring this translation of D.D. Palmer’s 1914 book into the world. Please share it with students and chiropractors.

Volume 7: Ratledge Philosophy 1 by Paul Smallie

What if I told you there were some excellent short writings about the philosophy of one of D.D. Palmer’s final students? And, what if you also knew that the student owned and operated his own school for fifty years, pioneered objective straight chiropractic, kept spiritual terminology out of his teachings, made very clear distinctions between chiropractic and medicine, and wrote down most of his thoughts after 70 years as a chiropractor? What if I also told you that you may have never heard of him and probably have not read anything about him? Would you be curious?

Ratledge taught us that symptoms are manifestations of bodily adaptations to internal or external stimulations (mechanical, chemical, or thermal) and not the result of magical disease entities. Ratledge wrote down much of these ideas after selling his school in 1955 to Carl Cleveland, dealing with science boards for thirty years, legal battles, and then in the 1960s, the AMA’s newest offenses.

For 70 years, Ratledge emphasized the law-like approach to health that chiropractic utilizes. His MCT (mechanical, chemical, thermal) principles are consistent with D.D. Palmer’s teachings. Ratledge considers them to be the three primary attributes of matter. He writes, “The human body and the environment each have these qualities and are, therefore, similarly responsive to their influence, singularly and/or in combination.” His work is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the philosophy of chiropractic and the chiropractic paradigm.

Volume 8: Segmental Neuropathy: Online Edition

Only 2000 copies of this book were printed in 1965. Instead of dissecting the text for you in a wordy and eloquent blog post (I’ll save the lecture for another format), I spent my time laying it out as a hyper-linked pdf and as a webpage right here on I know you will enjoy it. The book was coauthored by several leading chiropractors of its day. Himes (PSC ’31), Peterson (PSC ’47), and Watkins (Lincoln ’42), were the guiding lights. (The profession owes gratitude to Steve Walton, DC, FICC, for inspiring this release, doing all of the initial layout, writing a preface, and adding EIGHT appendices!).

Volume 9: D.D. Palmer’s Traveling Library: The Essential Inspirations

When I completed the layout of the new edition of Chiropractic Foundations, I realized it was now way too long and it truly was two distinct books. If you are curious about the roots of D.D. Palmer’s philosophy, this is the book for you to study.

Volume 10: Towards an Integral Philosophy: A History of Universal & Innate Intelligences by Simon Senzon

This book is a real joy to complete. I was able to expand on the Integral chapters and also add dozens of paintings and photos to the history of philosophy sections. I am currently writing three new chapters so that the book is relevant to many of the philosophical discussions and confusions in the profession today. Stay tuned and get on the email list for announcements.

My projected volume numbers for upcoming books include include the following:

Volume 11: Ratledge Philosophy Volume 2 by Paul Smallie

Volume 12: Mind and My Pen by J.R. Drain

Volume 13: The Guiding Light of Ratledge

Volume 14: Modernized Chiropractic part 1 by Smith, Langworthy, & Paxson

Volume 15: Modernized Chiropractic part 2

Volume 16: The Ratledge Manuscript

Volume 17: Man Tomorrow (abridged) by J.R. Drain

The list goes on…

Chiropractic Clear Light Books