Blood, B P
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The anaesthetic revelation and the gist of philosophy – B P Blood
After experiments ranging over nearly fourteen years I affirm — what any man may prove at will — that there is an invariable and reliable condition (or uncondition) ensuing about the instant of recall from anaesthetic stupor to sensible observation, or '' coming' to,' in which the genius of being is revealed ; but because it cannot be remembered in the normal condition it is lost altogether through the infrequency of anaesthetic treatment in any individual's case ordinarily, and buried, amid the hum of returning common sense, under that epitaph of all illumination : " this is a queer world."
Yet I have warned others to expect this wonder on entering the anaesthetic slumber, and none so cautioned has failed to report of it in terms which assured me of its realization. I have spoken with various persons also who induce anesthesis professionally (dentists, surgeons, etc.,) who had observed that many patients at the moment of recall seem as having made a startling yet somehow matter-of-course (and even grotesque) discovery in their own nature, and try to speak of it, but invariably fail in a lost mood of introspection. Of what astonishes them it is hard to give or receive intimation ; but I think most persons who shall have tested it will accept this as the central point of the illumination : That sanity is not the basic quality of intelligence, but is a mere condition which is variable, and like the humming of a wheel, goes up or down the musical gamut according to a physical activity ; and that only in sanity is formal or contrasting thought, while the naked life is realized only outside of sanity altogether; and it is the instant contrast of this "tasteless water of souls" with formal thought as we " come to' that leaves in the patient an astonishment that the awful mystery of Life is at last but a homely and a common thing,, and that aside from mere formality the majestic and the absurd are of equal dignity.
The astonishment is aggravated as at a thing of course, missed by sanity in overstepping, as in too foreign a search, or with too eager an attention : as in finding one's spectacles on one's nose, or in making in the dark a step higher than the stair. My first experiences of this revelation had many varieties of emotion ; but as a man grows calm and determined by experience in general, so am I now not only firm and familiar in this once weird condition, but triumphant — divine.
To minds of sanguine imagination there will be a sadness in the tenor of the mystery, as if the key-note of the universe were low, — for no poetry, no emotion known to the normal sanity of man can furnish a hint of its primeval prestige, and its all-but appalling solemnity ; but for such as have felt sadly the instability of temporal things there is a comfort of serenity and ancient peace ; while for the resolved and imperious spirit there are majesty and supremacy unspeakable.
Nor can it be long until all who enter the anaesthetic condition (and there are hundreds every secular day) will be taught to expect this revelation, and will date from its experience their initiation into the Secret of Life.
" As here we find in trances, men
Forget the dream, that happens then,
Until they fall in trance again."