Mysticism has a perennial charm. One does not have to go back to early Greek and Christian or medieval thought for authentic instances of it; in our own time are those who have taken the mystic way. This path leads to the paradox: reason dispenses with reason; philosophy renders philosophy useless. The great thinkers, Plato, Plotinus, Augustine, St. Thomas, Spinoza, Bergson, with keen dialectic and profound argument seek the absolute good, and once this is attained, argument and dialectic are left behind and pure and perfect satisfaction becomes the possession of the soul. In more recent times a new door to the secret of life has been set ajar. It was indeed long ago unlocked by the followers of Dionysus when intoxication by wine disclosed to its celebrants the heights and depths of experience hitherto undreamed of. In the last century, however, with the discovery of anesthetics the veil over the unseen reality has been again lifted. Mr. Blood says:
"It was in the year 1860 that there came to me, through the necessary use of anesthetics, a revelation or insight of the immemorial mystery which among enlightened peoples still persists as the philosophical secret or problem of the world. It is an illumination of the cosmic center, in which that field of thought where haunt the topics of fate, origin, reason, and divinity glows for the moment in an inevitable but hardly communicable appreciation of the genius of being." "It is the initiation of man into the immemorial mystery of the open secret of being, revealed as the inevitable vortex of continuity."
Fourteen years afterward he published "The Anesthetic Revelation and the Gist of Philosophy" wherein he showed the impotence of philosophy to produce the great experience. Even the Revelation itself is not a solution, but a satisfaction. Recently, when he was past eighty-five years of age, he completed this work, the aim of which is to "signalize the Anesthetic Revelation." In it he presents many subjects - Duplexity, Idealism, Monism, Cause, Self-relation, The Negative, Ancillary Unity, Jesus and Freewill, and the Anesthetic Revelation. After all that is said by the philosophers, Mr. Blood maintains that in the experience of the moments when we are emerging from the anesthetic sleep we have an immediate consciousness of the secret of existence. His writing antecedent to this work won cordial appreciation from Professor James, - who described him as a pluralistic mystic and wrote of him in the Atlantic and the Hibbert Journal, -Tennyson, Sir William Ramsay, and many other philosophers and scientists. Professor H. M. Kallen has written an introduction. Mr. Blood closed his work with this sentence:
"Yet one little dream I would have come true: Somewhere, anywhere, though hopefully at some not unfrequented garden-side, my dust, with its 'all-obliterated tongue, ' should seem to inspire the legend-low by the veiling grass, but cut deep in enduring stone:
"GREETING-IF THOU HAST KNOWN!"
-Homiletic Review, Volume 80 show more