THE DANCE OF THE DOLPHINS.
The perpetual & ecstatic dance of the Dolphins has captivated Humanity since the beginning of recorded history & probably through pre-historic times. The Dolphins live in a state of sheer exuberant joy of being alive, our inherently natural state of being, so yearned for by everybody yet so painfully inaccessible to most of Humanity.
Without exception, whether in the wild or in the brutal enslavement & debilitating conditions of marine parks, Dolphins always bring people back to such a deep experience of their own joy, their own essence, to a place of Love.
The Dolphins, with all their cousins the Whales, are in the order of Mammals called Cetacea, all highly developed beings with very large & complex brains. It has been clearly shown scientifically that the Dolphins have a brain proportionately larger than Humans & in some ways far more developed, that they have clearly identifiable, highly evolved emotions such as joy, compassion, humor & emotional self control, that they live in large complex social groups that live in great harmony.
The Dolphins have been reaching out to Humanity since before recorded history. How can Man continue to slaughter & enslave such a profound & dignified being that does nothing to harm us, rather, saves us from drowing in the oceans, helps near shipwrecked boats navigate through dangerous waters & even helps us to return to our long lost natural state of real `Humanity', of Joy, Compassion & Love? How can Man call himself `Civilized' while destroying the other most evolved living intelligence on this Planet? Much of Man has truly lost his Spirit & one thing that the Dolphins are doing is to reflect to us our long lost essence, to engage with us intelligently & lovingly.
The purpose of this calendar & datebook & this photography is to help promote the awareness in people of why we are working to save the Dolphins. All the revenue from this calendar is going to support this work & especially that of Earth Island Institute, the foremost environmental group in the effort to save the Dolphins from slaughter while influencing the creation of actual legal rights to live in safety by acts of congress, eg;The re-authorisation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (M.M.P.A.), The International Dolphin Conservation Act (I.D.C.A.), etc.
As I write this, after years of blood, sweat & tears by hundreds of people with the support of thousands to bring the M.M.P.A. & I.D.C.A. into law, the present Congress is considering reversing much of the M.M.P.A. & I.D.C.A. by pushing through BILL:HR.2179, thereby letting the killing of Dolphins to be legally allowed again! Hopefully this will have been resolved by the time you read this, so that other important work can be done, such as creating legislation to immediately stop the capture of any more wild Dolphins & Whales, outlawing the practice of forcing them to perform ridiculous & demeaning behaviour & forcing all facilities that have captive Cetacea to create sane & natural saltwater habitats for them while rehabilitating them back into the wild, & to permanently care for those Dolphins that would not survive.
Please subscribe to the Earth Island Institute to support their work, get the latest information & to find out how you can help. Please, let's protect the Dolphins from Man's destructive unconsciousness, so that they may live in Dignity & that we may enjoy these beautiful beings that simply bring us back to Love. Thank you..
"Diviner than the Dolphin is nothing yet created, for indeed they were aforetime men & lived in cities along with mortals. They exchanged the land for the sea & put on the form of fishes. But, even now, the righteous spirit of men in them preserves human thought & human deeds."...OPPIAN OF SILICIA, GREEK POET 200 A.D.
About 55 million years ago the land mammal ancestors of the Dolphins evolved into the seas. For the past 30-40 million years they have had the same cranial capacity & have hardly changed.The pectoral fins have almost the same bone structure as humans, with 3 upper arm bones & 5 fingers. The embryos show distinct traces of their terrestrial roots, with a domed cranium, some hair, a nose & mouth, rudimentary external ears, constricted neck & hind limbs. The very early embryos of the Dolphin & the Human are very difficult to distinguish
The work of Dr. John Lilly has shown us that Dolphins, specifically the Bottlenose Dolphin, has a brain proportionately a little larger than Humans & in some ways more developed. Their Cerebral Cortex is far more convoluted, which, according to our own definitions, is a measure of conceptualising ability. As non-prehensile animals with no need to construct in their environment, this huge Brain Power has been devoted to other things of which we have barely glimpsed. We do see a highly socially developed species with a high level of emotional self-control, complex language & even humor, as well as an extraordinary sonar echolocation system by which they can `see' an incredibly complex 3-D sonic picture including, like ultra-sound, into physical substance. It clearly appears that they are highly telepathic & exhibit some kind of collective consciousness within a pod.
A'LUL'QUOY...'TO GO AROUND...TO PROTECT...TO GO IN PEACE'...This is the indiginous californian native indian CHUMASH word for their beloved Dolphin, their Brother Sister Cousin. It is said that when the Chumash migrated to the mainland from what might have been the ancient pacific civilisation of LEMURIA, their Grandmother Goddess HUTASH built them a Rainbow Bridge on which to cross. She warned them not to look down lest they fall into the ocean & die. Some did so & from her great Love of her children she turned them into Dolphins. In 1985, in Santa Barbara, while the Chumash Dolphin Dancers were dedicating the new Dolphin sculpture & fountain recently installed in their honor, by dancing the ancient & sacred Dolphin Dances, scores of Dolphins swam into the harbour close by, where they are never seen.
To all the Australian Aboriginal tribes the Dolphin is deeply sacred, being their wise, elder brother. When an Aboriginal dies, his spirit becomes a Dolphin.The Dolphins in the ocean span both the physical & spirit worlds, guiding & protecting their brothers & sisters who have chosen to journey through this life in Human form. In their deepest meditation, their sacred DOLPHIN DREAMTIME, in deep communion with their brother Dolphin, they are given all the answers they need to all their tribal questions &decisions. To kill a Dolphin is sacrilege & would invoke the wrath of the GORNGE, the feather footed man, the executioner! As long as the Dolphins are still there, the tribe feels safe from threat, as their wise spirit brothers are looking after them & guiding them. All tribes salute the Dolphin.
All around the world, at least for several thousand years, indiginous tribes have had a symbiotic relationship with local Dolphins who help them to catch fish. In 600 B.C. the Greek poet ARION wrote about it. In the first century A.D. the Roman PLINY `The Elder' wrote about it. Several thousand year old rock paintings of the Australian Aboriginals & the Imragen tribe of the Mauritanian coast of northwest Africa depict it. The IMRAGEN tribe, to this day, have depended on fishing for their survival, & even more so on the help of the Dolphins. To this day the Imragen will wait on the beach, waiting to see the Mullet. Once sighted, they all beat the surface of the water with sticks to call in the Dolphins , who faithfully come in & herd the fish into the waiting nets. The Dolphins always help & gain nothing from the interaction.
The Dolphin's primary sense, even though they have excellent eyesight, is their `sonar' or `echolocation'. The familiar Dolphin sounds of clicks & whistles is only the small audible portion of a much vaster wave band of frequencies that can scan at least several hundred yards, giving the Dolphin a complex sonic picture of it's surroundings, in minute detail, including into solid matter, as does our ultra-sound. An amazing example of this was when a woman at a Dolphin research center, entered a pen with a normally very gentle Dolphin, who shot accross the pen & `punched' her very hard in the ribs with its rostrum.The winded woman with a black bulls-eye bruise was taken to the hospital to be x-rayed, which showed that right behind the bruise was a malignant,terminal tumor, that she was unaware of. Without doubt the Dolphin saw it & acted intelligently to communicate it.
In about 70 A.D. the Roman naturalist PLINY `The Elder' wrote, in his great work `NATURAL HISTORY', about the true story of a poor boy who was befriended by a wild Dolphin who carried him accross the water to school each day. One night, the poor boy died. When the Dolphin found that he was gone, never to come back, realising that he was dead, his empathy was so deep that he himself died of sorrow. Pliny writes: "I should have been ashamed to tell this story were it not that it has been written about already by MAECENAS & FABIANUS & FLAVIOUS ALFIUS & many other notable people!
Since the beginning of recorded history we have been given so many accounts of shipwrecked & drowning Humans being saved by Dolphins, the earliest that we know of being, again, the Greek poet ARION in 600 B.C. In 1960, off the coast of Grand Bahama island, Yvonne Bliss fell overboard from her boat. After many hours of being out of sight of land, exhausted from trying to swim in heavy currents, she became terrified in her awareness of a large animal close to her that she assumed to be a shark & kept moving away as it approahed her. Realising that it was in fact a Dolphin, she noticed that it had `pushed' her out of the strong currents & into a tidal stream carrying her towards shore. The Dolphin kept with her guiding her to the beach. In her words:"As I turned towards the shore, stumbling, losing my balance & saying a prayer of thanks, my rescuer took off".
Equally numerous through history have been accounts of Dolphins helping to navigate boats. In New Zealand from 1888 for 24 years, a solitary male Bottlenose Dolphin guided every boat safely accross the dangerous Cook Strait, day & night. In 1978 4 South African fishermen, Kobus Stander & 3 others, were lost in dense fog in treacherous waters, with a visibility of 2 metres. Suddenly, 4 Dolphins surrounded them & began nudging the boat to the left. Realising that the Dolphins were helping them, Kobus steered the boat to the left just in time to hear &, in a gap in the fog, see waves crashing on treacherous rocks. 1 more minute they would have been smashed to pieces! The Dolphins continued to nudge the boat for 90 minutes at which time they circled the boat indicating for them to stop. When the fog lifted, miraculously they found they were back at their home bay!
One of the most extraordinary accounts of wild Dolphins seeking out the company of Humans is the story of OPO, on New Zealand's OPONONI beach. In 1955 the young female Dolphin's mother was shot by a delinquent Human's rifle.Possibly hoping her mother might reappear, OPO, as she became named, remained in the bay, gradually approaching people on the beach, to everybody's absolute delight! OPO especially loved the children & would swim between their legs & take them for a ride on her back, as well as playing wonderful ball games. Becoming a major tourist attraction, bringing up to 14,000 visitors at a time to this remote village, an act of parliament was passed to protect her. Tragically, the very next day, on March 8th, 1956, OPO was killed by a Humans fishing with dynamite. She was buried with full Maori Tangi ceremonial rites.
The most developed relationship Humans & Dolphins have shared in recent history must surely be from the time of the ancient Greeks. At the height of what is considered to be the purest form of Democracy ever known, with the highest level of culture, Apollo, the God of the Sun & the Mind turned himself into a Dolphin & led a group to DELPHI, the sanctuary that was the center of the World, home of the Oracle of Delphi, the most powerful political & spiritual figure of the times, named from the same root as Dolphin, meaning Womb, Source of all Life & Wisdom.The great Athens was inspired by the Dolphins' stable democratic social structure that balances Freedom with Discipline. Freedom without Discipline is License. Discipline without Freedom is Slavery. Only with both is there self-discipline. Only then can there be Democracy. This the Dolphins have lived for Millennia.
At this time, around the world, there are Dolphins reaching out to connect with Humans, actively seeking an intelligent relationship, above all to PLAY, to re-kindle a relationship lost as Humans lost touch with their deepest essence. Wild pods of Dolphins will stay & play with Humans that are willing to be playful, sensitive & Loving, as much as they will shun those that are egotistical & controlling. One place is Monkey Mia in Australia. One night in 1964, a sweltering, full moon lit night, Alice Waters, unable to sleep, went out on deck to find a Dolphin splashing around. She took a fresh fish from her cooler & the Dolphin took it right from her hand.So began one of todays most amazing examples of Dolphin initiated contact, where up to 60,000 people a year come to stand in thigh deep water to feed, stroke, play with up to a dozen Dolphins who have chosen to interact.
The Dolphins have, throughout history, had the infectious effect on all Humans of bringing them hopelessly into such a heightened state of beingness & such deep healing of pathological states, that people travel accross the world to have an intimate experience with them, in the wild. When to this day our Doctors & Psychotherapists have been unable to heal such conditions as Chronic fear of the water, Clinical Depression & Autism, each of these conditions has been documented as having been either healed or brought into a deep state of remission, simply from intimate encounters with Dolphins. Certain Autistics achieved unprecedented levels of expression simply from allowing Dolphins to engage, which they did with extraordinary power, in capturing their attention & drawing them out to engage in a way that Humans had been unable to. Likewise for depressives to reach previously unreachable levels of joy, even with medication.
The Dolphins naturally embody some of those characteristics that Humanity, in most of it's religions, considers to be qualities attributable to it's most evolved members, such as Joy, Brotherhood, Love, Compassion & caring for other life forms. Dolphins & Whales are the only other species on this Planet that is known to go out of its way to help another species, without gain for itself, such as saving the lives of drowing people, guiding endangered boats etc. Man is the only species on the Planet that routinely kills it's own species, as well as most others, where women & children even participate in this killing. Can we be humble enough to recognise that we are applying our intelligence to very destructive purposes? Do we have something to learn from the Dolphins about being creative & Loving with our intelligence?
As we aspire to being the most `Civilised' or `Evolved' species on this Planet, it is quite humbling to realise that not only has it been inhabited for 30-40 million years compared to our 1 million or so, by another truly sentient species, but that that species is extremely emotionally, mentally & socially developed. Rather than being plagued with wars, violent aggression, homicides, rapes, boredom, lonliness, apathy, anger & perpetual survival struggles & starvaton of the majority of the species, the Dolphins are living a life & social structure of profound joy & harmony, so much so that the ancient Greeks modelled their very advanced democracy on the Dolphins Social structure.
It is very common for people, after having an intimate experience with wild Dolphins, to realise that their lives have been changed, irreversibly, & always for the better. On one of my recent trips taking people to swim with wild Dolphins, a woman in her 50's, single for many years & deeply yearning an intimate & passionate relationship, had a powerful `lucid dream' in which a Man-Dolphin came to her in the most intimate way. She awoke the next morning feeling more highly sensual than she had in years. in the next days she had very close encounters, especially with one Dolphin that she was convinced was the one in the dream. Within weeks of returning home she attracted to herself a wonderful passionate man with whom she is now living her dream of years.
Researchers in the field of PsychoNeuroImmunology have clearly shown the link between emotions & illness, especially the link between greif, depression, fear & extended sadness with the suppression of the immune system. A healthy Thymus gland plays an important role in the regulation of the immune response & most people, as they age, develope atrophied thymus's, diminishing their ability to fight disease. It is becoming clear that healthy emotions of the `Heart',(next to the Thymus), Love, Compassion & Joy, are very connected with a healthy Thymus. Besides the obvious effect of great Joy & Love that comes with encounters with Dolphins, especially in the wild, It is becoming apparent that they also are powerfully stimulating to the endocrine glandular system, especially the Thymus, Pituitary, Pineal & Hypothalamus, thus having a great healing effect. Many people are convinced that the Dolphins know this & are consciously healing us.
Another common experience for people having intimate encounters with wild Dolphins is to have `Their Hearts Opened' otherwise more playfully described as getting `Open Heart Surgery'. Ie: Powerfully being opened up to deep levels of emotioin, previously suppressed & closed, especially those of Love & Compassion. On one of my trips taking people to swim with wild Dolphins, a 19 year old girl had a profound `heart opening'. After being out with the Dolphins for only 20 minutes or so, she returned to the boat & broke down with floods of tears, describing the abject horror of man's cruelty to the these dignified, majestic, sensitive Dolphins, especially in the torture of captivity but even in the wild & even more so, man's insanity in his destruction of the Planet. She suddenly SAW & FELT the truth. Being with the Dolphins opened her Heart.
On another of my trips, a woman in her 60's had felt compelled to come on the trip despite having chronic aquaphobia, fear of the water. On the day before the trip, the group was at a facility swimming in a lagoon. In her brave attempt to overcome her fear she was rigidly clinging onto the wooden dock unable to let go by herself into the water. Within 48 hours she was out in the ocean, 30 feet from the boat in choppy, 2-3 feet swells, surrounded by Dolphins in such a state of thrilling excitement that she literally lost her fear that had so controlled her most of her life. This is a very common experience. Many people experience such a deep Love of & Trust in the Dolphins that they let go of their fears & return to their natural state of fearlessness, somehow dissolving that heavy armouring that separated them from their aliveness.
Duringthe Pliocene period, previous to 1 millione years ago, there were many species of Hominid, or early man. During the Pleistocene period Homo Sapiens, the `Weapon Maker' began eliminating all the other species, the last being Homo Neanderthalensis, last seen about 40,000 years ago. Becoming the dominant species on the Planet he began to exterminate most of the larger species of Mamalls, including most of the Elephants. He has continued to apply his prehensile intelligence to decimating many of the Dolphin species & forcing most of the Whales to the very edge of extinction, while proceeding to destroy the actual Planet itself. In approximately 300 years man has destroyed 80% of the Earth's rainforests which supply 1/3 of the Earth's Oxygen, while some oceans' plankkton levels have dropped to up to 50%,due to polution, the oceans supplying 2/3 of the Earth's Oxygen! IS THIS INTELLIGENCE?
The eminent Dr John Lilly, neurologist, neurophysiologist, & psychoanalist, pioneering researcher into Dolphin behaviour & communication &, later, into the nature of the mind & consciousness, said: ` I suspect that the Whales & Dolphins quite naturally go in the directions we call SPIRITUAL, in that they get into meditative states quite simply & easily. If you go into the sea yourself, you can find that dimension in yourself quite easily. Free floating is entrancing. Now, if you combine snorkeling with a spiritual trip with the right people, you could make the transition to understanding the Dolphins & Whales very rapidly. We could do that by ourselves, without the presence of the Dolphins & Whales, but I think we need them to show us what it is, from the millions of years they have been on the Planet. When we were theoretically Tree Shrews, the Whales & Dolphins were completely developed.'
Children are universally inspiring & endearing, with certain qualities that remind us of our long lost `Inner Child'. Long lost, since most of Humanity's children are quickly stifled, by violent or otherwise dysfunctional families, by puritanical & repressive social codes of behaviour, by far too rapid & rigid socialisation & even brutal coercion into conformity to unatural, negative lifestyles resulting from the devastation of sensitive souls incarnating into intolerable levels of density & violence, that characterises the majority of Humanity. As do the few exceptional children who manage to sustain their more natural state, the Dolphins in the wild have the powerful effect of re-kindling our inner fire, re-vitalising our `inner child' who lives so totally in the present moment that Joy & passion flood the being into Ecstasy, where the present moment is so full of aliveness that the pure `isness' of beingness is all that we could want or need .
Another quality that excites many people while swimming with wild Dolphins is the great power of the `pod', the group. As Humans, we have lost the power of being a `tribe'. We have lost all of our `rights of passage' that inspire, develope & integrate maturing individuals into the highest order of social values, except military training which, in its purpose to make killers, is no longer acceptable to most of the emerging humanity. we are reduced to isolated & powerless nuclear families, that live our tribal instincts vicariously through sports or war games, the last stylised tribal functions, reducing man to a survival animal with very little posibility to apply his creative intelligence socially. Alone we can do very little. As a group we have tremendous power, or `Synergy', the power that arises from unifying our collective creativity. The Dolphins remind us of the power & beauty of being a truly connected group. It has been said: 'Podliness is next to Godliness'.
For many people, having been with Dolphins, if ever they find themselves in difficulties, in grief, despair or feeling that they are not able to live their lives fully, just remembering the Dolphins is all it takes to bring them back to that feeling of racing through the water, diving & spinning with the pure joy of being alive, physical & free, playing & connected with others, where the Dolphins are reminding us that we are one beautiful Humanity, even though we have slaughtered & enslaved them. They obviously continue to forgive us as they reach out, in the wild, to play with us, intelligently & lovingly, whether in wild physical play or face to face, in deep, silent eye contact. Like wise elders they make their huge, loving souls available for us to blend with, if we are capable of being that deep. If not by receiving the Dolphins' gift, how else are we going to realise the beauty & sacredness of all life. What will it take to get us to save & protect the Dolphins & Earth?