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SELF: Inspired Memoirs

Adventures Among Spiritual Intelligences

Chapter 1:
Glimpses of the Dolphin World

Come with me on a journey to a
quiet lagoon, on a small, deserted
island, in a warm tropical sea. Feel
yourself floating easily below the
surface of the water. It is welcoming
and harmonious, and we find that
we can breathe with no difficulty
underwater. We move slowly,
drifting with the tide, until we can
discern, there before us, a pod of
half a dozen magnificently languid
dolphins swimming lazily in
the cerulean sea . . . .

- Notes from A Dolphin Journey

The small boat bucked and reared up over the hulking waves, slamming down into the water on the other side. Shock juddered through my system as I hung onto two pieces of rope fastened around the bow. I lay chest and stomach flat against the deck, peering down over the edge as Cap'n Dan Sammis gunned the engine of the Zodiac, making as much of a bow wave as he could with the powerful outboard motor.

We had left the big catamaran, now barely discernible on the horizon, and taken the small, fast boat to see if we could find the pod of dolphins. These last few days they had seemed as if they were all over the place, but never quite where we expected or hoped. Maybe they were picking up on Hurricane Hugo, out there somewhere southwest of us and heading in our direction, and in their dolphin way feeling perhaps that land dwellers like us had no right to be out in such weather.

All day yesterday we were getting provocative glimpses of them. Often as not they were bottlenose, larger and more disinterested than our friends the spotted dolphins. Hurrying by, they might take a few moments to ride our bow wave in the catamaran and then fall away about their own business. They came and went quickly, staying for a speedy look at us, checking us out. But inevitably the moment we plunged into the water, they would vanish into the impenetrable blue of the surrounding ocean.

Now the two of us were out looking for them and advertising our presence with the characteristic whine of our Zodiac's outboard motor. Hurricane Hugo was starting to heft some heavy seas at us, and the small inflatable could be made, in skillful hands, to whip along the crest of a large wave like a seagull. And Cap'n Dan's hands were nothing short of miraculous.

The dolphins, of course, loved this, as they love and seem to encourage any behavior by humans that is strong and confident. Within moments of our accelerating to top speed, slamming across waves and holding on with every scrap of strength, the dolphins appeared. Out of nowhere, suddenly they were with us-five, seven, eight, nine, all skimming on the pressure wave. Sleek shadows slicing through the clear water, they jostled each other for position, making minute and infinitely rapid compensations for the movements of the others, all flowing and gliding with utter grace.

I hung over them, scarcely a yard away, mesmerized by their speed and sheer exhilaration. I slipped my hand into the sea, aiming it like a fin so that it, too, cut through the water. The dolphins immediately started a new game to see if they could find some way of brushing up against it, finding some part of their body with which they could caress my finny hand. Such superb sensualists-I laughed and sang with them as we all raced along together.

Mysteriously time slows down. Suddenly and unaccountably, we are all in tune with each other. For whatever reason, I cease to notice the extreme movement of the boat. What only seconds ago was a perpetual slamming from wave to wave becomes the smoothest of glides. The dolphins are ever present-now twelve of them, now fifteen. At eighteen I lose count, along with any remaining scientific train of thought. It is no longer relevant. Although I feel as if I have all the time in the world, it seems unimportant to be ploddingly counting the number of dolphins when my consciousness is filling with such a deep inner joy and a gratitude quite beyond words.

At last I am near my beloved dolphins and in a situation that is natural to both species. I am not wallowing around clumsily in the water, and they are doing one of the things they love to do most: playing games at high speed.

What hits me at once is their ease with one another. Constantly they jostle and buffet, caress and bump. I hear the cetacean equivalent of an "oooofff!" accompanied by a distinctly fishy breath as one of the dolphins is playfully-but powerfully-edged off the pressure wave by a companion. There is such an intensity to their play-such total commitment to the moment. I am laughing and singing with them and loving them as they arch their bodies up out of the water to breathe. I breathe with them, and as I do I feel more and more joined to their flowing oneness.

The pitch of the outboard motor changes, and I look back over my shoulder to see that Dan is unable to resist going over the side. He slows the engine to an idle and, handing over the tiller, dons flippers and mask and slips in.

The dolphins appear overjoyed. They swim around him, over and under as he twists and turns downward into the deeper water. I lose him in the reflections and settle back into the bottom of the warm boat, relaxing against the inflated rubber sides, happy to drift with the swell and aware, every so often, of the "paaahtoooowey" of a dolphin's breath, out there circling the Zodiac.

Once again I find myself held by them, cradled in their biofield, as I was so many years ago at the beginning of my dolphin journey. In my heart now, I recall how I had tested them¾swimming out into the Gulf of Mexico. It was lunacy, of course, but I had to know. Was the whole issue of dolphin telepathy merely self-delusion? Was the possibility that we are sharing the planet with another sentient species only a last desperate hope? Would they rescue me from my own suicidal impulses? They did, of course. And when they did, it was in their own wonderfully subtle, multidimensional way, full of humor and delicious ambiguity.

Now I lie in the Zodiac, salt spray from the dolphins' breath forming rainbows in the sun, relishing how long I have wanted to be able to do this¾simply to be with them totally on their terms. I have always known intuitively that getting to spend time with wild dolphins would allow me to access more of their world than I have ever been able to glimpse in all my swims with dolphins in captivity. And that has been rich enough! Now here I am encompassed by them, basking in their auras.

I am drawn out of my reverie by Cap'n Dan's arrival back in the boat. He pulls himself over the side and throws me his mask and flippers. I test his mask. It fits perfectly. So do the flippers. I clear the mask and drop into the warm, heaving water. Immediately I am surrounded. The dolphins are sleek, curious, and utterly unafraid. They circle me; the water is full of twisting and turning forms of every shape and size.

At this point I feel yet a new level of shared consciousness. It comes as quickly and as surely as a gulp or a hiccup. It is even more potent than the group sensation I fell into when we were all bow-riding together only a few minutes earlier. I can feel it flowing through me. I find myself in a vibratory field of resonance, hanging there, being scoped out by all the dolphins' sonar hitting me simultaneously. The water is alive with sound. My body tingles with a delicious warmth. Then, before I can really take stock of the situation, two enormous forms come up behind me, one on either side. They slow down fluidly to my speed and then close in until I can feel them both flanking me, pressing their bodies against me¾not roughly but with exquisite gentleness and respect for my frailty.

I swim closely with them, eye to eye¾first with one, then the other. Finally, I find I can hold eye-contact with both of them at the same time as they take me deeper and deeper into the cool depths before I have to twist upward to take another breath. We dive again, the three of us utterly getting off on the tactile sensation of our different body surfaces rubbing against each other. Silk on skin, we gaze in happy amazement at one another as we discover telepathically that we can experience the same feeling. We are enjoying and loving one another in exactly the same way.

I find myself entranced by each detail. The sunlight, filtering through the clear water, flickers over the dolphins' constantly moving bodies. One snatches a piece of seaweed inches from my face mask and tosses it up, catching it at the point where her beak meets the melon of her head. She looks briefly at me with this absurd bright-green moustache, and then four others immediately join in the game. All five spiral in a marvelous double helix down to the seabed some thirty five feet below.

At last I am able to watch the dolphins relate to one another, able to see the nuances of their interactions uncolored by captivity. I notice a dolphin open its mouth wide at another one and immediately sense a mood of playful aggression.

My two special dolphins leave me, and once again my whole visual field is filled with swirling forms. I feel unaccountably just like them, and it becomes impossible to see exactly where the borders of our "selves" lie; they move so liquidly in liquid that they are a constant blur of movement.

I find that my sense of seeing becomes less important as the feeling of oneness grows. I realize I am in a deeply altered state of consciousness. In this condition I have an overwhelming feeling of kinship and what I can only describe as pure friendship with the dolphins. I know in my heart that I will unravel something of their mysteries if I simply continue to follow the path of the dolphins and allow life to be my teacher. Intuitively I know that if I do this and tell the truth as I see it, as openly and as honestly as I am able, then I will be playing my part in heralding the new times and the coming race.

Table of Contents | Preface | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3