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SELF: Inspired Memoirs

Adventures Among Spiritual Intelligences

Chapter 2:
Dolphin Dream Teachings

The dolphins swim slowly, lazily,
but at the same time massively
powerful, confident beings, around a
single female dolphin. Two other
females detach themselves from the
slowly circulating chain and attend
the expectant mother. Already a
small tail is wriggling out from
under her rippling underbelly . . . .

Adventures with dolphins have not always been so easy or so fluid as the one described in the previous chapter. The exquisite joy of what for me was the ultimate dolphin experience was hard won, and occurred in the late 1980s, sometime after the initiation I underwent at the fins of Joe and Rosie.

The cycle of events I am about to relate all started innocently enough with an invitation extended to my companion for us to swim with the Human/Dolphin Foundation's two magnificent resident dolphins. It was in the spring of 1985 at Key Largo in Florida, at a time when Joe and Rosie, now probably best known for being among the very few dolphins to have been systematically released back into the wild, had been in captivity for seven years. It was well known among the dolphin fraternity that Dr. Lilly had made a promise to both dolphins, when they were caught in the Gulf of Mexico, to set them free again when he had finished working with them.

In the course of their Human/Dolphin Foundation liaison, the dolphins must have shared water with well over a thousand different people, many of whom might be said to be shining examples of their ilk -- that is, celebrities. If Joe and Rosie were half as sharp as I suspected, they must have gotten a most intriguing slant on human nature during that time.

The evening I arrived in Key Largo with my companion, the sky opened up for us in a way I have never seen before. Somehow a large cloud had become layered with all the colors of the rainbow, except that it was not a rainbow in any conventional sense. As if to underline the difference, we both saw off to the left, amid some other stacked-up white clouds, a more ordinary rainbow -- except this one was round. A circular rainbow? What was happening? This huge cloud, dressed like the aurora borealis itself, hung out over the bay, keeping its feathery integrity for far longer than I would have supposed possible. As I was meditating in front of it, I knew with an inner conviction that our invisible friends, the angels who accompany us, would have us be, as they expressed it, "fully who you are." And what is more, they wished us to do this collaboratively and on more conscious levels than ever before.

"We will be with you," they told me, "as we are this evening, to the extent you are able to sustain your vision of love." Then a few moments later, a voice that I have come to know as that of my Creator spoke in my heart and said simply, "Remember, I am where love is."

Some hours afterward, while settling down for the evening, I felt the dolphins come sliding back into my consciousness. I knew the feeling well. What had started with a brief but quite distinct out-of-body experience with the dolphins in the Bahamas had developed over the years into a marvelous sense of communion. I was shown once again that total honesty is required in everything that is being revealed by the encounters I have been having with spiritual intelligences -- however crazy it may sometimes sound. Telepathy is facilitated by emotional honesty, by having nothing to hide. And we have become accustomed to living in a rather dishonest culture-which leads me to the inevitable topic of fear.

Dishonesty is invariably the product of fear. I know myself well enough to accept the fact that I have accumulated a lot of fear in my life. The excessive degree of my counterphobia, my foolhardiness, has clearly overcompensated for a mountain of early terrors. By now I have faced many of those fears in the diverse experiences of my life, and I have come to more fully understand the shamanic observation that every safe place is surrounded by a ring of demons -- what John Lilly describes as "the road to metanoia that leads through paranoia."

This is all very well to say, but to remember it while in the midst of an outburst of the horrors or in a tremendously fearful situation is another matter entirely. It did not dawn on me quite how deeply meaningful this was going to become until my first time in the water with the dolphins Joe and Rosie.

The day after our arrival was spent attuning ourselves to the rhythms of life on the Florida Keys, consciously slowing down from the highly accelerated energy of big-city life; listening to the wind slip-slapping the leaves of the palm trees; watching water birds -- pelicans, sun red and floating lazily in their own reflections; and slowly picking our way over fossil-rich rocks to sink finally into spring flowers at the water's edge.

Then, while meditating and simply allowing my pen to move in the sort of automatic writing I have pursued for the last few years, I felt again the powerful presence of the cetacean intelligence that had been with me the night before. Through came the following message:

"We seek to know you better. To bridge the gap. You are of us -- an intermediary, too. A meeting of the middles. The median. Softly, and yet loudly enough for you to hear, we speak our tales of the ages. Our voices mingle with the voice of ALL. And you -- you can hear us whenever you listen very carefully to the sound of ALL. There we are, awaiting your loving attention." (I have come to know ALL as that aggregating part of each of us -- that which is spiritually worthwhile from every level and each lifestream, accumulating from every world in every universe, and which is melding to become a new divine, sentient being, the Supreme God and bearer of our new reality).

The dolphins again: "It has always been our wish that such interchange might be possible, and indeed it is not without its precursors. Aristotle well knew the language of our healing -- as do many of the more simple of your fellow creatures. But as we have led you to understand, there is a wave sweeping through the actions of ALL on this level. It is the time of the many, when our voices will be heard in guidance. You are a transcriber, our digits. How you digitize the information is up to you. Some will choose computers and some poetry. But in the vision we meet. At the moment of light, we are there with you, bringing all out to play -- bringing ALL out to play. For we are the midwives of these new creatures, the sweetness that grows in your hearts, the birth of love incarnate, the Father/Mother of us all."

And with that, I fell into a dreamful sleep, the dolphins swirling around me. I dreamt of my dear Ishmael, a magnificent German Shepherd I was fortunate enough to look after for most of his fifteen years and whom I often see in my dreams and visions, swimming with the dolphins. His presence has become one of my personal codes for recognizing an authentic experience with cetaceans on the inner levels -- a personal imprimatur.

I knew from my feelings in the morning that I had been taught by the dolphin dream-teachers. I had experienced once again in my dream the slowing down of time, and I found it possible to see all-at-once. I felt a strong sense of being prepared, of feeling the overlighting of the Supreme Incarnation, the ALL. I believe, too, in retrospect, that I was being readied for the encounter that lay ahead. This was the day the Lillys were due back in Key Largo after both having been to different ends of the continent, and I wanted to have had a chance to swim with the dolphins by the time they arrived.

I should add that I had few prior expectations regarding swimming with Joe and Rosie. On the contrary, I had heard nothing but wonderful stories, glowing accounts. I had read some of the reports collected by the Human/Dolphin Foundation from the many artists and scientists who had already swum with them, but in nothing I had seen or heard had I any reason to think it might be a trial by water. It was around midday when we arrived, my companion armed with a camera. The pens were quiet at Dolphins Plus, the facility that was acting as Joe and Rosie's temporary home. A small lagoon had been created by enlarging a canal that joined the open ocean at either end. The air was dry and dusty. The calm, murky water of the lagoon was broken briefly every now and again by the dark hump of a dolphin surfacing to breathe.

We walked around the stony path at the edge of the pool to where Joe and Rosie were being kept and found a woman sitting by herself on the float, legs hanging in the water. Her name was Molly, and she said she was from California. From what she told us about Joe and Rosie being down in Florida for a few months' vacation from California's Marine World, I gathered it was not generally supposed to be known that the dolphins were being prepared for release.

The enclosure holding the two dolphins was small -- painfully small -- about twenty by twenty feet, and it was partitioned off by a chicken-wire fence from the two other compounds that held the other resident dolphins. Although this facility remains one of the best on the Keys, I have found that almost all dolphin pens, wherever dolphins are held captive, are far more cramped than they ought to be.

Joining Molly, I dangled my feet in the water, Joe and Rosie circling them lazily. As I thought about the smallness of the place, I started to feel a deep sense of regret. The sun beat down on my unprotected shoulders and the air was heavy with a fishy smell. I could not have been sitting there for more than a few minutes before I started having one of those now-or-never moments. Here was just what I had been waiting for after all those times of swimming with wild dolphins and never being able to get right up close to them. Before me were two large, beautiful creatures I firmly believed were members of an ancient and immensely intelligent race of beings yet whom I had not even begun to feel I really knew. And they were swimming right here -- right now!

I could not stop myself from taking off my clothes and slipping into the water. Pushing myself from the timber raft with my feet, within seconds I could feel the soft, rubbery touch of a fin under my fingers as I swam out backward. Then a body surfaced up under my feet, bobbing me playfully under the water.

Rosie was wonderfully soft and easy, slowly inching her way toward me, her blowhole opening and snapping closed, yet always staying at arm's length. I felt inundated by good feelings, by an incredible sense of intimacy. Awestruck, I was bewildered by just how utterly in their element both these dolphins were. I felt absurd: there I was, without mask, flippers, or snorkel, still uncertain in the water, and finding myself in this extraordinary dance of sentient creatures of two entirely different species. Joe and Rosie seemed to have a tangible awareness of my breathing rhythms, and they were both solicitous about my need for air during the few times they paired off and placed a dorsal fin under each of my hands, whirling me along backward through the water. Then the atmosphere subtly changed.

Possibly as an emotional response to how well Rosie and I are getting on, blissing out on each other -- but also for reasons I am about to find out as the experience unfolds -- Joe starts becoming increasingly aggressive. The mood seems to blow in from nowhere. One moment the three of us are circling each other entranced, and the next he is ramming his penis into me! His penis, for heaven's sake! Nobody told me about this!

He doesn't stop. He is immensely strong, and his penis is hard, like the antlers of a deer. He keeps thudding it into me, concentrating mostly behind my knees. I roll around in the water with each blow. He times them perfectly, throwing his whole weight behind each plunging thrust. He will not let me out, always positioning himself between me and the landing stage. Neither will he let me get anywhere near the chicken-wire fence that rises twelve or fourteen feet up over the waterline. Rosie tries to interfere, to place her body between Joe and myself, but Joe won't have any of that and, being larger than Rosie, simply forces her out of the way to get at me again.

By this time I am severely frightened. In addition to the strangeness of it all, I start to realize that Joe has more than a passing interest in my rear end. He's at it again with his penis, hooking his great triangular cock around my waist or the back of one or another of my legs -- I never know which he's going after, since he comes up fast behind me.

The jolts are increasingly vicious. Then I realize he's focusing again on my backside, and the full horror of the situation breaks over me. A frightful story enters my mind that I'd heard a few years earlier from the captain of a small tour boat out of Nassau in the Bahamas. He is the only person I have ever come across who hated dolphins. He swore that his son had been raped by one. Images rear up in my progressively panicky mind. At the same time, knowing how sensitive all animals are to fear, and how particularly perceptive dolphins can be, I am trying to keep as cool as I can, battling to keep the fear under some sort of control.

The stress of the situation builds up very rapidly. Joe is absolutely relentless. Through the first part of this assault, I try to keep my body as limp and relaxed as I can be under the circumstances, and as I do so, images and feelings start to surface in my mind of my fears of homosexual rape. The more he comes onto me, the more of these deeply repressed fears surface. In this moment, I vividly recall events in my early years at an English boarding school, especially the cruel and bitter authoritarianism that led to an almost everyday level of physical and sexual abuse.

Then, with Joe still pummeling away at me, I find I am able to look the fear in the face -- and accept it. I reach in to the Holy Spirit and ask for help to release the thoughtforms, that I can now see only too clearly I have trapped in my body through fear. As I do this, the most wonderful change comes over Joe. He draws away and yet keeps swimming close by, positioning himself under me so that his melon -- the soft bulge on the top of his head -- is directly in contact with the soles of my feet. I begin to knead it with first my toes, then more enthusiastically with the entire surface of each foot. He seems to enjoy the sensation, and although his penis continues erect, he no longer comes anywhere near me with it. My fear lifts. I feel the welling of a new strength and confidence. The sun shines broadly and warmly on the three of us.

I am beaten, bruised, and blessed by such a learning.

When we had had enough sharing water, Joe and Rosie's body language made it quite clear to me that it was time to get out: they both drew back to let me through. I hauled myself up onto the wooden raft to find that Molly and my companion, from the safety of dry land, had thought the whole event thoroughly entertaining. Apparently I had not communicated my terror to them, which I chose to see at the time as a good sign. Although I carried physical marks that were with me for weeks, the main effect was one of emotional catharsis -- a sense of having dislodged some very basic terrors.

It was the last thing I had expected and yet now, after the passage of some years, I can see how this one volcanic event led to the ultimate release of a whole variety of irrational sexual fears. Doubts and ambiguities inculcated in me from my earliest years, suppressed by the cruelties of my schooling and held at bay throughout my life, came bursting to the surface of my consciousness so that they could be seen and released.

It has become clear to me over the ensuing years that one of the dolphins' greatest gifts to our species is their capacity to "read" our emotional bodies and to help us face our early traumas with courage, and to finally let them go. What I did not appreciate in those moments, as I sat on the edge of the platform warming my buffeted body in the welcoming sun, was that Joe had just started working on me.

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