John C. Lilly, M.D. | The Dolphins Revisited

They do not distinguish between sonaring and communicating; in other words, they are quite capable of sending holographic sonic pictures to one another with their communication apparatus. They can then use these pictures in symbolic ways similar to the way that we use printed versions of words spoken out loud.

This implies an immense complexity of acoustic memory and of acoustic portrayal, way beyond anything that we have achieved either in simulations in computers or in terms of concepts having to do with acoustic events. Only our most sophisticated and advanced mathematics can even approach an analysis of this kind of system. (NOTE: This work was done between 1961 and 1968 and may not represent current human technologies.)

Over the years I gradually developed an entirely new set of assumptions based on our work with dolphins. I realized that here was an independent being living in an alien environment whose evolution was several times the length of the human evolution…This means that these alien beings are much more ancient than we are on the planet. It also means that  they achieved brain sizes comparable to the human a lot sooner than did the human itself.

I believe that we can presume that they have ethics, morals, and regard for one another much more highly developed than does the human species. For example, they realize their total interdependence. Let me illustrate this interdependence.

All of the dolphins and whales breathe totally voluntarily. They have no automatic respiratory mechanism such as we have; if they did, they would drown when they passed out from a high fever, or a blow on the head, or some other reason. An automatic breathing system would mean that underwater they would breathe when unconscious. They cannot afford an unconscious respiratory automatic system such as we have.

This means that any time a dolphin or whale passes out for any reason, his fellows must bring him to the surface and wake him up in order that he will breathe again, or else he dies.

We saw many instances of this among the dolphins. To wake one another up they will rake the dorsal fin across the anal/genital region causing a reflex contraction of the flukes, which lifts the endangered animal to the surface. Dolphins support one another at the surface and stimulate the unconscious one until the respiration starts again when he is awake.

This implies that dolphins cannot afford to be very far away from one another, twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, day and night. This also means that when a large group of dolphins becomes ill, say owing to a virus, they will beach themselves in order not to die at sea. They would prefer to die on the beach rather than die in the depths. This explains the beaching of pilot whales and various dolphins. We have seen several dolphins come in from the deep sea and enter small shallow protected lagoons in the Florida Keys in order to recover from their illness, safe from sharks and the other predators of the sea. We have seen spotted dolphins, which are pelagic (i.e., a deep-sea species), come into very shallow water and stay there several weeks while they were recovering from their injuries.

…As I stated in The Center of the Cyclone, I closed the dolphin laboratory because I did not want to continue to run a concentration camp for my friends, the dolphins.



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