Library of Congress CCN 67-10417

Consideration of the Spiritual Side

One night standing beside the dolphins sea tank on thst island of St. Thomas, these feelings ahout the dolphins came to me very strongly. There was no moon. There was a storm It was three o'clock in the morning. The sea was throv ins large waves into the seaward bulwarks. The water from the Caribbean was hoiling and crashing mto the intake of the tank. In the dim light coming from the stars through the storm clouds, I could barely see the water's surface. It was in violent motion in the pool. The considerable noise was that of an angry sea dissipating its primal force on unbending ancient rocks. In this rather eerie setting, I resolved to let my thought go out to the three dolphins in the tank. I tried to catch something of them, of their minds, in my own. The strangeness and violence of the scene was rellected from me in them. All three were swimming tightly close together; their triadic surfacing to breathe was heard above the din. When their position was right, I could see the rare glitter of their skin above the water. I imagined their bodies below these smal i signs of them. I felt terribly alone, a lone human being. I shivered at the thought of the sharks in the sea outside. I imagined myself as a dolphin in that violent sea outsidc surrounded by sharks. (A young man had been killed by a shark not too far away from this location the year before.)

Suddenly I laughed. I realized that all of these thoughts were not from the dolphins at all but were from within my own mind, from my own brain. 1, a dry-land primate, whose ancestors moved out of the trees onto the land, evolved from forms far from such scenes as the one I was watching. This romantic foolish nonsense was bcing generated by my own fears. The dolphins had no such thoughts as mune.

Obviously, the three dolphins were snug in their protccted pool, enjoying the wave motion of the warm tropical water. They sv am in a group circle for several hours apparently having a wonderful time. They realized that no sharks could penetrate, no sharks had penetrated, for the preceding two years in their pool. They were on a reiatively confined, but danger- free, vacation. In their terms, I was inappropriately dry, stuff, and afraid. They conld not afford as it werc. to be fearful when there was no reason for being fearful, for them.

<----BACK -- NEXT ---->