THE MIND OF THE DOLPHIN by John C. Lilly

THE MIND OF THE DOLPHIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It was bound to happen; the signs were there six years ago. Lilly, a man respected by his colleagues for his neurophysiological studies and for a fine flair for electronics, has freaked out. He has flipped on Flippers. He has become the Leary of dolphinology; the leader of a cult of spiritual discovery which says that the proper study of mankind is dolphins. Man must turn away from evil and consort with the sea-going mammals. By consort he means consort. Only the mentally healthy can make it, however, since dolphins are larger-brained and cleverer, they don't want to take over the world, but they are willing to talk to us if we just have the faith, baby. Eons later, Lilly climbs down from the pulpit and gives straightforward descriptions of dolphins' acoustical and visual systems, and towards the end of the book turns the account over to Margaret Howe, a most empathetic young woman who lived upwards of two and one half months in not quite knee-deep water with a dolphin named Peter. This part is fascinating. Her frank descriptions of coping with Peter's sex problems, her attempts to teach him English, and what he taught her, are fine contributions to the psychological and animal behavior literature. Wading through Lilly to get to Margaret and Peter may tax homo sapiens' patience, however. Lilly would only say it's our fault because we have shame, guilt, pride, sin, and drink too much.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday