The Mind of the Dolphin: A Nonhuman Intelligence

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 67-10417
Published by Doubleday & Company, Inc., New York
Copyright 1967, 1968 by John C. Lilly, M.D.


The proper study of mankind is not always man. John Cunningham Lilly, founder of the Communications Research Institute, has said of his most famous research, "One can imagine dolphins asking, 'Is man a god, a devil, or a lower animal, a creature from outer space, or just a dolphin that failed to get back into the seas?'" With this view of the lovable and mysterious dolphin, Dr. Lilly imbues his controversial report with startling revelations on human communication, mental illness, and future inter-species understanding.

Joining him in his study is Margaret Howe, who for over two months lived with a dolphin named Peter. Her frank revelations of attempts to teach him English, her coping with his sex problems, and what he, in turn, taught her, throw an interesting sidelight on the work of Dr. Lilly. THE MIND OF THE DOLPHIN includes excerpts from Miss Howe's journal and a large selection of photographs.


"COMMUNICATION is an exchange of information between two minds." Thus for interspecies communication we start with the basic postulate that each dolphin has a mind. The size, the complexity, and the capability of each dolphin mind is a function of the size of his brain. Each individual has some limitations placed upon him by the limits on the number of neurons in his brain. The quality of the development, through the use of the brain and of the mind, is a function of the natural experiences and formal education to which each individual is exposed.

Each dolphin's mind is very strange and distinctly different from ours. The problem is: How are the dolphins different? Will we ever be able to understand them? Will they ever be able to understand us? How are they similar? Are they similar enough to us to make possible the first bridges of understanding between the two species?


CHAPTER 07: Considerations of the Spiritual Side

CHAPTER 11: Living with a Dolphin: Seven Days and Nights with Pam