Dolphin meaning in christianity
Christian symbolism expresses the dolphin as an aspect of Christ. Dolphins seen in Christian art are a symbol of the resurrection.
Unlike humans, dolphins have voluntary breathing. That means they have to be aware when they breathe and give the order to their body to do so. That is why dolphins cannot be surgically operated since, if they were anesthetized, they would simply die drowned for not breathing.
For the same reason, dolphins cannot sleep the way we do. When humans immerse ourselves in sleep, we “turn off” our brain at the same time that our involuntary breathing is set in a slower and deeper rhythm.
Dolphins, having to order their bodies to breathe, cannot “go out” in this way. On the other hand, if their brain were completely blocked, they would be at serious risk by becoming an easy prey for predators. However, rest is essential for the survival of any species.
When dolphins sleep they turn off only half of their brain. The other half is attentive to breathing and willing to undertake flight in the presence of an undesirable presence. At night the dolphins sleep floating vertically on the surface, as if they were a stick of heavy wood in the water, showing only the spiracle that allows the gas exchange. But, the nights and such a light sleep are not enough for this animal that spends so much energy on getting daily food.
That is why they usually take long naps, in fact dolphins spend almost a third of the time resting.
Recently in the Red Sea, south of the Sinai Peninsula, I had the opportunity to witness a real nap from a group of about nine individuals of bottlenose dolphins (Flipper). The group, lethargic, moved almost imperceptibly along a sandy bottom about nine meters deep. The animals were very close together, in the middle of the group, protected by adults, there were two small puppies.
They repeated a circular route of about 500 meters in diameter, always passing through the same place very slowly. His eyes were not completely closed but they had barely become an expressionless line.
Every six or seven minutes the group ascended as if with reluctance towards the surface, they took a breath of fresh air and with the same parsimony they returned to the bottom of sand. Undoubtedly, the slow movement allowed them an interesting muscular rest but, part of their brain had to be attentive to coordinate breathing, follow the predetermined route and stay together. Meanwhile two juveniles were around the group that rested. They moved more agilely around the clan and even approached us snooping around our cameras.
Surely they were “guards” who patrolled the surrounding area ready to give notice to any enemy that approached.
Floating in the sea in silence, breathing through a snorkel just a meter from a family of dolphins who are taking a nap is one of those experiences that help us with life. But what struck me the most at that time was that the “guards” did not alert the sleepers to our presence, they never considered us a threat. They even approached us with childish curiosity staring into our eyes, stripping our excited souls.
What a good example for us human beings!
In life we cannot sleep completely, speaking in spiritual terms. We need to be in a state of sailing or with colleagues who help us because they are kept awake. There is an enemy of our souls and we need to be in a state of spiritual alertness even in time of rest.
Watch therefore, for you do not know what time your Lord is coming.
Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; The spirit is really willing, but the flesh is weak.