Adapted from 1991 issues of MA's newsletter © A New Leaf
The Story of the Lotus Eaters
About 3000 years ago, the poet Homer told a story about a man called Odysseus, and his travels as he returned home to Greece from the Trojan Wars. He and his men met up with many adventures along the way, but the one I always remembered was when he and his crew landed on the island of the Lotus Eaters.
It was a beautiful island and Odysseus wanted to stay there a while and rest up. So he sent a couple of scouts to see if the natives were friendly. He waited and waited, but the scouts never came back.
What had happened was that they'd met up with the locals, The Lotus Eaters, who shared their food with the scouts. But their food, the lotus, was a kind of dope, and the scouts got wasted and forgot all about their mission, about going back to Greece, and everything. All they wanted to do was hang out and get high.
Lucky for them, Odysseus came and dragged them back to the ship kicking and screaming, and tied them to their seats and the crew rowed like hell, in case someone else ate the lotus and forgot the way home.
The story of Odysseus is more than just a story about a Greek guy in a boat. It's a story about the journey of our lives, and the obstacles we run into along the way. And for us dopeheads, the story of the Lotus Eaters is our particular lesson. As addicts, we got stuck in a Lotus Land, and we forgot the mission, forgot the other adventures that awaited us, forgot about going home.
Luckily, we each had within us our own Odysseus, our own Higher Power, who grabbed us by the collar and threw us back into the boat. So now we're rowing like hell. We may not know what's going to come next, but we're back on our way again.
Happiness is a personal choice!
I am the sole source of all my sadness and joy.
"The logic of worldly success rests on a
fallacy: the strange error that our perfection
depends on the thoughts and
opinions and applause of other men."
Source: Thomas Merton