It is really this crowd I would call the modern day 'lotus eaters'. Alternatively they might also be called the modern Soma drinkers or perhaps the new age manna munchers. But what save characterized a lot of them was their access to and inclination to ingest high dosages of psychedelic compounds, which would sometimes produce full on mystical states. Starting from around the summer of 1993, i would be involved with this scene, on an on and off basis, until the Spring of 1998. It really gave me a chance to explore this rather deviant avenue of the mystical quest. I used the time to systematically experiment with psychedelic drugs and to see what I could learn from them. The sort of substances i used were drugs like lsd, dmt, 2cb, ketamine and Ecstasy.
I discovered the world of psychedelic rave culture. Even before my time spent in the squat i already had a certain fascination for the drug culture. This probably derived from certain books I'd read such as the novel ' scanner Darkly' by Philip. K.Dick; add certain tv programmes I'd watched in my teens such as a documentary on lsd that was shown by the bbc in the late 80s; And certain kinds of psychedelic music from the 60s that I was into, produced by bands such as the beatles. Also my keen interest in the brain and neuroscience definitely helped to predispose me to becoming curious about psychoactive drugs. It's impossible to spend so much time reading about neurochemistry and brain receptors, without ever wondering what would be the affect of manipulating their normal action. So it was with this general mind set that I gravitated towards London's druggy hard trance club scene. It was through a series of chance meetings that I would be introduced into london's psychedelic rave scene of the early and mid nineties.
Also ones sense of humour was magnified tremendously and I remember times when I would laugh so hard, vigorously and at length with such merriment, that the next day the bones in my chest literally hurt. But again none of these experiences were really mystical at all. Looking back on this time, i realize now, with the benefit of experience and better knowledge, that the quality and dosages of the psychedelic substances I was ingesting was rather low. At a guess, i would have only been using a fraction of the dose required to produce any sort of transcendent experience. However I do recall that around this time i did sink into intense depressive episodes accompanied by scorching headaches which did precipitate borderline mystical states. It may or may not have been the case that perhaps the relatively small dosages of lsd, i would consume from time to time during this period, were a factor in their elicitation. Anyway, it was only after leaving the squat that my real investigations into the world of psychedelia and the land of the lotus eaters would begin.
Odysseus and the, lotus, eater
It was also always in the back of my mind to system commercialize my ideas. I had grand plans to one day go to silicon valley and start a software company. Around this time i would avidly read books about how the microcomputer revolution happened and books about the work going on in hi-tech research institutes around the world. It made me feel closer to a world i yearned to be a part of but was very distant from, in my circumstances at that time. I also read the biographies of people like steve jobs or Bill Gates and found them inspiring and instructive. So it was with this attitude and mind set that I first entered the land of the lotus eaters. My plan first exposure to psychedelic drugs happened while i was living in a squat in Turnpike lane which is in North London.
I was living with beggars, drop outs and various deviants. Though in that scene the most common substances of abuse were heroin, amphetamine, cannabis and special brew, one would also come across the drug lsd. My first experience with lsd happened in October 1992, it was an utterly strange and powerful experience but hardly spiritual or transcendent. I recall now that the drug was used quite recreationally. It was something to do when you were broke and bored. The colours would become brighter, there were severe alterations of visual and auditory perception.
The lotus plant may also have been the key ingredient in the 'soma' concoction mentioned in premiere hindu holy texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the rig Veda. I found myself drifting in this world, unemployed, lost and lonely. I was living in London where i had been studying, having finished University several years earlier. I went to the far East for a bit, soon after I finished my studies, then came back to london in the Spring of 1992, after having a troubled period while over there. On returning to the uk i discovered that the economic situation was really bad and I wasn't able to find a proper job.
So i fell into a lifestyle of living off government payments, living in the seedier areas of London and exploring modern life's darker underbelly. Also during this time, i continued to pursue my passion for learning and spent a great deal of time working on the long term goal that I had set myself as a teenager. This was the aim to understand how the brain and mind worked. Also i desired greatly to use this knowledge to create Artificial Intelligence. At this time my life was more of a technological and scientific odyssey rather than a mystical or spiritual one. I dreamed that one day i would gain recognition for my ideas and theories about how the brain worked.
The, lotus, eater, summary and Analysis (like sparkNotes) Free book
For a while i passed through this strange country, a world in itself within the world at large, i met the lotus eaters and i ate a lot of 'lotus in its many varieties. Here is what happened. Pictured above is the fabled blue lotus. It was used by the ancient Egyptian high priests, its petals were scattered on the tomb of Tutenkamen and was much featured in the art of ancient Egypt. The blue lotus of the nile may well be the same lotus variety that is featured in the story of the lotus eaters found in the myth of Odysseus. Special preparations derived from the root of the blue lotus ( pictured to the right ) may possess potent psychedelic properties if ingested at an adequate dose. In smaller doses the plant was also used by the ancient Egyptians paper as an aphrodisiac, in much the same way that lsd is sometimes used.
What we're seeing here is the essay description of, or allusion to the ingestion of plant extracts or perhaps fungaloid preparations, in order to facilitate mystical states. This is a subject which is covered more in depth in another section of this website called '. Psychedelia past and present whereas this current section is of a more biographical nature. Anyway, this is an extremely controversial subject matter and there has always been and always will be debate regarding the validity of any spiritual or religious experience facilitated by the ingestion of psychoactive substances. For the purpose of the current discussion we'll assume that indeed there are many doors to the eternal and that one of them involves the use of these psychedelic agents. This is the view of the author, and is derived from having full blown mystical experiences of being God or being 'One with the Universe both precipitated by 'natural' processes and also through the use of psychedelic substances. A more systematic discussion of the authenticity of the psychedelic experience will be left for another time and place. This whole section describes my own visit to the real land of the lotus eaters as manifest in present times.
various peoples and entire civilizations. Seen in this light, the story of the lotus eaters becomes a reference to a recurring phenomenon found in early and primitive religion. That is, the use of certain plants and substances have often found their way into the religious rituals and ceremonies of the world's religions early on in their initial development and evolution. So for instance we have soma described in the Bhaghavad Gita and other ancient Indian holy texts; huoma used in pre-zoroastrian Persia and the enigmatic Manna of the bible, the food that fell from heaven. Also staying in antiquity we find the mysterious kykeon, which was ingested in the sacred rituals of the Greek mysteries and also the blue lotus or lily of the nile which was used by ancient Egyptian high priests. Incidentally, this blue lotus may have been identical with or closely related to the lotus that is referenced in the story of the lotus eaters. Finally in one of the earliest myths and also the oldest recorded story known to man, that is the tale of Gilgamesh, we also find a reference to some psychedelic plant.
Perhaps a slightly less well known chapter in the myth of Odysseus is the visit to the land or island of the lotus eaters. This is one of the first stopping off points of the voyage after leaving Troy. On arriving at the island Odysseus sends some of his sailors to investigate the place. They find a land where the inhabitants are fond of ingesting a plant called the lotus. The result of eating this strange plant is that the lotus eaters are put plan into a kind of sleepy stupor. When Odysseus's sailors eat the lotus then they too succumb to the plants power and fall into a deep sleep. Unable to awaken themselves, they are trapped on the island until Odysseus comes to their rescue. And so free from the hold of the lotus plant, they all set sail for the next destination and leave the lotus eaters behind in their terminal slumbers.
Eaters : a study guide
The Island of the lotus Eaters. A journey into an aspect of the worldwide counter Culture that is the modern day manifestation of a context described in a well known story from Classical Greek mythology; which exposes the real and hidden meaning behind the lotus Eaters. So what is the Island of the lotus Eaters? And who report are the lotus Eaters? The lotus eaters are from the classical greek myth called Odysseus, also known as Ulysses. Probably the best known myth in the western world, it describes the journey of the hero Odysseus, on his return from the Trojan war back to Greece. Along the way he and his crew encounter all sorts of strange beasts and scenarios. Some of the better known adversaries that Odysseus encounters will be familiar to most readers, for instance the cyclops and the sirens.