What does this all mean? The puzzle is clarified when we understand mythology as spiritual allegory. That is, myths far from being fantastical nonsense stories for children, are rather the symbolic representation of the distilled spiritual and mystical wisdom of 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.


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