Nin and the Lotus-Eaters

“This is the land of milk and honey,” said the white-tailed rabbit, and Nin observed that it was so. All around him was abundance—food and drink to spare. The spring flowed clear, and nowhere to be found was a frown, or sadness.

And for his trials, Nin appreciated this beauty all the more. Had he still been in the desert, with the white sun beating down upon him, he might have gladly traded the little truth within his heart for even a morsel of this warren’s comfort.

But then Nin looked harder, and he saw that although there was no sadness to be found, neither could he find happiness.

He saw many smiles, but they were dull and shallow smiles, not like the simple smile he had known so easily as a child. He saw no gleam in the eyes of the youth, nor wrinkles in the smiles of the old.

An old scarred rabbit saw Nin’s disappointment and said: “It is true, we have let Samsara into our hearts, and have surrendered to it.”

Nin did not know this word. “What is Samara?” he asked.

“We run from pain, we seek out pleasure. We are content, but will never know true happiness.”

“I do not understand,” said Nin.

“We are tame rabbits here, all of us.”

This Nin understood.