In the Odyssey, one of a people who ate the fruit of the lotus and consequently became indolent, dreamy, and forgetful of duty
A lotus eater is a person living in dreamy indolence, detatched from reality. It is believed that travelling homeward from Troy, Odysseus and his followers came to North African land of the Lotophagi or lotus eaters, where a group which lived on the fruit of the lotus which indeced dreamy forgetfulness.
When Odysseus sent out a search party, its members tates the lotus, became oblivious to friends and home, lost all desire to leave the country and had to be forcibly brought back to the ship.
This legend later popularised by Tennyson's poem The Lotos Eater is the origin of the phrase, which now sometimes has overtones of luxurious ease.
(I *must* be a lotus eater!) :-D
Plagiarised shamelessly from Sunday Times, Ahmedabad, Feb 1, 2004