From Onions to Pearls
By Satyam Nadeen
This is the true story of one man's spiritual awakening, without a guru and under severely restrictive, sometimes violent, physical, and intense emotional conditions.
In March of 1992, Michael Clegg entered an overcrowded county jail near Jacksonville, Florida, convicted of the manufacture of an illegal drug called Ecstasy. He was held there for two years while awaiting sentencing. While in prison, he realized that a lifetime of spiritual searching had brought him no closer to the elusive state he was seeking, so he gave up trying. In surrender, he was overwhelmed with relief and bliss.
The next several years were spent in a deepening process he calls the "deliverance," as layers of the preconditioned ego personality were peeled away to reveal the eternal Pearl of Consciousness.
On August 15, 1996, Satyam Nadeen was released from a federal prison to reenter the world that Michael Clegg had left.
Mary Margaret More/Bartholomew, Leading Edge Review
The true story of one man's spiritual awakening without a personal
guru while under severely restrictive, sometimes violent, conditions.
This book is an engrossing experience. It reminds us that we have made
a complicated journey out of a simple truth which can reveal
Its Self anywhere.
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Table of Contents
Wake Up and Smell the Onions
- Reader Advisory Warning!
- PART I - THE WAKE-UP CALL
- Chapter 1: The Lottery Payoff
- Chapter 2: Personal Background
- Chapter 3: The Process of Awakening
- Chapter 4: The Deliverance
- Chapter 5: The Rapture
- Chapter 6: The Nature of Consciousness
- Chapter 7: The Role of the Ego Personality
- PART II - EXPLORING FAMILIAR CONCEPTS
- Chapter 8: Free Will versus Predestination
- Chapter 9: What IsAs Is
- Chapter 10: Karma and Reincarnation
- Chapter 11: The Power of Positive Thinking
- Chapter 12: Prayer
- Chapter 13: The Role of Dreams
- Chapter 14: The Ascension
- Chapter 15: The Role of Constant Change
- Chapter 16: Spiritual Disciplines
- Chapter 17: Pain and Suffering
- Chapter 18: Afterlife
- Chapter 19: Forks in the Road
- Chapter 20: What If You Were Appointed Creator of the Planet
- Chapter 21: World Events
- Chapter 22: The Role of the Teacher
- Chapter 23: Satsang
- Chapter 24: Relationships and Soulmates
- Chapter 25: Harmlessness
- Chapter 26: Drugs
- Chapter 27: Bodhisattvas
- Chapter 28: Predispositions
- Chapter 29: Avatars
- Chapter 30: Love and Fear
- PART III - LIFE IN THE FOURTH DIMENSION
- Chapter 31: The Greatest Miracle
- Chapter 32: Predictions for the Planet
- Chapter 33: The Great Cosmic Jokes
- Chapter 34: Truth
- Chapter 35: Freedom
- Chapter 36: Wasted Time
- Chapter 37: "Who Says Words with My Mouth?"Rumi
- Chapter 38: Are We Having Fun Yet?
- Chapter 39: Riots and Reflections
- Chapter 40: My "Perfect" Life
- Chapter 41: Shift Happens
- Chapter 42: The Wisdom of Lao Tzu
About the Author
Finally! Someone who understands both the Western and Eastern mind
arrives among us as the crystal clear interpreter putting that elusive
thing called 'spirituality' into an exciting and digestible perspective.
From Onions to Pearls will rock the socks off many an established
'path' with a startling end-around that will leave you in a state of delightful
confusion only as to whether you should laugh endlessly at the whole divine
comedy or settle into the everlasting serenity that all the others just
talk wistfully about. Just read the book and see what happens! You have
nothing to lose but your struggle, anxiety, fatigue, frustration, ego-ridden
pressures, and lack of zest for life.
Anthony S. Dallmann-Jones, Ph.D., author of Primary Domino Thinking and Phoenix Flight Manual,
and editor of Inner Jungle Adventures, the 'Net-zine of
The new classic on the process of enlightenment. Twin Peaks Express
Usually I don't get past the introduction of 'true stories about
spiritual awakening,' a genre I find often tiresome and self-indulgent.
Nadeen immediately perked my interest with the one thing that can keep
me turning the pages – nonseriousness. He calls From Onions to Pearls a
welcome-home letter, a comic book, a story tied to the cosmic joke of the
human predicament. When I read, "If you think you are going to get some
do's and don'ts about a path to or from wakening, you are out of luck already,"
I knew he had me. I wanted to know what had happened to this man, and now
I was willing to get on the train to find out.
The premise was certainly intriguing: At 54, a former Ecstasy dealer
living high on the hog – private planes, boats, a mountain top in Costa
Rica for a home – gets bagged by the DEA. He's thrown into a holding cell
no bigger than a large living room and has to survive there for two years,
in the sweltering Florida heat, the only white boy among 32 heavy-duty
blacks. The Feds make it clear that they are going for life without parole.
All his possessions are taken and they're trying to get at his ex-wife
and put his daughter in an orphanage. After finally being sentenced he
spends three more years on Terminal Island near LA, originally a Navy brig
for 232 people, now a noisy chaotic hell with 1600 angry, violent men.
The bottom line: The shock and resulting contraction from that experience
is so great that his identification with who he thinks he is is shattered,
and Nadeen has an awakening. From that follows a period he calls the Deliverance,
during which what he understood at the moment of awakening unfolds in daily
life, as the layers of conditioning peel off.
The tone of the book can only be called exuberant. Pure glee at having
gotten the ultimate joke suffuses every chapter. It felt like he was saying,
"I gotta tell ya, it's really as simple as everyone says it is," and he's
dying for everyone else to get the joke so they can be free, too. At the
same time, for him everything is perfect just as it is. He wouldn't change
a thing - even the fact that you haven't gotten it yet. It's all going
to happen exactly as it needs to happen, and you're enlightened anyway,
and there's nothing you or he can do to hasten that recognition. This theme
of embracing what is - as is - saying yes to the leela of life - hums throughout
the book and is so infectious that is starts to shift your space if you
Nadeen tells you why he thinks The Game was set up in the first place,
about the balance of freedom and limitation that is always maintained in
order to keep things going, and describes the role of Grace in awakening.
The "aha!" is that once you realize you're not the doer, everything opens
wide up and you just dance your dance as an expression of Source (his term
for God or Existence) - and have a damn good time doing it. Your freedom,
according to Nadeen, "comes from knowing that Source is pulling the strings."
So is he saying anything new? No, not for people who've been on the
path for a while - and he's not claiming to either. So why read this at
all? Mostly because it's fun, and it may jiggle something inside you to
sip old wine from such a delightful new bottle. If you're in just the right
state, and it's just the right moment, anything can happen. Or you can
use it to watch your suspicions, greed for enlightenment, confusion, yearning,
cynicism, or judgement!
I found it enjoyable to read his takes on various New Age concepts
through the new-found lense of his awakening. You'll find short chapters
on: Free Will versus Predestination, Karma and Reincarnation, The Ascension,
Relationships and Soul Mates, Afterlife, and the like which debunk common
beliefs now exposed as empty in the light of his shifted consciousness.
I particularly liked the short section on The Power of Positive Thinking.
It echoes something I heard Osho say many tmes, and is a useful reminder
in the rabid California climate of "If your life isn't together it's because
you're no good at 'manifesting.'" Nadeen writes: "Pearl Vision also sees
that no matter how much intentional effort is put into a goal, not only
is it irrelevant, it is also futile. If the end result happens to turn
out the same as the goal of all your positive thinking, then it only happened
in spite of you, never because of you. And all those strong, clear, and
positive affirmations you made were only the thoughts of Source anyway."
The book is a good read. And I take my hat off to Nadeen; he wrote
the whole thing in prison, under horrific conditions, without any assistance. . . and
From Onions to Pearls seems to be the kind of book that's falling
off the shelf at people's feet or otherwise mysteriously arriving in their
life just at the right moment.
Ma Deva Nartana, The Writer's Midwife
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