About Nathan - Founder

Early Life

Nathan Daniel Curry was born on the relatively sheltered leafy green Wirral peninsula in England; the fourth and only blood child to a mother who trained as an art teacher and a father who is an accomplished river pilot. He has a half-Nigerian sister and two foster brothers. His parents showered love on all their children. They are not religious, but both are politically liberal with a passion for art, poetry, music and culture. As a child, he accompanied his family on camping adventures all over Europe, There was music, dancing, parties, poetry readings, theatre, books, sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, fishing, hiking and cuisine from varied cultures. They attended rallies to support Nelson Mandela, his mother volunteered for Amnesty International and his father for the RLNI. Poet Laureates, Chilean refugees, Romanian dancers and Art Museum Directors, and French and German Language Assistants, all were guests or short-term residents in his parent’s house. From an early age, Nathan was inspired by the natural world, spending long periods wandering the nearby estuary and woodlands. He excelled at school. At 16, he did work experience with Sir David Attenborough at the BBC Natural History Unit. At 17, he was part of a botanic survey on a British Schools’ Exploration Society expedition to the borderlands of Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland. That same year, he was interviewed by Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist, for a place at New College, Oxford. For two years prior, he studied “The Extended Phenotype” and “The Selfish Gene” with one of Dawkin’s foremost students. At 18, impacted by serious psychological challenges born of issues in the home (alcoholism), during his graduation year, he failed to reach his academic potential. He wasn’t granted a place at Oxford. Nevertheless, a hidden hand of serendipity was at work in the unfolding of events. Nathan took a gap year, tutoring biology in the Galápagos Islands and working on reforestation projects with the Peace Corps, CARE Ecuador and Plan International in the Andes. While stationed at a permaculture project in a cloud forest reserve, he read Herman Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game.” It tells of a man who climbs to the top of the ladder of authority in an elite educational institution dedicated to a revered esoteric game. Unexpectedly, he leaves his pole position in the hierarchy, at the height of his powers, when he sees that “truth is a pathless land” (quoting Jiddu Krishnamurti). The book impressed Nathan. At the end of the year, the prospect of returning home to his family home with its unresolved issues was too daunting. He found employment studying Sperm Whales with distinguished scientists. on a Whale Research vessel, the Odyssey in the Pacific, They sailed to North America. Up until then, Nathan had thought evolutionary biology was his path in life, yet his interest began to shift, inwards to question the roots of suffering in the mind. 

Awakening to Wisdom

Nathan began to awaken to the realisation thathumanity’s problems cannot be solved externally.” He left the high seas in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, and travelled to Los Angeles where he trained in massage therapy in Santa Monica. There, in the City of Angels, he met his mentor, Tara Singh, a man in whom he found a kindred spirit. Tara Singh was a formidable human. His own mentor had once told Taraji’s exasperated parents that he would “not settle for second best and that it would make him or break him.” Nathan had turned down offers from top universities in Britain; he too wouldn’t settle for second best, something in him drew to contemplate what lies beyond the prison of thought. The depth of Tara Singh’s humanism had a profound impact on Nathan. He became Taraji’s close student for a number of years in his 20s. Taraji, in turn, had been a student of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Dr Helen Schucman, the scribe of The Course in Miracles, and his writing teacher was the Nobel Laureate Pearl Buck. He associated with Mahatma Gandhi and was a friend and advisor to Eleanor Roosevelt, Prime Ministers Nehru and Indira Gandhi. He knew the visionary engineer Buckminster Fuller and the horticulturalist Alan Chadwick. 


Richard Dawkins is one of the most popular voices of reductionist science in our time. Yet, life led Nathan to Tara Singh over Dawkins. Meeting Mr Singh cemented a shift in the emphasis of Nathan’s focus: from reductionist materialism to spiritual awareness. He saw that peace and harmony are an inside job and a very deep and challenging rabbit hole to travel down. The challenge lies with our blindspots within; question the illusions that separate us from our natural state and the awakened state shines forth. The following excerpt from Mr Singh’s biography resonates with Nathan’s own personal experiences regarding the dangers of insecurity, ignorance, groupthink and the dark abuses of authority in human societies:


At 22, his search for the truth led him to the Himalayas where he lived for four years as an ascetic. He described this time as his outgrowing of conventional religion, where he discoveredthat a mind conditioned by religious or secular beliefs is always limited.”


Nathan grew up in a caring, exciting and turbulent home though with little insight into the psychology or existential issues behind the turbulence. Buried in this fact there was a key clue to his destiny. When he was 4, he wrote a poem in springtime about otters. It begins: “Come come life has begun, Otters have made their nests.” Otters don’t have nests. They have holts. He was 4! His fascination with otters was curious though as otters live in two worlds: in “the wet world,” swimming in rivers and seas, and in “the dry world,” where they wander the coastlines and river banks that border their aquatic home. We too appear to live, metaphorically speaking, in two worlds: one that is born of the shifting seas of fearful perception and the other which is rooted in the firm ground of spirit, which is realised as our perception is healed. The split mind is caught between the ups and downs of the zone of pleasure and pain and the world that transcends this. Sometimes, when we are quiet enough inside and determined and subtle enough, we experience the transcendent fearless happy world of the healed mind, where reality is to be found. When reality is glimpsed, this recognition can’t help but lead us home. To learn how to swim happily and competently in life’s choppy waters, to learn how walk softly on the bruised earth, free of fear’s grasp, demands a different physicality and a radical shift in what informs our looking and often, there is inner resistance to change. That process is very challenging to the ego: attack and defence thoughts define the ego's behaviour as it always needs blame and scapegoats.


“The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.”


Joseph Campbell


So many humans drown in the waters of the split mind. When we make judgements about this we fall into the trap of the illusion we seek to free ourselves from. Discernment liberates us. It births within us “the ears to hear.” As Nathan grew up, he had such experiences and became increasingly drawn to a sense that healing the mind of our misperceptions is why we are here. From such discernment, the fruit of inner peace blossoms and the flower of joy blooms. 


Ignorance is not bliss 


Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, said that “the unexamined life was not worth living” and there is that old adage that “ignorance is bliss.” It isn’t. Ignorance is actually a stubborn resistant pain mechanism that our sleeping minds defend against the truth of our real nature; to overlook this is to be very threatened by deeper questions such as those alluded to by Socrates. The murder of Socrates was natural for the insecure minds surrounding him. Socrates represents a human who is awake to truth. And we killed him. But his mind was not stained by fear. 


Love frees us 


Whether we are successes or failures in the world, no matter our situation, fear uses our external story to imprison us. Love uses the same story to liberate. 


The Power of Stories 


An American schoolboy was once asked: “What is a myth?” He replied: “A myth is a story that is a lie that is true for everyone.” The right reading of important stories can help us to see our life story through the eyes of love. Joseph Campbell wrote this of the importance of the mythic landscape: “It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth—penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words, beyond images.” Myths, be they the Bhagavad Gita or the tales of the Arthurian knights, come up from the depths of the collective unconscious offering symbolic solutions to the pain mechanisms buried in the psyche. In the right hands, the psychospiritual value of myths empowers us; Nathan has studied literature, in this way, for much of his life. The Greek mystics still have profound contributions to gift us today. In 450 BC a man named Abaris the Skywalker walked five thousand miles from Mongolia to Metapontium in Italy with a special arrow artefact in his right hand. Pythagoras was a priest there in the Temple of Apollo (the God of Appreciation). Abaris greets him and says to him: “You ARE Apollo.” The Gods we seek are within us; they are potentialities in the psyche of man. 



Discrimination

On his 30th birthday, guided by visions in meditation, Nathan moved to Chennai to study yoga with Mr TKV Desikachar, son of Krishnamacharya; the yoga teacher of Jiddu Krishanmurti. During his 30s, while living in Tamil Nadu, South India, Nathan founded an English Teaching Academy, built an online bookshop with 15 employees and set up new schools with the Chettinad Foundation. When Nathan moved to India he was told in meditation: "Sattvic Knight, you are welcome and protected in this land of sattvic warriors." Around the same time, he woke one morning to a message: “Sacrifice the dreams of the few for the hopes of the many." It took a long time to understand this: Nathan was generally confused by the trickster energy of his yoga teacher. Mr Desikachar, while a very great technical teacher was also attached to his role as a guru. Such attachment led to blind spots. It took Nathan years to figure out the impact of Desikachar’s dark side and how it mirrored Nathan’s own projected blindspots. Upon seeing the hypocrisies in his yoga teacher (the most advanced yoga therapist on earth at the time), and after learning more about Ramana Maharshi’s process of self-enquiry which resonates deeply with the Course in Miracles material, Nathan saw how the dream to be an elite yoga teacher, in that tradition, was a path that came with all kinds of moral compromises. 


Internal shifts are more important than external ones - yet the latter can support the former and the former can precipitate the latter. Inward change leads us to question the limits of many of the accepted psychotherapeutic and spiritual traditions: this is where the saying “holy cows make the best meat” comes from. The thought system of the ego is the real trap and it always comes with a neurotic mind. While pranayama, body asanas and meditation practices are wonderful and can be supportive of real growth, the major focus of intelligence is to awaken. The danger with yoga - meaning “union” - is that it can, like any system, get buried in the limitations of its own solutions; and yet not know it. There is this dualistic idea in yoga of union of body, mind and spirit. Temporary death of the ego mind tends to be the crowning gift of yoga. A deeper wisdom delivers the non-dual realisation that there is only spirit. Manonasa - the final death of the mind/ego, the end of suffering, is the focus of love. That isn’t to say one doesn’t take care of the body and mind with great tenderness. It means that when one awakens to one’s deepest nature; one ceases to be blinded by illusions. So many temptations can block our path to that. Nathan doesn’t see the inner guidance in meditation he received in India, regarding the “hopes of the many,” as having anything to do with helping "many" outwardly. 


Simplicity 


No one in their right mind is on a crusade to fix or save the world. It cannot be fixed: it is both perfect and imperfect at the same time and always will be. It can be seen differently and that changes everything, including how we carry ourselves in the world. This heals the root issues that create suffering. The way to interpret the guidance wisely is to recognize that all minds are joined and when we change deeply internally, insecurity can be undone in us. The impact of that silent shift is infinitely more powerful than all the armies of insecurity and all the “hallowed” pulpits of insecure evangelism, be they cults of atheist academics or yoga teachers with big spiritual egos. Any muddled "religion" or secular ideology out to convert, lost in correcting the externals, usually, only serves to entangle. Wisdom is not about changing anybody or anything outside, for that is the world of effects (not that external changes are to be judged). Wisdom is about an internal change that yields more gentleness and inner tranquillity and less prejudice. It embraces forgiveness as a vehicle to undo fearful interpretations of our nature at source. Inner change works at the level of cause. It shines a light on fearful projections and perceptive errors. The ending of attack and defence thoughts is the hardest thing to master . Or this is how it seems to be when our minds are under the spell of the triggers of our conditioning  Most of our movies promote our hidden allegiance to that demented violence inside “pushed out.” The vast majority of our political arguments do the same. Movements come and go but profound change happens in an individual when they drop their subscription to the victim-victimizer paradigm. It is a journey of a thousand miles to be found in the ocean of the drop of a single step, and in every step. To transcend the fearful mind, attack thoughts must be seen for what they are. It is the essence of the psychotherapeutic wisdom that follows from "All minds are joined." We can but attack ourselves. No real healing, in the deepest sense, is possible without recognizing this. Mastery of the superficial recognition of that statement, down to the deepest core of its truth, mirrors a total revolution in consciousness. Practice leads to mastery and time carries the stamp of this truth as its unified function. It can be discovered by one and all. The systems of the world, the universities, the governments, the commercial and corporate structures, the scientific and artistic institutions, the charities and monasteries, churches and temples often overlook such depths. Few, if any, embrace it. All are just theatres for the unfolding of our lives. While work is important and vital, it is not the marrow of the end goal of life; the essential purpose of life is liberation from suffering. In each human life, with each hero/villain that we label internally as “me” on the inner stage of our individual story, life exists to embrace the depths in how we see one and all. To dive down and find the pearl of absolute meaning in the heart cave’s wisdom; this is the universal quest, to wake up from our sleep of forgetfulness. It is not necessarily what most consider to be the goal of life. Yet we may find, when we look earnestly behind the thin veil that covers up the face of death, this is what, ultimately, is critical. 


The Trials 


“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”


Gandalf in the Hobbit


Only when pragmatism and humanism embrace the small still humble voice of true security within can the vengeance behind the ego's twisted belief system be looked at, seen for what it is and dropped. Then the attention is disenthralled from the ego’s mesmerising influence. There is never going to be a mass flowering of enlightenment in the world; for it happens quietly and defiantly in an individual whose mind no longer evades the root cause of insanity and suffering. Life tests us to develop the character to see differently. 


BILL MOYERS: In this culture of easy religion cheaply achieved, it seems to me we’ve forgotten that all three of the great religions teach that the trials of the hero journey are a significant part of it, that there’s no reward without renunciation and without a price, The Koran speaks, “Do you think that you shall enter the garden of bliss without such trials as come to those who passed before you?”


JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Well, if you realize what the real problem is, and that is of losing primarily thinking about yourself and your own self-protection. Losing yourself, giving yourself to another, that’s a trial in itself, is it not? There’s a big transformation of consciousness that’s concerned. And what all the myths have to deal with is transformation of consciousness. That you’re thinking in this way, and you have now to think in that way.


BILL MOYERS: Well, how is the consciousness transformed?


JOSEPH CAMPBELL: By the trials.


BILL MOYERS: The tests that the hero undergoes.


JOSEPH CAMPBELL: The tests or certain illuminating revelations. Trials and revelations are what it’s all about.”

Who am I?

Nathan has also spent time as a student of the Enneagram with Susana Ortiz in the Canary Islands in Spain. What is the enneagram? If you take a prism it will refract light into many colors. Light can be refracted into a rainbow; a gradient of differentiation. Similarly, there are these 9 “refractions” of the ego which come from the “ego light” - all  are strategies to trick the human being out of knowing his real nature. The ego perception has 9 blind spots - the nine sins/ misperceptions or enneaytpes. First, there is pride (2) and then all the others follow. There is (1) wrath/anger, (3) vanity, (4) envy, (5) greed/avarice/covetousness, (6) fear, (7) gluttony, (8) lust and (9) sloth. We can trace the enneagram to Pythagoras and his teacher as well as to Claudio Naranjo and Gurdjieff; they used the enneagram to teach that people are not conscious of their unquestioned programming and thus live their lives in a state of programmed hypnotic "waking sleep.” But it is possible to awaken to a higher state of consciousness. The enneagram deepened Nathan’s understanding of the tricks of the ego. 


Seers and Prophets and change in time 


Now Pythagoras, Parmenides and Empedocles and their ilk, birthed Western civilization. Just as Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman and Lincoln, spiritually birthed America. All the technology we see in the world as we know them today, the sciences of Biology, Physics and Chemistry and Western medicine and Law and Jurisprudence, Navigation and Mathematics, came, in large part, because of the meditations of those Ancient Greek titans of logos. A generation after these men came Aristotle and Plato who totally messed up the deeper wisdom of those who preceded them. The influence of those two men was profound in terms of the trajectory of Western civilization. The fall of the Ancient Greek culture that followed lead to a split. The technology and gods went to Rome but the mystical practices went to the Sufis in the Near East. It was the Sufis in Turkey and Iran (still to this day) that kept their mystical tradition of “incubation” alive after the Greek civilization went off the rails. The Thai people have this word “Sanuk” meaning ‘to do things with a sense of playfulness.’ That sentiment is the heart of the best of their culture. What is the jewel in the crown of the Christian culture? If a man falls in the street you help him. Somehow there is the recognition that we share the same life. We can see a movement of civilizations blending as the world becomes smaller through the advances in our technology. This is an attribute of the period of celestial speedup which we live in. However, whatever our history may be or whatever way the weave of the external fabric of our lives is constructed,  the ego remains a cunning trickster. No matter what changes outside it can still pull the wool over our eyes to prevent us seeing what is liberating. In the context of that larger story, Nathan is interested in how man evolves, inwardly and collectively, not in what illusions bring him conflict. 


Live centuries in a year 


Tara Singh once told Nathan: “You can live centuries in a year.” What does this mean? The answer comes through in the life he has lived: 


After his time in India, following periods in Britain, Malaysia and Singapore, working on the seeds of what was to become Bodisutra and Sutranovum, Nathan came back to America, where he was drawn to Alan Chadwick’s gardens. He volunteered in Covello, Northern California on Livepower farm which was inspired by Chadwick’s efforts. Nathan studied at other biodynamic farms too and he fell in love with, and later married, a woman he met in San Francisco. He returned to India, closing his apartment there to spend 9 months in Mexico honoring US immigration processes. Years earlier, Nathan’s 2nd wife’s ex-partner started talking in her sleep in ear shot of her wife. They said: "You are at the edge of a pain or at the end of it - you are blocking my next exit and where the prophet asks, past a place where there could be an accident." Over time, the psychological pain between these two women metastasised and what was pointed to in the sleeptalk was not addressed. After Nathan got married, the energy of that unhealed pain (that Nathan’s inner blindspot attracted as part of his own healing journey) pulled him in too. His ex-wife developed manic bipolar disorder, and spiralled into periods of supremely self-destructive behaviour. The relationship crashed into a wall. Nathan went to a friend’s ranch in Yosemite to process his emotions. Then, one day while starting a new job as a massage therapist at the Yosemite Bug Youth hostel, his car went off a cliff in black ice. As it skidded off the road he saw Ramana Maharshi’s face in his mind’s eye. Nathan emerged from the trashed car unscathed. All civilizations are born of prophets and seers. They are maintained by them also. Parmenides, Empedocles and Pythagoros, Carl Jung and William Blake, Emerson and Neville Goddard are all examples of this. But there is a path beyond the prophetic and the world of forms. Carl Jung referred to himself as a mystic and has prophetic experiences. But Ramana Maharshi, who was deeper than Jung, just described himself as an ‘ordinary man.’ When the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the labels drop away one is just a normal person but then the illusions of the world no longer have substance. After the accident, led by serendipity, Nathan found himself in Timothy Dundon’s garden in Altadena, Southern California near the Jet Propulsion lab. It is now the Soil Healing Foundation. He took care of it full time with great love and reverence, without a salary, for two years during the Covid pandemic. Nathan never met Tim, but the contemplative scientist in him awakened while living there. He saw into the genius of Dundun’s work in the garden and into the genera of plant species that can help reverse the deserts of the world. He also recognised that a lot of human challenges come down to the fuel economy that is built on fossil fuels. Such insights came at the level of the prophetic: he had a number of inner experiences around the potency of hydrogen and the future energy solutions that will come from harnessing the forces born of hydrogen proton fusion in artificial nuclear reactors. Such technologies will come and will be hugely important to addressing the crisis of global warming and the pollution that comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Alan Chadwick, once said that “nature adores man,’ when he is aligned with his better self. To that end, Nathan was deeply interested in the connection between our psychology, our understanding of the ecology and physics of our environment (including how we harmoniously exploit it), and economics. He was inspired by organisational approaches which support human flourishing including Allan Savory’s work in holistic management. The Savory Institute focuses on holistic management fitted to ecological wisdom. This is attuned to the genius of the logos of the Ancient Greek founding fathers of Western culture. All these things can drastically reduce human suffering. They were great passions of Nathan’s for a time: the application of logos to the management of the ecology of the world and to the ecology of fuel generation. But all are changes at the level of effects. 


Turning Inwards 


After time and again witnessing the petty agenda of the ego, Nathan’s primary passion recalibrated. Experiences brought home to him the fact that the seeds of healing human sorrow are rooted in the egoic self-concept, we live mentally and physically in the effects of that thought system. Ending that problem means seating our minds in the causational thought system of love, not getting lost in manipulating the effects, in time and space, of the deception. Thought creates gods and thought worships those made up gods. Stepping out of  that madness is where healing and meaning are found. All science, technology and activity is at the level of form or effects. Yet what ends our subscription to fear within, in all its myriad forms, is rooted in the causational which is aligned with our true nature. All solutions to the problems of physical existence that are practical and intelligent, are not to be condemned, on the contrary, we are wise when we embrace them. But they don’t, ultimately, handle the root cause of human misery. Solutions to human challenges, such as technological advancement, the right application of medical, ecological and financial insight and their timely employment, all can offer relief from relative suffering. They can gift us increased productivity and efficiency. They lead to political and economic upheavals that come along with the environmental pressures ongoing in our human story. But they cannot end our suffering at the root as they don’t grapple with the causational shifts that undo fear and lead to enlightenment. There are many steps of undoing in the awakening process; the ego wants recognition, status, power, money and it is greedy because of its inherent insecurity. It is bound to victimhood and victimisation, to pain, blame and misery. It offers shiny trophies that seem to fix humanity’s problems but, at best, they just solve physical problems temporarily; and they can make them worse. Nathan appreciates that the ego is a trap and awakening is the key that frees us from its poisonous grip. Man is freed from this trap by dropping attacks and defences inwardly. The body senses and intellect, when driven by the ego with its many inherent frailties, conceal the facts that lie behind appearances. One must become a maverick to see through the untold cul-de-sacs that promise salvation from suffering. Such discernment might take centuries. One can come to clarity in a much shorter time also; the challenge is not to succumb to psychological inflation or depression upon the trail of that journey and to not be hard on oneself when one does, but to constantly learn from one’s errors. Seeing through the many illusions that prevent total clarity is at the heart of excavating the root cause of stagnated life. To live centuries in a year requires an open mind and a sophisticated thought system based on a radical metaphysics. Two examples of such meaningful approaches can be found in the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and the Course in Miracles. Regarding the significance of such approaches this anecdote helps: Tara Singh spent several years, in the early 1970s, bringing his study of yoga to application in a solitary silent retreat in Carmel, California and:


“As he emerged from the years of silence in 1976, he came into contact with the contemporary scripture “A Course in Miracles.” Its impact on him was profound. He recognized it: “as an answer to man’s urgent need for direct contact with Truth.” There followed a close relationship with its scribe, Dr. Helen Schucman. From then on, the Course was the focal point of his life.”


Vision 


Nathan does not believe God created the universe, nor does he believe evolution is a blind alley. It leads to the mind that awakens from fear. He recognises that the human species, devoid of inner wisdom, tends to be a cancer to itself, yet, when aligned with profound and harmonious intelligence of love, the sane artifice of man can, and does, lift the world entire. 


Form


In his working life Nathan has been the night manager of Shakespeare and Company Bookshop in Paris. a Conservationist, a Massage Therapist, a Waiter, a Yoga teacher and Therapist, an Editor, and a Proofreader at National Geographic Films. He taught English in universities in South Korea and Paris and in academies in the Czech Republic southern Ecuador. He has worked in construction and as a landscape gardener and on numerous entrepreneurial projects, including a kombucha business in the UK, a salt lamp export businesses in South Korea and an IT service business in Canada. He has been married twice, both times to American women, and has lived and worked on 5 of the 7 continents in 32 countries and visited more than 80. He speaks French and Spanish and has studied Latin and Sanskrit. He brings this varied background to his work on Bodisutra and Sutranovum. 


Function 


Nathan, like his teacher, recognises the profound contribution of the Course in Miracles to healing the mind of the infection of the ego’s thought system and to handling the challenges of the wounded healer. He is a committed student of Ramana Maharshi’s teachings. Both the Course and Ramana say the same things in different language. 


Nathan"s love of such wisdom inspires him to share his experiences with thousands of people in online video sessions, workshops and retreats. He recognizes and presents the Course as the “thoughts of love” and correlates it with the great spiritual and psychotherapy teachings of the world. Sutranovum is the vehicle for this. It has a merchandising business built around these central themes.