Some Thoughts From a Professional Life Coach on How Humanity Can Overcome Its Negative and Destructive Instincts and Embrace Enlightenment in 2021
Making sense of the world these days can be difficult. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the seemingly endless string of destructive political incidents in the United States and elsewhere, and the natural disasters prompted by a decades-long campaign of environmental destruction, contemplating current events is overwhelming. There are riots and more recently the Capitol has been stormed. It is nothing short of complete chaos in the external world. Not only can it wear on the mind and contribute to exhausting the body, but it can also sap spiritual strength. Exercises such as introspection (shadow work) and meditation are helpful for those trying to cope with the complications and anxieties connected to living in the modern world, but when confined to only a few individuals, does little to help solve the larger problems spelled out above.
The efforts of each individual play a crucial role in the healing process, and it will take the combined efforts of humanity’s collective consciousness to fix this troubled world. So, what can be done to address society’s many ills on a macro scale? How can the human race overcome and resolve the physical, psychological, and spiritual negativity presently afflicting our civilization, as well as Earth as a whole? Professional life coach Nicholas Gerace from New York provides a short rundown of some areas in which to start on the micro level. Only when more and more individuals work on themselves will the combined effort end our cancerous and destructive ways on the planetary scale.
The Four Noble Truths
For any serious action to be taken in fixing the major problems of this world, certain concepts must be recognized and embraced by the population. To begin with, each citizen of the planet is responsible for their actions. We must understand that the law of Karma is real. Life is an echo, and what we put out gets returned to us. That is known as cause and effect or action and result. Too often, the actions people take are derived from selfishness, ignoble, and egoistic reasoning, which is the result of delusion on true reality and ignorance to the science of the mind. According to Nicholas Gerace, the Four Noble Truths explain this condition and are as follows:
1) Life’s Problem. All human beings experience endless discontent until a higher consciousness is attained. This is a form of suffering and it is all in the mind.
2) The cause of it. Discontentedness is caused by the craving to our own attachments. The mind craves for everything to be permanent. In actuality, everything on Earth is impermanent and constantly changing.
3) There is an antidote. The elimination of discontentedness is possible through the elimination of attachment, as attachment is what leads to suffering.
4) The how to. The elimination of attachment (and, hence, discontentedness) is possible by following The Eightfold Path, as taught by Gotama Buddha. It is a blueprint or rather, a road map of how to wholesomely navigate this world of Karma and desire with a goal of attaining Enlightenment. It is the path of learning and practicing Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration daily.
By means of an illustration, an industrial executive might decide to dispose of harmful waste in a nearby river for the ignoble reason of saving their company the expenditure of disposing of it safely. The motivation for this choice might be rooted in a desire to stay in good standing with the company in the hopes of earning a promotion or a financial bonus, further increasing the executive’s social status and material wealth. Should, however, this same industrial executive act in accordance with the Eightfold Path as outlined by The Buddha, they would inevitably opt to dispose of the waste properly, choosing to value environmental harmony and the welfare of others instead of attachment to impermanent concepts like social status and material wealth. Were that to be the case, not only would the biosphere and the local at-risk population near the river benefit, but the industrial executive would experience greater clarity, mental peace, and happiness.
The Three Universal Truths
Complimenting and expanding upon the Four Noble Truths are the Three Universal Truths, also bestowed on humanity by Gotama Buddha, which according to Nicholas Gerace are:
1) Impermanence. It is necessary to accept that everything in existence is ever-changing except for the natural laws such as Karma and gravity, and the mental state or consciousness level of Enlightenment or Nirvana. Everything else on Earth is impermanent. The sooner individuals grasp this concept and accept reality as it is, the more content they will become.
2) Discontentedness. Since nothing is permanent, owning things or possessing (controlling) people will never make any one of us happy. Discontentedness is a state of being, not a feeling or emotion itself.
It is important that we accept responsibility for our own discontent minds and the emotions we experience. As opposed to blaming external sources, we must recognize that we are the solution to the problem. We have the power to eliminate our discontent through practice, understanding, and thoughtful meditation.
3) Non-self. It is necessary to eradicate the ego in order to attain a higher consciousness. The ego serves no wholesome purpose. The ego is subliminal and unbeknownst to most, it’s root is tainted by 3 poisons. As my Teacher once explained to me, The Three Poisons and their antidotes are:
– Breathing Mindfulness Meditation
– Practice Generosity in Daily Life
2. Hatred/Anger/Ill Will
– Loving-kindness Meditation
– Practice Loving-kindness in Daily Life
3. Delusion/Ignorance/Unknowing of True Reality
– Wisdom through study and practice. The mind is liberated to Enlightenment through wisdom.
By understanding and embracing these watershed ideas, an individual realizes that they, themselves, are not the protagonist of life on Earth, nor the center of all things, but rather a small fragment of a larger, constantly-evolving whole. As such, with their ego dispensed with, the amassing of personal power and material wealth are rendered pointless occupations, and the individual’s attention and efforts naturally turn toward the honest pursuit of the greater good. Should these truths reach the great masses and permeate the collective consciousness, it would lead to a new golden age for planet Earth. Detachment and attaining a higher consciousness would become humanity’s defining goals instead of constant acquisition and the pursuit of glory.
Reading over the words of the Four Noble Truths and the Three Universal Truths is rarely enough to spark an awakening to their potential. Meditation on their true meaning is also crucial. Meditation is a process by which a person seeks to untangle their mind through silence, breathing techniques, or the repetition of a mantra, and in so doing, achieve new levels of mental clarity. It is the most important single act an individual can do in striving to achieve the cessation of desire and attachment (a state known to Buddhists as Enlightenment or Nirvana). This, the most widely practiced branch of meditation, is known as breathing mindfulness meditation. However, a well-rounded meditation routine ought to contain another facet meant to eliminate the negative emotions of anger, hatred, and ill will—a branch known as loving-kindness meditation. Should the world’s people adopt this practice en masse, it would go a long way toward fixing many serious problems. This is the only way to bring us back to the state of the once glorious, Garden of Eden and to create Heaven on Earth.
In summary, humanity’s problems can be traced back to a toxic and ubiquitous mindset. To fix this troubled world, the vast majority of the human race must reject attachments, ignoble and egoistic motivations such as wealth and social status and instead follow the Eightfold Path as once taught by The Buddha. This can be accomplished by the widespread observance of the Four Noble Truths, the Three Universal Truths and by following the Eightfold Path, as well as through the worldwide adoption of daily meditation. Only then, when humanity’s dark and counter-productive tendencies are finally quelled can a great awakening be achieved, society healed, and the biosphere saved for future generations.
Ultimately, each of us needs to pursue a higher consciousness with a strong focus on our independent journey and purification of the mind. Many of our actions have led to the destruction of the natural environment. Likewise, the prioritization of greed and material wealth has had a profound impact on our resources. According to Nicholas Gerace, through modernization, our civilization has lost its connection to Mother Earth. It is only through helpful and wholesome decision making that we can revitalize our resources and repair the damage.
To expand your Spirituality and further understand these concepts and more, Nicholas Gerace says to seek guidance from an Enlightened Teacher.
Gerace further recommends the Netflix documentary “Kiss the Ground”, hosted by Woody Harrelson., which focuses on regenerative farming.
For the latest from Nicholas, be sure to follow him at https://www.nicholasgerace.blog/
Nicholas Gerace is a professionally-trained, master life coach from Upstate New York with extensive expertise in holistic health and fitness, mental clarity, and spirituality. By utilizing a combination of ancient, time-tested techniques and cutting-edge, new approaches, Nicholas helps his clients re-imagine their lives in self-actualizing and positive terms by providing purpose, guidance and direction.
In addition to being a life coach and freely helping others, Nicholas Gerace is a purple belt and volunteer instructor for children and beginners at a local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in NewYork. He expands his knowledge studying Yogācāra Buddhism which is the consciousness only school. He additionally studies Theravada Buddhism which is free online at https://www.buddhadailywisdom.com/ under Teacher David Roylance. He believes the Theravada school are the fundamentals of understanding. They are the closest lessons to what Gotama Buddha actually taught nearly 2600 years ago and are not from disciples years later.
In an earlier stage of life, Nicholas Gerace served in the United States Army as—amongst other things—a pilot, officer, and commander responsible for the safety and welfare of hundreds of individuals. He was last stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia before retiring with honors. During his military service, he was the recipient of many awards and accolades, including the US Army’s Elite Air Medal, as well as commendations for valorous and meritorious service and team-building. Nicholas Gerace holds a degree in sociology from New York University, as well as an associate degree in criminal justice, in addition to several other certifications from graduate and vocational institutions.