The predicament with manipulating another human being as a way to bring about something your mind desires is that you are treating that other being as an object to be manipulated. This puts the other being inside the experience of being an object, which is an isolating experience because it breaks your intuitive connection.

Say you have a parent who has a powerful desire to protect and help you. If they get caught in their model of parenting, they’re going to alienate that very thing they want to do.

They’re going to cut themselves off. This now becomes a curriculum for the parent to awaken; a means for the parent to use the way they get caught in their models, and the way they get caught in seeing this other being as “my child,” or “that child,” or “David” or “Doris.”

It’s about the parent no longer seeing that person only in terms of their individual differences, or their role or their label, so that they don’t end up isolating the person in this deeper sense we’re talking about.

So the parent must use their experience of child rearing, because since we’re all human we’re gonna do what we do. I mean, how many parents tell me they had the best intentions, and they did everything they could, and their kid still hates them. You’ve seen those scenes. But if the parent could just work on themselves so that when they look at their child they see another being just like them, who happens to be in a very similar small package, and because of the nature of the packaging and the karmic predicament they’re in, they are the caretaker and biological protector of that child.

So now you’re seeing the whole thing from a different point of view. You’re basically seeing another being, and you’re saying “Are we here? …It’s us.”

Now in the world of “us” we each have a role, but we don’t have to get trapped in our roles. The predicament of most parents is they get trapped in their role and they get trapped in seeing their child in the child’s role.

Many people are very surprised to say, “You know, I’ve just realized my child is a much older spiritual being than I am.” It’s often very disquieting to them, because they were busy being the teacher and the elder and the responsible person, but their child happens to be probably an old lama that dropped by to bless everybody or something like that.

-Ram Dass