"If you have been doing inner work for some time, a visit with your family is an excellent opportunity to discover how well you have done." - Eckhart Tolle
I'm visiting my parents now. Since I last visited them about one year and nine months ago, I've experienced some fundamental inner transformation. So before this visit I decided to make it an examination to check the effectiveness of this inner work.
It seems to me that I've been able to evade more of my possible conflicts with them by reacting more mindfully than all my previous visits though this is not easy at all. What makes it difficult for me to face this time is to see my parents "asleep" - each in his or her own manner. My father seems deeply trapped in the prison of his egoic mind, obsessively following his "rituals" and even forcing them upon people around them, while my mother reacts mostly mindlessly to his egoic speech and action.
As a former "convict" of this mind-made prison who also acted mindlessly most of the time, I have deep compassion toward them on the one hand, and feel totally helpless on the other, for a true lasting change is possible only when it comes from inside.
I don't think my parents are special in this respect. The majority of the human beings are "asleep", that is, unaware that they are trapped in their own "inner matrix", so to speak. But this doesn't console me when I see my parents in such a state.
Having become aware of my own "inner matrix", I can understand and articulate more clearly now why I've never wanted to have my own children. The single most important reason is my strong instinctive desire to break this vicious circle by refusing to pass this "inner matrix" to the next generation.
I might be able to liberate myself from this prison, but I have a new reason for feeling no need to have my own children. It's the realization that we are essentially divine sparks connected to each other, so I have no reason to stick to the idea of having "my own" children. I'm also starting to realize that separate selves are illusions of our egoic mind.