All demands, at their essence, are ways that we try to manipulate reality, ways that we insist that life be different than what it is. It's not always obvious the degree to which we approach life in this way. If we look closely, however, we can see how pervasive this tendency is; in any given moment you are likely to be making unconscious, subtle demands upon life to be different.
We look to everything in life to make us happy, not realizing that happiness is actually at our very core. It's natural to our being. There's no way to become happy. We simply need to stop doing the things that make us unhappy. One of the ways that we make ourselves unhappy is through making demands of ourselves and each other. It's very common in human interaction for us to demand that someone change so that we can be happy, or fulfilled. In this process, we completely disregard what might be in the best interest of the other person, or in the interest of the whole. Is this really an expression of love? Is this ultimately what we want? Do we really want everyone around us to be changing to make us happy? Do we really want to be that kind of a tyrant? Does that really speak to our deepest heart, to the love that we all have inside?
When we insist that the things, people, and events around us change so that we can be happy, we're actually denying something very deep within us. We're denying the truth of who we are. We're denying the truth of each other. We're imagining that happiness depends on the events and circumstances of our lives — and on the people in our lives. We believe that if everyone in our life could be "just so," then we'll be content.
So this desire for demands — just like the desire for control — actually arises out of this state of consciousness called the egoic state of consciousness, where we imagine ourselves, and everyone else, to be different and separate. But again, the notion that we are separate is not really true; it's all made up. It's all conjured up in our mind. It's one big dream that we have. The difficulty with this dream is that almost everybody around us is having the same dream. It's essentially the collective dream of humanity. So it's not just you or me that's dreaming, almost all human beings are also having this dream of being separate, of being completely other than the world around them. What this means is that we really have to look within ourselves quite deeply, because we're not only looking beyond our own deluded mind, our own misunderstanding; we're looking beyond the delusion of the entirety of humanity.