“Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner”  – to understand all, is to forgive all

Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞


I was laying on my mat, rolling a ball under my shoulder blades, around 5.45 am.  The night was giving space for the first rays of the sun and I was listening to Alan Watts saying

“Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner.

To understand all, is to forgive all.

Which is so true… If you’ve been a counsellor, or psychotherapist, or minister, or anything like that, you very soon get to realise how vastly complicated people are… and to see that they really are in the messes they’re in, not BECAUSE of anything… but that’s the way it is.”

Everything that goes on around us is just “the way it is”. It is neutral.

What we make of it, is our added flavour of labelling it positive or negative. Or if you will; your perception is your reality, not necessarily the Truth.

It also means that if you can see with the clarity of the neutrality that is True, then you would first of all take things much less personal. I know, you are in your movie so it’s normal that it is always about you. But then again, so is everyone else. In their movie.

That is what really creates conflicts isn’t it? The fact that we are so impermeable to seeing anything but our own reality. It is also why relationships with other people makes us grow. Thanks to them (and if you are willing to give it a try), you can get a glimpse of what reality looks like for someone else.

Now, where this becomes interesting for YOU, is the following thread of thought: if I can see things from a clearer view, if I can relate, create a relationship that makes A+B give sense, then I UNDERSTAND.

When people thought that the earth was flat and that we were the centre of the universe, the sunrise and sunset were mystical moments. The sun was dying as it disappeared and miraculously reborn again the next day. Having the understanding of our place in the solar system today gives us the opportunity to appreciate these moments without the “dramatic” implications because we see the bigger picture.

This is where your strength lies. Because this is how the FORGIVING part happens. Forgiveness is not so much a question of “the other”. I would even stretch as far as to say, it has nothing to do with “other”. But it has everything to do with healing oneself. Healing happens when we experience the opposite to what “broke” us. So understanding means that you are creating a clear view on what was blurry. You are replacing ignorance with its opposite, knowledge.

I can forgive because I can comprehend what I am experiencing. As long as I don’t understand what has happened and I feel “victim”, I will not be able to forgive. If I can experience the opposite to victimhood, I can forgive because experiencing the opposite is how we heal. Victimhood is placing the power over you in someone else’s hands. Understanding means taking back your power and therefore removing the label “victim” from you.

I know, you might have the “how so?” popping up right now. Let’s take the law of cause and effect as illustration. Or the law of karma if you want to speak in yogic terms. Because everything is cause and effect. Everything is karmic.

The example that comes to mind: you’re out walking in the woods and see a dog. You go towards it and it begins to bark and try to attack you.

It startles you, might even choc you and you’ll have some degree of anger/fear/resentment towards this dog that you just wanted to pet.  But then you discover that it has its paw stuck in a fox trap and so you understand WHY it’s defensive. The dog is in pain and fear.

All of a sudden you relax and feel sorry instead for the dog.

If you could start each day with a blank sheet, this would not be so hard to do. But we have this thing called the mind and it plays tricks on us. It mixes things up and tells us stories about who we are and what others have done to us. So we listen to that narrative of good and bad and as soon as we wake up in the morning we pick up from where we left it when we fell asleep. The personality complex is the person that you are: physically, mentally and emotionally.

Creating the clarity of vision, creating understanding and replacing ignorance with knowledge happens when you practice.

The yoga sutras of Patanjali expresses it like this (sutra  1.2 and 1.3):

– Yoga chitta vritti nirodha (= yoga halts the fluctuations of the mind)

– Tada drastuh svarupe Avasthanam (= then the Seer settles in its own nature)

Basically: as you begin to de-condition the personality complex (physical/mental and emotional YOU) from what you always have believed, and that you commit to yourself by making this into a daily practice, the clearing of the ignorance begins. This is exactly what you experience when you sometimes feel a strong sense of focus and that all of a sudden everything makes sense. But it does not have to be random. You can bring yourself to this state with your practice.

Once you start to taste the clarity of understanding, there is no going back. Like experiencing colours instead of black and white. It just won’t do anymore.