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Dear Friends,
Tomorrow I will be leaving for what for me is almost a pilgrimage:  I’m starting my travel to attend Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ intensive training “The Heart of the Wounded Healer:  Walking in Two Worlds as a Way of Life”.  Before I finish packing, though, I wanted to share a dialogue Dr. Estes and I had on her Facebook blog page.  She had written a piece on angels, here, on May 27, exploring in depth the different ways we know the messengers of the Divine.  She had started the piece by saying that she does not believe, but she knows.  Since I have learned so much from Dr. Estes over the years, I replied with the following question:
Cat Charissage Dear Dr. E., have you never doubted? How do you wrap your mind/spirit around suffering, around evil? I don’t expect you to have any concise answers around these big mysteries, but would love you to talk about them. I have suffered greatly from doubt, while wishing desperately to be able to believe or better yet, know, and from anguish around the suffering in the world. Thankfully I am not as anguished or paralyzed these days by this —- I know that I just don’t know, but that I CAN respond to my life and the life around me with love, and so I try. I also know that there is more than we can easily understand. But really, how have YOU dealt with the dark night of the soul?

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Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes Cat Charissage dear darling, the evil in the world I’ve experienced has come from overt and covert choices made by human beings. I’ve come to understand over the decades that most of us will never unravel the reasons or the ‘why’ of evil… because we are not.

My refuge has ever been the solidity of the world that is right here, its beauty created by Greater, and the world that is often not seen by those who have been blinded in various ways.

I have doubted some humans deeply, for evil truly walks right into some persons in this world, but I have never doubted, not even in my darkest griefs, never doubted those who have in those times been ‘the friend to the friendless’ me. I’ve not been swayed away from the sacred reality of los angelitos o santitos o antepasados, o ancianas or el Dio o La Diosa. I am clear that there is suffering and ways and means of our world that none of us can comprehend, and sometimes not mediate, at least not by ego that seeks causality.

I have never assigned being ‘saved’ from sorrow, nor to be given joy, nor needing a miracle via my belief in Creator. I grew up amongst the literally tortured, prisoners of war and the ethnically cleansed/ survivors of eye witness murder of their kith and kin. It could be said Where was G-d then? Why did G-d allow so many innocent people to be harmed all the way from Eu, to New Guinea, to Japan, to the Aussies, the NZs, the Mexicans, Central and South Americans, the Balkans to Russia, throughout Asia, to the island groups and more….

I only can offer this in answer.. In the famiily, the old people, the old, scarred up, torn apart, cheated, lied to, starved and beaten people, their farmlands and fishing rivers taken from them, sent into slave labor… they said that the enemy was always bellowing that “G-d was with them.” They said that was wrong. That G-d does not choose sides. BUT, my old people, my poor dear old people, said more important is that WE are with Creator. We are. With. Creator. That that was our truth. And I find it so Cat.

I am not sure Cat that ‘not being sure’ is a sign of anything other than being a dear human being. As you know from your long, faithful immersion with me as my learner, I have a category in my heart called “God’s business.” All my not knowing mysterious matters of sudden twists of fate, tragedy, abject and relentless suffering, goes to G-d, for I am far too unable in and of myself to understand, in part because I have to/ must save the instrument, care for the gift I carry, so I can strive to fulfill my callings in our world.

My dark night of the soul, la noche oscura, came not from G-d, nor from separation from G-d. It came from humans’ relentless dedication to destroying my gift, my life, my sense of selfhood, my child spirit, my heart…

and in my jagged fall-down, muddy efforts to run for freedom, the arms I ran toward when there were none to hold me, were those belonging to Greater.

Im feel pretty certain we were all born to love, to care, to minister to. I hear/see/sense that imperative as not coming from human beings, but from Creator, La Señora y otros of the angelic realm.

I would ask you Cat to consider that that is your true home also, and that there is, for many of our world, some confusion about where true Home really is. The overculture, as you know, along with cruel haphazard people, have often done a number on persons remembering where they came from, and in whose name, and why.

To me, Cat, faith, fe/ as in santa fe/ holy or even St. Faith, is not exactly something we ‘have.’ It is more so, a Someone, a force we walk with, that we learn from, that we question in order to learn about Home. True. Home. And how to bring aspects of True Home here to Earth where memory and cleaving to such, is often so healing and sturdyfying– each in her own way, each in his own way, as is most loving and most effective both.

You know me: I am not a fatuous person. I’m a pragmatic and a mystical being both. I recommend both, as you thread your way through Cat. Both. Two worlds held together make a third place to stand. That third place is where we can say we know certain things without wavering about. At last.

Hope that helps a bit, and we can talk more too and with others as well, because what you bring up is germane to many, esp in our overculture’s overreach, in not allowing people to blossom but instead telling them how it all has to be, or else.

To me the subject is fraught only because often how ‘faith and knowing’ is taught is fragemented, or just dead inaccurate, or else trivialized into some rote exercise. It isnt Cat, it is the living G-d come to dinner, not as guest, but/and as familiare, our relative, close “close-in” relative.

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Cat Charissage
Cat Charissage Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your ideas/wisdom. I will write more later. Time for my pillow now. . . .

Cat Charissage
Cat Charissage Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes Dear Dr. E., this is one of those times when I wish so badly that we could sit together on your porch or in my study, drink something warm together, and talk on this deep into the night. Not that I want to debate, far from it, but to hear each others’ stories of WONDER, and wondering, and awe and finding true home. Because you are someone who knows/has seen real suffering, and “has a clue” as to what’s what and how people act in this world, I wanted to hear your take on all this. Yes, I agree that suffering comes from other humans, and no, I, neither, make being saved from sorrow, or seeing miracles prerequisite to belief in Creator. It is a deep blessing that you have not doubted the presence of something Greater, of helpers/angels. In my earlier years, I shared a strong knowing like that, but then for tooooo long it felt literally taken away, stripped, with no felt access to God and no comfort, even though I deeply desired my old knowings and did all I could to “be with” Source without Source. Of course there are stories about when, where, with whom, maybe why, etc. I continued to HOPE for something Greater, searched deeply, as well as prayed many times daily, but could not find nor did I feel any evidence of this. This went on for a very long time (25 years is no exaggeration.) “Overculture’s overreach” indeed! Nowadays, though I do not have my old faith or knowing, I tell my overactive cynical voice of ego that what I do now see of other worlds, of that which is Greater, of Love, ARE real. My way now seems to be plunged in Mystery, but hey, I’m willing to swim in it! Full enlightenment with visions and other mystical experiences would sure be nice . . . . but in the meantime, here I am, finding true self, standing in Love, as best I can. Your notion of “God’s Business” for that which we do not or cannot understand is helpful. And this sentence, ” All my not knowing mysterious matters of sudden twists of fate, tragedy, abject and relentless suffering, goes to G-d, for I am far too unable in and of myself to understand, in part because I have to/ must save the instrument, care for the gift I carry, so I can strive to fulfill my callings in our world,” carries a message for me about fulfilling callings. While I do not “feel” calling, there is some way in which I do KNOW that I have calling. Thank you again for engaging in this. Will see you at Wounded Healer.
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