Baal HaSulam, “Shamati”, 34, “The Profit of a Land“: It is known that nothing appears in its true form, only through its opposite, “as far as light excelleth darkness.” This means that everything points to another, and by the opposite of some thing, the existence of its opposite can be perceived.
Hence, it is impossible to attain something in complete clarity if its parallel is absent.
This principle is inherent in our lives and we use it instinctively, so there is nothing particularly Kabbalistic about it. We always need more light in order to see the difference between light and darkness in contrast. We may also need to darken something a little in order to see the light better.
We always learn about one compared to the other, for example about good and bad. We cannot measure any object or any phenomenon by itself but only in comparison to a state that is opposite from the phenomenon that we want to explore.
Question: Can we say that a person can be happy only if he was miserable before?
Answer: No. A person can be happy and feel miserable at the same time. The two components are created in him and he understands how happy he is now.
This is crucial since otherwise, we see how the state of happiness fades away, especially when it comes to two lovers. They do not understand and cannot appreciate that there can be a state in contrast to the state they feel. This is the reason they lose what they have.
A wise person sustains the two states internally. This is what is referred to by the expression “there is none wiser than the experienced.” This means that no one is wiser than the one who has been through all the opposite states and who can appreciate everything correctly. If he experiences a certain pleasure, he feels something in contrast to it at the same time, so his pleasure is whole.
Question: Is this the secret of a long life together with a spouse?
Answer: It is possible in marriage or in any other relationship in different states. You can appreciate something only if you lose it. There is nothing to be done about it. This is the reason that any early marriage and close relationships do not last long. Basically people with great egoism like today need experience.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah,” 12/15/19