It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better (Ecclesiastes 7:1-3).
In general, Kabbalah teaches that a person should think about what his life amounts to. King Solomon reached the answer. He was at a very high kabbalistic level.
Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) is a great book written by him from what is called the left side of creation (kav small, left line). King Solomon reveals the questions one should ask oneself and the required search for answers, otherwise one’s life would be meaningless.
When King Solomon says, A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth, he means the day of death of the ego in a person and his ascent to the next degree. King Solomon achieved this, therefore he is considered the wisest of all. That is, he absorbed the entire light of wisdom precisely because he prepared himself for spiritual ascent.
The Book of Zohar has a whole chapter dedicated to Ecclesiastes. It reveals what is written in the light of Kabbalah, the light of the entire structure of the universe, and explains how a person should enter Ecclesiastes in order to see this world, this ascent, and this perspective through the eyes of King Solomon.
True perspectives are being revealed before us. It turns out Solomon was right to say that sorrow is better than laughter because in this a person sheds his former shallowness, pride, and empty fulfillment to arrive at total devastation. Before that, he never questioned the true meaning of life. He simply existed like a small animal. But once he arrives at this question, he must find an answer to it.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Summing Up” 4/7/10