Something doesn't seem to add up.

A person lives for 80, 90 or 100 years to wage an internal battle between his G‑dly and animal soul. But why? Before the G‑dly soul came down into a body, it was connected and one with G‑d. And before the animal soul came down as the energy of the animal soul, it had a higher source and was also connected and one with G‑d. Its source is now hidden, and it appears selfish and negative, only to be inspired by the G‑dly soul.

So what’s the point? What exactly are we accomplishing? Why did the animal soul have to become an energy that potentially opposes G‑dliness, only for the G‑dly soul to elevate it and reveal within it a pleasure for holiness, transforming the bad into good? Why the need for daily wrestling? And why did G‑d create darkness, only to be elevated and transformed into light?

The answer lies in prayer when we reveal an ahava rabba, or “great love of G‑d,” when we pray and meditate. This is not a side hobby for spiritual seekers. This is the purpose of our existence!

Loving G‑d “with all your might” is greater than the love the soul had before it descended to this world, and it can only be achieved down here with an animal soul, by transforming it through prayer.

By working with the darkness and transforming it into light, we are not only restoring it to what it was previously but creating something entirely new and powerful! Specifically, by elevating the animal soul and refining the negativity, we reveal this great love—a quality that cannot be accomplished “up there”! Like it says in Job (12:22): Migaleh amukot mini choshech, “He uncovers deep things out of the darkness.”

This deep and intense love of G‑d is only born out of darkness, out of the desire and longing to return to the source, and out of a deep sense of “missing” the closeness with G‑d.

This is the mission of the soul in this world—to refine the negativity of the animal soul by revealing this great love. The source of the animal soul is so great, yet it is hidden, and when the truth is revealed through the G‑dly soul, it automatically reveals this great love. It’s like taking off a cover and unleashing what’s inside; the energy is just waiting to be released.

It reminds me of the finale of the school plays I used to be in when I was in high school. The curtains would open, and hundreds of girls would come piling out just waiting for their chance to shine. When we contemplate G‑d and His infinite greatness, when we think about G‑d’s infinite love for us, then our love of G‑d comes pouring out—a love that has been waiting to see the light of day.

This concept also sheds light on the deeper meaning of the following verse in the Torah: “If a man has two wives, one beloved and the other despised, and they bear him sons, the beloved one and the despised one, and the firstborn son is from the despised one. (Deuteronomy 21:15).”

Beyond the simple meaning of the verse, there is a lot of deep symbolism. The “beloved” is symbolic of the G‑dly soul, and the “despised” is symbolic of the animal soul. But which has the “firstborn son”? Which has greater power? The “despised” one. The animal soul has more potential to reveal this great and gushing love of G‑d.

And when you look at it like that, suddenly, it all adds up.

Soul note: Darkness is the key to the purpose of creation because only darkness can be the catalyst for the greatest love of G‑d.

Source: Maamar Ki Tihiyena li’ish, in Likkutei Torah as explained in Chassidut Mevueret, Chapters 1, 4 and 7.