“In the beginning, G‑d created the heavens and the earth—that earth being a hyperchaotic mess, darkness over the face of something real deep, and a divine wind hovering over the waters. So G‑d said, ‘Be light!’—and it was light!”

Cut! Let’s read that a little differently. Instead of reading it as an event, let’s read it as a concept forming in G‑d’s mind:

“When G‑d was first considering creating spiritual and material worlds, He imagined a material world that would seem totally empty and meaningless, shrouded in darkness, a real sense of otherness about it, with a sense of His presence as something transcendental hovering beyond it all. And yet, He imagined, all this darkness would exist only in order that it could be transformed into light. And so, eventually, it would become light.”

Which tells us three things:

  1. This world is all about meaninglessness, confusion and darkness.
  2. This world is all about revealing G‑dly light.
  3. Life is about moving things from meaning #1 to meaning #2.

Now doesn’t that explain a lot?

It explains why everything in this world seems so dead-set on confusing, confounding and stomping into the mud any venture you make towards improving it.

It explains why this world is so full of eye-popping freakin’ amazing beauty of unfathomable, deeply intricate structure—for those with open eyes, and especially if they have an electron microscope.

It explains why things so often seem futile and pointless, why so many tragedies occur that make life look meaningless, why each object and event in this world superficially looks like “it’s just here ’cause it’s here.”

It explains why there are those who find meaning in life, create beauty and rejoice in it, but only after a hell of a struggle.

And it explains why all these spiritual gurus keep telling you that to get spiritual, you need to abandon all worldly, material pursuits.

Why? Because the Creator wanted a real good story. Transforming a nice guy into a better guy—what’s the excitement in that? But to create a world that superficially appears in every way as the diametric opposite of G‑d’s oneness, a world that openly denies it was created for any meaning at all or that it has a Creator to begin with—and then to watch the beauty of that world uncovered, its darkness transformed into pure light, its every detail brought to reflect the oneness and magnificence of its Creator—now that’s a real thriller!

Who’s the hero of that thriller? You are. Your mission, which you decided to accept before you even came here, is to unmask the sinister mask of this world and to reveal that darkness is really light in disguise. After all, it all comes from the same, single Creator.

Your worst enemy is your best friend

Now we know something else about this world: When it’s challenging you, misleading you, confounding all your efforts, looking super-ugly and just plain mean—really, it’s on your side. It’s purpose is not to beat you, but to bring out your innermost powers. To make you try harder.

That’s the purpose for which it was created. And what other way does this world have to demonstrate what it’s really all about?

You could sit and meditate all day long, until you perceive a transcendental truth, so clear, so bright, that all else has no meaning.

But the confusing, dark world that you have abandoned will remain dark and confusing.

You could explore its beauty, the majesty of its mountains, the mysteries of its oceans, the impenetrable genius it contains in every atom, the drama of life it nurtures. In all this, if you’re a smart cookie, you could see the infinite depth of G‑d’s wisdom and the endless diversity of His works.

But the ugliness of the world will remain dark and ugly. Darkness has not been transformed, ugliness has not been unmasked.

And really, you would not even have begun to fathom the depths of the divine wisdom—because where is that wisdom and light hidden in its greatest intensity, in all its strength? In that which appears to you as utter, pitch-black darkness.

There’s only one way to transform evil this ugly: by letting it make you stronger

Only when the confusion, the meaninglessness, the ugliness and the darkness itself brings out the innermost core-essence of your divine soul to the point that you say, “You think you can stop me? No way! The harder you try, the more force you give me to defeat you!”

—only then have you ripped off the mask of the whole of creation and said, “Aha! You are really divine light in disguise!”

Because, after all, if it truly were just darkness, what’s it doing sabotaging itself by bringing out your innermost powers?

When darkness strikes, grab the power it is giving you. You will find that power deep inside yourself.

Soon, very soon, all the world will shine. G‑d said, “Let it be light!” That’s what you’re doing right now.