Given the chance, wouldn’t we all jump at the possibility of being completely free from life’s periods of confusion and moments of chaos?
In the beginning… The Earth was chaos and desolate, with darkness… God said, Let there be light… God called the light “Day,” and the darkness He called “Night” (Genesis 1).
Creation. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He created chaos, He created desolation and Darkness. He created Night… And, He created Day, He created Light. This is the history of man, a microcosm. Man encompasses all of creation within himself. All his thoughts and acts mirror, in one manner or another, the Creation and the current state of the world (cf. Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom 77).
The darkness of night and the light of day are much more than changes that occur when the sun either sets or rises. Conceptually, Darkness and Light manifest in many different aspects of our lives. We have good days and dark days. We have times when everything seems to be going our way; when whatever we do works out, and whatever happens to us is right. When this happens, the Day never seems long enough. But we also have times when everything goes the other way; when whatever we do goes wrong, and whatever happens to us is trouble. Then, the Night never seems to end. In this, we are experiencing the process of Creation – and our own creation – over and over again.
Darkness and Light manifest in many different aspects of our lives. We have good days and dark days…
Night falls. And so, “creation” begins. Chaos and confusion, troubles and difficulties, beset a person. His life is suffused with Darkness, a Darkness which seems eternal. Yet, this Nightfall is actually the beginning of Day. It is the beginning of a new stage in life. When we experience the onset Night, with accompanying Darkness and indecision, we must look upon it as a fresh opportunity to learn something new, to experience something different. The Day starts off Dark and depressing, but it ends with Light. Thus, trouble should not be seen as a chance happening, nor as an excuse for depression. It should rather be viewed as an opportunity for a new beginning. If we can understand that this trouble is only temporary, just another stage in life, we can face it better. God gives us the Night, with its confusion and chaos, however, He never intends it to continue forever. Daylight, joy and happiness will follow afterwards. Indeed, without this Night , Day cannot emerge. So, with each Night., with each new trouble, a new age is opening up in our lives. Creation is beginning again.
Another area of life where conceptual Darkness and Light are manifest is our thoughts. “Creation” as an ongoing process also occurs in our minds, as the things we think are always passing through periods of Day and Night. Thus Rebbe Nachman teaches: Day suggests wisdom. Night indicates a lack of knowledge (cf. Likutey Moharan I, 1). Darkness and Nighttime are symbolic of man’s questions and doubts – his state of confusion. Light and Daytime are sybmbolic of solution and clarification – his resolving of personal chaos.
Understandably, Daylight – wisdom and knowledge – is preferred. Who wouldn’t want all his personal questions answered, all his personal problems solved? In fact, given the chance, wouldn’t we all jump at the possibility of being completely free from life’s periods of confusion and moments of chaos? But things just don’t work that way, neither in Creation at large, nor in the particular creations of our daily lives. “The Earth was chaos and desolate, with darkness…” First came Darkness. First came Night. Only afterwards did God say, “Let there be light.”
(Taken from the book Crossing the Narrow Bridge chapter 11 – Day and Night)