Were there no darkness we could not know light, were there no sorrow we would never know joy.
Sorrow chisels out a storehouse within the soul, wherein may be stored the things of the spirit. The deeper sorrow carves, the more of these the storehouse will hold. Sorrow digs the well from which are drawn the refreshing waters of compassion and understanding; the deeper the well, the more pure its waters.
Joy and sorrow are inseparable companions, one reveals the other. They enter your life together and thenceforth keep the watches with you. Always one remains by your side, while the other sleeps.
You are suspended in the scales balanced between joy and sorrow, and not until you become an empty body do the balances stand at rest. As life pours out your moulding portion into the scales, so the balances of joy and sorrow fall and rise.
He who sorrows before sorrow is called for is sorrowful for the sake of sorrow; he loves sorrow, for sorrow, like pain, can give pleasure to the abnormal.
He who seeks pleasure among fickle things of no substance can know but the fleeting glance of joy. When kindled, straw blazes up immediately and as quickly fades, but hard timber glows redly for long and its heat lasts.
The afflicting blows of sorrow that strengthen the spirit on the road, that it may stride forward until it reaches green pastures of contentment, are better for man than the soft allurements of pleasure. For these sap the strength from his heart, so that he becomes incapable of enduring distress. For the misty shape of joy too often lures man into the morass of regret, or plunges him into the pool of despair.
~from Chapter 36 of “The Book of Morals and Precepts” within “The Kolbrin”