Recently, a client/friend wrote that he had been seeing a psychiatrist for many years who told him that he had "escaped from the dark side" and that "this lifetime is like penance to work off bad karma from past lifetimes." He shared that this was a very disempowering thought and he would prefer to believe that he is creating his own scenarios based on what he believes that he is now. If you believed in a certain kind of cause/effect/karma, you would say such a thing to someone who was struggling in the darkness of depression or confusion. If you believed that it's necessary to "pay for one's mistakes," you might develop a theory about penance.
However, AMAG seems to agree with several philosophers regarding darkness. Thanks to the contrast between dark and light, we are able to see what was invisible to us before. We seem to require darkness of one kind or another before or in order to see the light. Click here for an investigation into several quotations about the value of darkness and light. These philosophers agree that important truths are often revealed only during times of tribulation.