There is a different kind of darkness, one that is simply the opposite of light. Not opposed to light. Just it's opposite.

This darkness is no more antagonistic to light than shade is to sunlight, or sleep is to waking. While it may not contain wisdom, it is far from stupid. Though it may not be good, there is no evil within it.

This darkness of which I speak has no negative qualities such as sadness, fear or despair, though sadness, fear and despair may be gateways to this darkness; just as this darkness may be a gateway to sadness, fear and despair. But once we discover that darkness is every bit as good as light, though of a very different quality, this need not be so.

Imagine this darkness not as the absence of light, but as a thing unto itself. Stuff of a different consistency than light. For a different purpose, but a purpose all its own.

This darkness surrounds you, awaits you, offers itself to you. It is what allows you to be; it is material from which you can create the world.

The darkness of which I speak is the playground of the imagination, of creativity, of your deepest self.

It is your friend, an ally that is willing to be whatever you wish or need it to be. Sometimes it becomes things you'd rather it not, but which you need it to be from a part of yourself deeper than the self that thinks it knows what you need.

Children know this darkness well. From it, they create monsters and angels when alone in a darkened room. They create from it companions for the times when they are alone and cannot stand to be alone. Some children, those who are alone too often and for too long, create whole worlds, populated and sculpted, in which they live and find their place. Some children create from this darkness a world in which they find the love that does not exist in the world of light, or safety from the danger that daylight brings, or peace from a house too chaotic and violent than their developing selves can tolerate. Adults do this, too.

In darkness, feelings and fears release and take form. From darkness, the self creates a reality now external to itself with which it can come to terms on terms that within the world of light are weighted too heavily against it.

Without darkness, how could you know love if your daylight world contained no love? Where would you find refuge from hate, if darkness did not allow space for your visions of paradise? On what could you envision the future, if darkness left no untrod landscape for the unknown? Into which space could you project your creativity, if darkness left no room for the as yet uncreated?

This darkness is thick, not airy like light. It is a substance available for manipulation. And you manipulate it, form it with your mind and with your feelings, with your imagination and your creativity. You form it with your need and with your desire. With your longing and with your loneliness. You can shape it with hope and with vision. With ambition and with foresight.

This darkness is so benevolent that it will literally be whatever you wish or need it to be. With it you can create the world. And from it the world will become anything you wish or need it to be.

If darkness had no substance then this could not be. Then your thoughts would remain your thoughts, and your imagination locked within your head. But because darkness has substance, translucent and opaque as it may be, it allows you to create from it form, the form that projects your imagination into the outer world and gives it substance.

In darkness, you can see both within and outside of yourself the shape and texture that you envision within your mind; a shape and texture, form and personality, character and soul that you create from within yourself and ascribe to the world as you encounter it. And in this way you create the world. And the world needs you to create it just this way or the world would not have created you.

Because of darkness the world has need of you. Because of darkness the world allows you to be. Out of darkness you were formed. From the substance of darkness, in the space it permits, do you find your individuality, your very self.

For if there was only light there would be no space for you. The world would simply be as it is with you or without you. All eyes would see the same, all hands would have the same sensation. Light would fill the world, all would be revealed, and where would there be space for you?

And so, benevolently, the light that once filled the world contracted to make space for you. And left in its place darkness, the stuff of darkness with which the world could be created, with which you could create the world.

Darkness is the potential for discovering self and individuality, inner resource and strength, courage and curiosity. It is the place in which we are alone and come to know ourselves. In light, we are connected, merged, one. In darkness we exist. In light, we remain receptive, protected, loved. In darkness, alone, singular, and unique. In darkness we must be creative and strong, lest we dissolve and collapse, retreat and withdraw from the threat of the unknown and the feelings it engenders.

In darkness our creativity and imagination find room. In light they are dissolved, overcome by the stark reality of existence given solid, irrefutable reality by the brilliant, clear light that leaves no room for doubt or fear or curiosity, nor need for courage, flexibility, or interpretation. In light, there is no need for us. In darkness, we get to be a source of light.

But darkness is good only when bond and bounded by light. Unbounded, darkness grows evil. It runs amok. It transforms the playground of imagination to the haunt of nightmares. Uncontained, darkness becomes both the cause of fear and despair, and the place in which they now exist.

Without light — without the moment in which the light in our room goes on and we see the chair as chair and not as monster, the lamp as lamp and not as angel, the other as other and not simply the projection of our desire and need, the world as world and not only the figment of our imagination — we would be so uncontained and without limits as to be without ability to survive our own creation.

We would be so singular and alone that we would die, G‑d forbid, from heartbreak and isolation. There would be no other whom we could love or be loved by. No shared reality. No protection or security. No truth. No G‑d. No world to be singular within.

And without a world to benefit from our singularity, what purpose would there be for us to be at all?