Yes, I know this experiment looks ridiculous. Who would imagine that letting darkness out of a bottle could affect anything? And who says darkness is something that fits in a bottle, anyways?

But, you see, it’s a way of making a point: darkness is not a thing. It’s just an absence of light. Just like cold is an absence of warmth, silence is an absence of sound and zero is an absence of anything at all.

And evil is nothing more than an absence of goodness.

Now, this lesson is a very practical one. If you had a dark basement and you thought darkness was a real something, you wouldn’t just screw in light bulbs. You would first start up a war with the darkness, to weaken it or chase it away. You might even be afraid to bring some light into there, since the darkness might conflict with it, or even dirty it up a little.

But since you know that darkness is no more than an absence of light, you do the wiring, install the light fixtures, bring in some light, and now you can even bring in the ping-pong table.

The same with fighting all the challenges of life. You might choose to go head-on with battering ram and catapult against the obstacles holding you back in life. You might even put aside all the good things you are doing, to focus your energies on a full assault against all that rotten stuff out there. Argue with the boss, criticize your spouse, tell off the kids, complain about the weather, the recycling, the traffic and everything else that needs fixing.

What a waste of energy! What you really need to do is focus even more intensely on light. Talk about whatever good people are doing and they’ll do more. Praise your wife’s dinner or your husband’s smile. Catch the kids doing things right. Look at whatever you are doing that is good, and grab more of the same. Instead of being a darkness buster, become a lamplighter—and one bright morning you’ll wake up and find the darkness has dissipated away.