"You are the light of the world."
+ + Matthew 5:14a + +
Light has no opposite.
When light and dark are in contrast to each other, dark loses. It's really weird when you think about it. If you go into a dark room, it is dark because the light has been blocked out, maybe with walls, doors, or blinds and curtains. Night is really just the earth blocking the sun. Shadows are merely an object eclipsing a light source.
So what is darkness? Simply it's the absence of light.
In thinking about it there are a few things I can think of that follow this pattern. Cold is not the opposite of hot, it is absence of it. Science teaches us that when energy is introduced to an object it's particles move faster thus it heats up. So cold is just a lack of heat. The principle is that there are some things that do not have opposites, instead what we think of as opposite is really just one thing in greater or lesser levels. (FYI: I think this conversation is at some level relevant with good and evil.)
Have you ever played hide and go seek in a dark barnyard or the woods? If you have I'm sure you've sat in a shadow and watched barely breathing as a person walks inches from where you're hiding. They couldn't see you because you were not in the light, they were. I've hid in places at night where during the day, I'd be be easily seen.
There are some interesting parallels between this and what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount when he says we are the light of the world.
- first it means that the darkness cannot stand up to the light.
- second, it means that darkness is really just an absence of the light.
- it also means that the issue with defeating darkness is an issue of shining the light into the darkness.
- we like it in the darkness because we can hide there.