Dear Essorant, Stephanos, and other interested Folk,
It's not a question that thousands of years of logicians were able to settle with the use of logic. Some of them were almost as bright as were are today. They had to switch gears and actually figure out ways to check it out and see what the facts were. It turns out that it depends on how you deal with it. You can either measure how fast a piece of light is going or where it is but not both on the same piece of light. You can also offer a piece of light a choice of which of two tiny doorways to go through and it will actually go through one and not go through the other but pretend to act as though it did. It's enough to give any decent poet nightmares and delusions of theology.
It is pretty clear, though, that light is given off in little gift wrapped packages that may be bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. There are places where the packs actually seem to be at any one moment in time and places where they aren't. The places where the packages are, for the sake of convenience, we call Light. The places where the packages are not, we call Dark.
This is pretty much purely for convenience, because even in a vacuum little pieces of matter are constantly popping into existence out of nothingness on a regular basis while elsewhere in other places little piece of matter are popping out of existence. What these pieces of matter may be, I certainly haven't the least idea, though there may be physicists who do.
Have I shared my confusion with you sufficiently yet?
I believe that when we're talking about "The Light" and "The Dark" we are talking about concepts that have only some overlap with the presence or absence of photons in any particular place. While the few pieces of information I've shared about my shaky understanding of the nature of light may have some tangential interest, I don't think they have addressed the root of the question we're trying to talk about, which is why are people scared of "the dark?" and what is "the dark" that it should have this effect on us anyway?
Under different circumstances I may be afraid of the absence of photons, but I think I'm more afraid of what dire persons, thoughts and things my imagination will use to populate my own personal darkness. Those contents may or may not overlap with yours. Probably they do, somewhat, but conveyor belts may not feature strongly in your personal darknesses. Your notion of the function of disorder in your darknesses may differ from mine. And what about your personal fears of not having sufficient compassion for others? Or attitudes about race or strangers or religion? What about the nature of evil?
I suspect that's probably "The Dark" that is the darkness most disturbing.
I offer for your consideration this link to a small masterpiece by Anthony Hecht: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2403/
And I pray bless us all.
Sincerely yours, Bob K.