I was out in the wilderness, alone. It was night and it was very dark. I was not afraid, however, because I had a flashlight.
My flashlight had a straight and narrow beam. It wouldn't light up everything around me all at once, but if I pointed it at something specific, the light was bright enough to see what I wanted to look at.
Later that night, I heard strange noises. I didn't know what was out there, beyond the range of my flashlight. At times, I became frightened. At those times, I would console myself by looking straight into the beam of light. It was hard to see anything else besides the bulb, but that was enough to protect and comfort me when I was feeling lonely or scared.
After a time, I discovered that if all I did was look into the beam of the flashlight, I couldn't see anything else. Then I discovered that if I closed my eyes, or looked away from the flashlight, after a while, my regular vision would come back.
Suddenly, I had a revolutionary idea. What would happen if I turned off my flashlight? Would I become blind? Would my eyes adjust to the darkness? Would an unknown danger leap at me from the darkness? In a moment of excitement coupled with fear, I decided to turn off the flashlight.
A few minutes later, I heard a noise, and was scared. I didn't know what caused it. My eyes still saw nothing but the black darkness. Should I turn on my flashlight? I was scared. I felt more alone than when I had the flashlight turned on.
I decided to wait in the darkness a while longer.
Gradually, I began to be able to make out large shapes in the distance. They were still dark, indistinct blobs, but I could see they were trees. After a few more minutes, I could make out the side of a mountain not too far away. Soon, I could see small rocks and twigs on the ground. I looked up into the dark sky, but it wasn't dark anymore! I saw a sea of stars, too many to count. Instead of black, the night sky looked radiant and glowing.
I looked around, and discovered that I could see more of the world, and appreciate it better, without my flashlight turned on. I was no longer afraid of the dark.
I still loved my time with the flashlight. It gave me peace and comfort when I felt lonely and scared. It showed me the way I thought I should go. It made me feel important and powerful. I could aim my illumination upon any subject I desired. But, without the flashlight, I felt more connected to the fabulous, unexplored world around me. I could actually see more without the flashlight turned on, than I could with it. I was not afraid of the world around me anymore. I could see subtle distinctions in things around me which were lost in the bright beam of light from the flashlight, which would make whatever I was examining seem very white, but turn everything else around me into black. I was glad at the time that I had my flashlight, but I later discovered that it really didn't help me any better than looking at things with my own, adjusted eyesight, and at times made it harder to see the larger picture.
I was no longer afraid, and it didn't matter if I had a flashlight or not.