Darkness makes a big difference to our perception. Whether we can see or not changes our life and whole existence. Everybody knows that. Therefore the experience of total darkness has a disturbing quality for every human being capable of seeing: first there is shocking complete helplessness. But then people start to adapt and to cope with the confusing situation. They use the white cane, they apply other senses for orientation and they start to appreciate those around them like never before.
Darkness is a means of learning which Milton Erickson, one of the most influential systemic thinkers of our times, could have had in mind when he said: ‘Until you are willing to be confused about what you already know, what you know will never become wider, bigger or deeper.’
Learning through confusion and a radical change of our ‘normal’ context marks the difference of learning in the dark, compared to “normal’ training (be it outdoors or indoors). According to Erickson context change is necessary and unavoidable when striving for innovation and progress. It brings up confusion, but we certainly need a phase of emotional ups and downs to learn substantially and to stimulate inner resources. So darkness can function like a perfect catalyst.
(by Antje Boijens, Appendix 7.6 Business case Reasoning for the DID Training Centre at AGI in Munich).«