Contemporary English Version
When the lights first come on in the morning, they are blinding in their brightness. You can't see a thing as your eyes adjust to the light. In the same fashion, turning out the lights at night at our house means shuffling feebly along, hoping you don't step on a toy you might have missed before the lights went out and you were blinded for the first few minutes. It takes a second to get used to the darkness.
When Jesus comes, the light that shines in the darkness was suddenly very present on earth, and it was clearly blinding in its intensity, disorienting so many people who were seeking God. They turned away from the light because of how different it was from their darkness -- rather than force their eyes to adjust to this new reality, they turned to the familiarity of the darkness and shielded themselves from the light.
Accommodating to the reality of Christ in our lives is challenging. We have to alter our vision from what we are accustomed to, and adapting to daily dependence on the Holy Spirit is not easy. It takes a constant commitment to be uncomfortable until we adjust to the reality of God's love and unconditional grace.
It is a stark contrast between the two, and it might be tempting to choose what is easy. But to live in the light... that is the life that is truly life, the eternal and wondrous life God has in store for us!