The principle of openness is central to human science (e.g., phenomenological and hermeneutical) approaches to research where the researcher becomes closely involved with the phenomenon under study. This article addresses both the practical and theoretical challenges that confront the researcher who seeks to be open. It also clarifies the meaning of the concept of openness and considers its relationship to the ideal of objectivity. Openness, it is argued, is neither an enduring state nor a trait but requires an ongoing struggle and has different forms at various stages in the research process. Integral to this process is the experience of "being in the dark" which makes it especially difficult for the researcher to remain open. Various ways of managing this experience are presented.