Here’s a pretty detailed rambling about the Force from George himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68dvgRT3Kx8
Lucas talks about the dark side as selfishness versus the light side as selflessness.
From video: “And you want to keep it in balance.” ^(following left/right arm movements reminiscent of a metronome)
Selfishness is dark side. The dark side itself is not the anger, greed, hatred, fear, jealousy, etc. - those are all just extensions of self-preservation and greed - manifestations of the extent you are passionate about what you desire. How angry or scared you are, defining how far you’re willing to go in your actions. What you want, how much you want, as correlative to what you’ll do to keep it. Serving only yourself and those desires - following a path paved by those intentions - is imbalance.
And it’s easy because at their basest level those feelings are natural, “biological pleasures” as Lucas puts it. You can want innocuous things, you can even want good things. That’s what makes it dangerous, that’s its power. Where the Light Side requires discipline to maintain, passion and desire is human.
Lucas talks about it as motivated from those tangible, quantifiable things - not occult magic. No side of the Force actually corrupts or controls you. Not any more than a child learning and pushing the limits of what they’re capable of, men earning money and status, or a politician with “power” in an authority sense. If anything, you corrupt it. The Force within yourself.
Lucas says that Force remains in balance when you follow its will. But he makes it a point in the video’s opening lines to say that you still have free will. A choice to reject it if you want to.
TLJ adheres to that point and tries to reiterate that almost to a fault (since a lot of ppl don’t like Luke’s arc in it. Or Poe’s. Or Finn’s. Even Rey’s for that matter). Luke talking about the “balance in nature between light and dark” is in a conversation all about the Force within oneself. The natural balanced energy that Rey could feel throughout the island as well as within herself. Luke specifically says this doesn’t belong to anybody, nor is it a power you wield. This entire point you brought up as a fundamental misunderstanding, is slavishly adherent to Lucas’s ideas.
great observations here ,also , I think Irvin Kershner should get more recognition for bringing these concepts into Star Wars as well . He is quoted in many interviews as wanting to bring concepts of Zen Buddhism into the saga and it neatly parallels those themes. From The A to Z of Buddhism by Charles S.Prebish The Scarecrow Press Inc . 2001 on Karma -" Sanskrit technical term, literally translated as “action” and referring yo the Buddhist notion that any volitional activity accrues retribution appropriate to the nature of the deed . In the simplestsense,Buddhists believe that any act that is volitional in it’s basis creates a karmic “seed” that will eventually ripen and bear fruit . Volitional acts may be judged to be “good” or “bad” while non volitional acts are generally designated as neutral. For an act to be negatively motivated,it must be motivated by one of the so-called three poisons on Buddhism 1.lust 2.hatred 3.delusion .The opposite of each of these three motivating factors are then necessarily considered as the basis of positive karmic acts .Invariably ,eack individual is presumed to manifest free will in each experiential moment of his or her life ,thus suggesting that one’s station in life is intimately linked to the motivations behind one’s actions.- that sounds a lot like the Force to me ! see also…https://www.kimt.com/content/national/471355904.html Now I should read some Carlos Castenada…