“In the light, there is a darkness and in the darkness, a light. It is the way with us all. Be a prisoner of neither Bogan nor Ashla. Strive to live in balance. As Tython itself teaches us, it is dangerous to do otherwise. And the danger is there—always.”
~Ketu – Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm 1
The Je’daii Order was an ancient organization unified by its belief and observance of the Force on the planet Tython, in the galaxy’s Deep Core. Focusing on maintaining a balance in the Force, a state at which Tython was itself hospitable, the Je’daii saw the Force as three aspects of a whole; the Ashla (light), the Bogan (Dark), and the Bendu (balance). They saw this duality in the Force represented in the night sky of Tython in the form of two natural satellites; one bathed in light, the Ashla, another shrouded in darkness, the Bogan. In keeping with their view of balance, Je’daii who fell too far to either the light or dark were exiled to one of the moons to meditate until they returned to balance.
~Copied from Wookipedia
With the current plot of Rebels teamed with Luke’s ominous words in the trailer for The Last Jedi, many people are discussing the possibility of Grey Jedi becoming a thing as well as just the Force and Jedi in general. Just this past Friday, I went in for a fitting for a Amazon series I am working on this week, and ended up in a debate with one of the crew guys, who was all excited that he thought Star Wars was going Grey Jedi. I cannot say what Disney/LFL plans, when you look at the origins of the Jedi though (at least within legends), the balance between dark and light was the whole focus of the Jedi.
Extremes are usually bad, and the original Jedi order knew that. Too much food will make you sick and overweight. Too little food will make you malnourished. Too little sun will cause Vitamin D deficiencies and possibly depression (those who have experienced Seasonal Affective Disorder can attest to this), too much sun can result in skin cancer. To little water and you can become dehydrated, too much water can cause hyponatremia (the inside of cells flood due to abnormally low sodium and electrolyte levels in your blood stream) and can lead to seizures, coma, and even death. ANYTHING in excess is bad, the key is to find moderation.
This is true too with the Force. The appearance of the unrelenting lawman is a popular trope in fiction; the character that follows the law to the letter and makes no exceptions for any reason. This person is often a villain, and ends up either learning the error in their ways, or ends up destroying themselves (think Inspector Javert from Les Miserables, who after realizing the man he spent his life chasing is not the evil villain he made him out to be, commits suicide because he is unable to reconcile his world to this reality). This is ultimately what happen to the Jedi Order.Not only did they become too focused on following the “light side” of the Force, but they got lost in the political and war time extremes that came with serving the republic. They lost the stance that Qui-Gon enforced when on Naboo; “I can only protect you, I cannot fight a war for you.”
The Jedi as they were had fallen too far twords the Ashla, as it were, and needed to find balance once again, as was we all on our own Jedi paths, as well as in all the paths we pursue in our lives.