The Force was a metaphysical, binding, and ubiquitous power that created the Universe and held enormous importance for many monastic orders. Known also as The Way and God, the Force was viewed in many different aspects, including, but not limited to, the Light Side, the Dark Side, the Unifying Force, and the Living Force.
The first two aspects were concerned with the moral compass of the Force, as manifested by the conduct and emotions of living creatures who were themselves part of the fabric of the Force. The light side of the Force was the facet aligned with compassion, selflessness, self-knowledge and enlightenment, healing, mercy and benevolence, while the dark side of the Force was the element aligned with hatred, fear, covetousness, anger, aggression, jealousy and malevolence. The latter two aspects were defined by prominent Jedi philosophies: The Unifying Force essentially embraced space and time in its entirety while the Living Force dealt with the energy of living things. Though the Force was categorized in this way, there were no specific abilities or powers that were only usable by a follower of a different path of the Force; the Force partially existed inside the life forms that used it, and drew energy from their emotions.
Some beings, believed that the dark side of the Force was more powerful than the light, though it was possible that the dark side was just more tempting to those who used it (or desired to use it). Many other beings thought of the Force as an entity capable of intelligent thought, almost as a sort of deity.
The Force was thought to flow through every living thing, and its power could be harnessed to tap into the Force to perform acts of great skill and agility as well as control and shape the world around them. Sometimes this ability was described as having a strong Force "aura".