3/05/2006

Creativity and Impulsivity

I have a student who is an aspiring Reform Rabbi. In a d’var Torah that she wrote in the past few weeks, she quoted a conversation that we had. We were talking about some ideas of Shabbat observance, and made reference to the following conversation from ‘Matrix Reloaded’:
Councillor Hamann: I suppose we do, but down here sometimes I think about all those people still plugged into the Matrix and when I look at these machines, I.. I can't help thinking that in a way, we are plugged into them.
Neo: But we control these machines, they don't control us.
Councillor Hamann: Of course not, how could they? The idea's pure nonsense, but... it does make one wonder just... what is control?
Neo: If we wanted, we could shut these machines down.
Similar to the ideas expressed in the first ma’amar in Pachad Yitzchak on Shabbos, the idea here is that the things that I accomplish are meaningful to the degree that I’ve chosen them. If I’m motivated by compulsion, then I’m not freely creating. Paradoxically, I am truly creative only when I demonstrate full control over it by ceasing.

This student applied this idea to the role of technology in our lives. The ability to disengage from it – be it the cellphone, AIM, iPod, or whatever, demonstrates that we are not controlled by it. She went on the compare this type of relationship w/ inanimate objects to idolatry.

In any event, it got me thinking about blogging. It’s been a great creative outlet for me, and gives me the opportunity to sort out, articulate, and discuss my thoughts and feelings with others. But can I stop if I wanted? It’s after 1am, and I’m blogging away. Is this creativity or impulsivity? I believe that the two are mutually exclusive.

Maybe, in a few weeks, I’ll try to see if I can step away from it for a full week, not because I want to stop blogging, but because I need to know that I control it, and it doesn’t control me.
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