desire and creation

An interesting Jewish psychology features a theme of desire and creativity, similar to Whitehead’s concepts of appetition and concrescence. Here is a key paragraph from the website:

Desire-Creation (“Yetzer – Yetzira”)
The desire-creation model is the basis for a unique approach to sexuality and creativity. In this model, the human organism contains elements that are seemingly opposed (physical desire and spiritual creation). The two have a nuclear connection (both desire and creation, yetzer and yetzira, share a common Hebrew root). Co-existence of opposing principles is possible thanks to the principle of tzimtzum, here there is the dynamic of constriction and expansion; between physical and spiritual desires. This approach, in contrast to Cartesian dualism unifies body and mind. This is the Christian approach where a person conquers his desire and subjugates his body and thus develops his spirituality.

The “Yetzer-Yetzira” desire-creation continuum not only negates the repression of physical desire as a prerequisite for attaining spiritual creation, but it shares energy which may at times be expressed like this and at other times like that. The temporary constriction of physical desire may even serve as a springboard for creative development.

source: Contraction (Tzimtzum) as the Key to Jewish Psychology


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