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The Ring of the Nibelung
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[192F-LER: p. 14]

“In my more recent works I have given nature precedence over man … .” [192F-LER: p. 14]

 

[193F-LER: p. 21]

“… the being in whom nature becomes personal, conscious, and rational is man. … unconscious nature is the eternal, uncreated being, the first being … in time but not in rank, physically but not morally; man with his consciousness is … second in time, but in rank the first.” [193F-LER: p. 21]

 

[194F-LER: p. 22-23]

[P. 22] “It was my purpose to demonstrate that … the being which man, in religion and theology, sets up as a distinct being over against himself, is his own essence. It was my purpose to demonstrate this so that man, who is always unconsciously governed and determined by his own essence alone, may in future consciously takes his own, human essence [P. 23] as the law and determining ground, the aim and measure, of his ethical and political life.” [194F-LER: p. 22-23]

 

[195F-LER: p. 25]

“… the foundation of religion is a feeling of dependency; the first object of that feeling is nature; thus nature is the first object of religion.” [195F-LER: p. 25]

 

[196F-LER: p. 25-26]

[P. 25] “The ancient atheists, and even a great many theists both ancient and modern, have called fear the ground of religion; but fear is merely the most widespread and obvious expression of [P. 26] the feeling of dependency.” [196F-LER: p. 25-26]

 

[197F-LER: p. 27]

“Certain peoples … have no other word for God than thunder, so that their religion expresses nothing other than the shattering impression which nature’s thunder makes upon man through the ear, the organ of terror. (…) Considering that it was thunder which pounded religion into man, we may … term the eardrum the sounding board of the religious sense and the ear the womb of the gods.” [197F-LER: p. 27]

 

[198F-LER: p. 29-30]

[P. 29] “ … the true reason why fear does not offer a complete explanation of religion is that, once the danger is past, fear gives way to an opposite emotion … . This is the feeling of release from danger, from fear and anxiety, a feeling of delight, joy, love, and gratitude. (…) [P. 30] The feeling of affliction is practical, teleological; the feeling of gratitude is poetic,aesthetic. The feeling of affliction is transient, but the feeling of gratitude enduring; it forms a bond of love

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