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The Ring of the Nibelung
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imagination, a God? What inconsistency, what wrongheadedness! The source of the skull and the brain is also the source of the mind … .” [241F-LER: p. 154]


[242F-LER: p. 154-155]

[P. 154] “But the spirit and its activity – for what is the spirit but mental activity, hypostatized and personified by human imagination and language? – are also physical activity, the activity of the brain, which differs from other activities only insofar as it is the activity of a different organ, namely, the brain. But … because the activity of the brain is the most hidden, withdrawn, soundless, and [P. 155] imperceptible activity, man has come to look upon this activity as an absolutely disembodied, inorganic, abstract being, to which he has given the name of spirit. But since this being owes its existence solely to man’s ignorance of the organic conditions of thought and to the imagination with which he compensates for his ignorance; since this ‘spirit’ is therefore merely a personification of man’s ignorance and imagination, all the difficulties it involved are dispelled.” [242F-LER: p. 154-155]


[243F-LER: p. 155]

“The mind, to be sure, is the highest part of man; it is man’s badge of nobility, which distinguishes him from the animals; but first in man is not first in nature. On the contrary, what is highest and most perfect is the last and latest. Thus to make mind or spirit into the beginning, the origin, is to reverse the order of nature. But it pleases men, in their vanity, self-love, and ignorance, to believe that what is qualitatively first preceded everything else also in time.” [243F-LER: p. 155]


[244F-LER: p. 156]

“ …a few modern theist thinkers or philosophers of religion abandoned the old doctrine of a creatio ex nihilo [creation from nothing], which is a necessary consequence of the notion that the world sprang from the spirit – for where is this spirit to derive matter, the material substances, if not from nothingness? – and transformed God Himself into a material, corporeal being, precisely in order to explain the world through Him. (…) Schelling and Franz Baader have argued this doctrine. But it originated with certain older mystics, notably Jakob Boehme, who was born in 1575 in Oberlausitz and died in 1624. A Shoemaker by trade, Boehme was undoubtedly a most extraordinary thinker. He distinguished positive and negative attributes in God, light or fire and darkness, good and evil, mildness and severity, love and wrath, in short, spirit and matter, soul and body.” [244F-LER: p. 156]


[245F-LER: p. 156]

“ … all of us are materialists before we become idealists, we all serve the body, the lower needs and senses, before we rise to spiritual needs and sensibilities … .” [245F-LER: p. 156]


[246F-LER: p. 159]

“ … for all his extravagant faith, man is unable to repress or relinquish his natural human reason, which tells him that extradivine things or beings act independently. This is particularly true of the

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