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The Rhinegold: Page 135
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In the following passage Wagner virtually paraphrases Feuerbach, suggesting that our mind’s inherent incapacity to find absolute satisfaction of desires in the imperfect world, impels it to posit a perfect realm of being where absolute satisfaction might be possible:

“To the religious eye (der religioesen Vorstellung) the truth grows plain that there must be another world than this, because the inextinguishable bent-to-happiness cannot be stilled within this world, and hence requires another world for its redemption.” [701W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 24]

In other words, Alberich’s “Noth,” his need to compensate himself for what nature did not provide, by seeking absolute power, gives birth to those gods who men imagine have absolute power. In our following extract from Wagner, for instance, he describes how the intensity of our longing for the impossible actually produces it:

[P. 215] “To the natural man this reversal of the Will [Schopenhauer’s “Will”, which is the source of all impulse in nature, from the most basic natural laws to conscious human motives] is certainly itself the greatest miracle, for it implies an abrogation of the laws of Nature; that which has effected it must consequently be far above Nature, and of superhuman power, since he finds that union with It is longed for as the only object worth endeavour. It is this Other that Jesus told his poor of, as the ‘Kingdom of [P. 216] God,’ in opposition to the ‘kingdom of the world … .’ “ [1021W-{6-8/80} Religion and Art: PW Vol. VI, p. 215-216]

Feuerbach goes further and describes how certain unique properties of the human mind, such as the tendency in language to abbreviate experience and draw generalizations from it, led man naturally to imagine the existence of a being in whom these very properties of our mind are freed from the natural limitations which beset us. Where we are mortal, he is immortal. Where we have only partial and imperfect knowledge, his knowledge is complete, total, and perfect, etc., so that in time early men reified the very nature of their symbolic mind and called it god or spirit, with the result that man made the fundamental mistake of seeing what was actually the product of his mind’s capacity to extrapolate perfection from experience - which is imperfect - as being more fundamental and true than physical experience itself, from which our imagination had drawn the materials to construct our supernatural fantasies in the first place:

“The very nature of thought and speech, the requirements of life itself oblige us to make use of abbreviations on every hand, to substitute concepts for intuitions, signs for objects, … the abstract for the concrete, … one cause for many different causes, one individual for different individuals as their representative. In this sense is it perfectly right to say that reason, at least as long as reason, not yet disciplined by observation of the world, regards itself uncritically as the essence of the world, … leads necessarily to the idea of divinity.” [215F-LER: p. 97]

Feuerbach noted that our mind’s ability to generalize from experience, and to seek the universal in the particular, led man to construe his capacity for abstraction, for representing the real world in symbols, as the hallmark of a divine sort of thinking which man imagined could be wholly autonomous from the real world and from the mortal body, as if the abstract, immaterial thought of god, being more primal, real, and essential than physical things, must also have given birth to them. In the following four extracts from Feuerbach he presents a coherent hypothesis explaining how

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