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The Rhinegold: Page 185
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The fact that the promise of Freia - the promise of a transcendent paradise - satisfies the egoistic Giants’ need (in the sense that the artist Loge persuades them to accept as true what is actually illusory, while Wotan must deny them Freia in order to preserve the illusion of transcendent love and immortality for which Freia stands), suggests that we smuggle into our idea of heaven only those earthly things which can be adapted by our imagination to our illusion of divinity, while denying the physical, instinctual origin of the impulses which inspired us to involuntarily invent heaven in the first place. As Feuerbach said:

”Even if that which pleases him cannot exist without being associated with that which displeases him, the subjective man is not guided by the wearisome laws of logic and physics, but by the self-will of the imagination; hence he drops what is disagreeable in a fact, and holds fast alone what is agreeable.” [100F-EOC: p. 137]

Wotan, with Loge’s help, has through “Wahn,” self-deception, in effect persuaded the human ego, the egoistic Giants, to renounce immediate physical satisfaction for the sake of distant symbolic satisfaction, but only by virtue of persuading them that their egoistic fears and desires will have even more substantial satisfaction through this religious illusion than the actual world could ever provide:

[P. 14] “The individual’s egoism is … assumed, and rightly, to be so invincible that arrangements beneficiary merely to the species, to coming generations, and hence the preservation of the species at cost of the transient individual, would never be consummated by that individual with labour and self-sacrifice, were it not guided by the fancy (Wahn) that it is thereby serving an end of its own; nay, this fancied end of its own must seem weightier to the individual, the satisfaction reapable from its attainment more potent and complete, than the purely-individual aim of everyday, of satisfying hunger and so forth, since, as we see, the latter is sacrificed with greatest keenness to the former. … without its [Wahn’s] intervention the [P. 15] the individual in narrow egoistic care for self, would gladly sacrifice the species on the altar of its personal continuance.” [698W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 14-15]

[R.2: Q]

The Giants, having decided that Wotan can fulfill his bargain with them by granting them Alberich’s Hoard of Treasure instead of the originally agreed upon payment, Freia, now grab Freia to hold her in pawn until the gods can redeem her with the treasure. As they roughly haul Freia away the gods gradually begin to show the ill-effects of the loss of her golden apples of sorrowless youth eternal. In other words, with the temporary loss of Freia the gods are exposed as nothing more than mortals:

[The giants make away with Freia intending to keep her unless Wotan ransoms her with the gold by evening]

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