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The Valkyrie: Page 316
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well. One must keep in mind that though Alberich, unlike Wotan, does not embrace Erda, Mother Nature, in loving union, Alberich alone embraces Erda’s knowledge of all that was, is, or will be, i.e., the real world, objectively. I’ll first indicate the Feuerbachian background for this extremely important concept and follow up with a couple of Wagner’s paraphrases.

In our first passage from Feuerbach which follows, he at first, as in so many passages I’ve already cited, links the nature of the brain, the human mind, with Godhead, but also notes, more to our present purpose, that this very brain that created the gods reaches down to “… the great mystery of productive nature, the ground of creativity … “ (i.e., sexuality):

[P. 210] … the human really has a brain – An organ that raises him to the gods, That is not destined for service to a self-oriented life, But ascends on high to truth alone – … the brain is an organ that reaches down To the great mystery of productive nature, even to the ground of creativity, … it sinks humanity into the depths of everlasting unity, [P. 211] Even to the ecstatic loss of the miserable self … .” [29F-TDI: p. 210-211]

And it is precisely here, in our creative sexuality (which gives birth to new life), that we lose our individuality, exist solely as an instinctive member of our species, and ultimately merge with Mother Nature (Erda) herself, acting solely from unconscious, natural necessity:

“Nature is … blind and without understanding; it is what it is and does what it does, not intentionally, not with knowledge and will, but of necessity; or if, as we should, we include man in nature – for he too is a natural being or creature – its only reason is human reason.” [255F-LER: p. 171]

And in the following extract Feuerbach distinguishes “Love,” as a supreme instance of this instinctive, natural necessity, from what he describes as the arbitrary, power-oriented nature of the conscious will. This power-oriented will is expressed both in Alberich’s longing for the worldly power which only the Ring, #19, the human mind and the knowledge it acquires, can offer us, and in Wotan’s longing for a refuge for man’s belief in his transcendent value, which only Valhalla (#19>#20a) - man’s belief in a heavenly realm of redemption from the real world which Alberich forces us to confront – can give us:

“Love acts from necessity, personality from will. Personality proves itself as such only by arbitrariness; personality seeks dominion, is greedy of glory; it desires only to assert itself, to enforce its own authority. The highest worship of God as a personal being is therefore the worship of God as an absolutely unlimited, arbitrary being. Personality … is indifferent to all substantial determinations which lie in the nature of things; inherent necessity, the coercion of natural qualities, appears to it constraint.” [168F-EOC: p. 320]

In another example of Feuerbach’s thinking on unconscious natural necessity, below, he traces both artistic and scientific creativity back to it, in a way which might appear at first to contradict my

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