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The Valkyrie: Page 390
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his own art merely served to hide from him the earnest, horrific nature of the real world, in an elaborate complaint about the insufficiency of his own art which I cited previously, in my discussion of the basis of Wotan’s dependence on the trickster Loge, whom I consider the archetype for the artist-hero Siegfried. I reproduce a portion of Wagner’s extraordinary confession below, because it so clearly expresses the despair which belabored Wotan so much that he needed to confess it to Bruennhilde to purge his unbearable consciousness of the bitter truth:

[P. 338] “… this artistic nature of mine [i.e., Wotan’s Loge-nature] is very much a daemon which repeatedly blinds me to the clearest insights and draws me into a maelstrom of confusion, passion and folly … . … there are often moments in my life when I feel so completely annihilated by this insight that I suddenly begin to ask myself whether I can go on living [Wotan – collective, historical man - unable to bear his insight into the egoism underlying all human feeling, thought, and action, has confessed to Bruennhilde that he wishes to end it all.] … such moments occur above all when I see an animal being tormented: I cannot begin to describe what I then feel and how, as if by magic, I am suddenly permitted an insight into the essence of life itself in all its undivided coherency, an insight which I no longer see as mawkish sentimentality but which I recognize as the most genuine and profound way of looking at things … .”

[P. 339] It is at moments such as these that I see the ‘veil of Maya’ completely lifted, and what my eyes then see is terrible, so dreadful that – as I say – I suddenly ask myself whether I can go on living; but it is at this moment that another veil descends, a veil which – however dissimilar it may appear – is ultimately always the same ‘veil of Maya’, in all its artistic forms, which casts me back into the world of self-deception where – gladly (because necessarily), I freely admit, -- I then allow myself to become entangled, often to the point of utter distraction.” [630W-{5/12/55}Letter to Jacob Sulzer: SLRW, p. 338-339]

So Wotan’s suicidal despair has a potential outlet in secular art, the veil of Maya (or Wahn, collective madness as an alternative to suicide), which the artist-hero Siegfried’s loving union with his muse, Bruennhilde, will create. But this expedient, however, will set both Wotan and Siegfried up for an even greater failure, a greater “Fall,” since even the redemptive art in which Wotan can some day lose himself and forget his fear, is predestined to betray its secrets to the light of day, as Alberich foresaw when he predicted both Loge and Wotan’s heroes would eventually betray the gods.

[V.2.2: L]

However, having now resigned himself to his ultimate fate, which will come to fruition at some time in the distant future, Wotan goes through the motions of asking Bruennhilde to fight for Fricka’s honor by fighting against Siegmund for Hunding’s sake, because Wotan’s conscious mind must still sustain mankind’s sole source of transcendent value, the belief in the gods, for as long as this is possible. He ostensibly disavows any further interest in pursuing another path to redemption which he has confessed to his unconscious mind he believes to be futile, but which his unconscious mind Bruennhilde now will take to heart as her sole purpose in life:

Bruennhilde: (alarmed: #83 agitated:) Speak, O tell me, what must your child do now (:#83 agitated)?

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