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Siegfried: Page 497
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education, the hereafter in heaven for the hereafter on earth, that is, the historical future, the future of mankind.” [316F-LER: p. 281]

It is this future world, founded on scientific knowledge and technology (but which according to Wagner will very likely lead to the perpetual enslavement of man by man), for which Alberich is hoarding his treasure. However, because Wotan’s metaphysical longing for transcendent human meaning makes him dissatisfied with what the real world has to offer, he is figuratively a Wandering Jew, or Flying Dutchman, who can’t find his redemption in this world, even though he, Light-Alberich, continues to accumulate Alberich’s hoard of knowledge:

“I read ‘The Nibelung Myth’ and ‘Siegfried’s Tod’ and talk to R. about them. Later he tells me that he originally designed this more in the mode of antiquity; then, during his secluded life in Zurich, he became interested in Wotan’s downfall; in this work he was more a kind of Flying Dutchman.” [957W-{1/23/79} CD Vol. II, p 258]

[P. 307] The figure of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ is a mythical creation of the Folk: a primal trait of human nature speaks out from it with heart-enthralling force. (…) The Christian, without a home on earth, embodied this trait in the figure of the ‘Wandering Jew’ [Wotan]: for that wanderer, forever doomed to a long-since outlived life, without an aim, without a joy, there bloomed no earthly ransom [neither the Dutchman nor Wotan the Wanderer can find any basis for the belief in man’s transcendent value in the real, objective world]; death was the sole remaining goal of all his strivings; his only hope, the laying-down of being [The Dutchman’s and Wotan’s willing of “Das Ende”]. At the close of the Middle Ages a new, more active impulse led the nations to fresh life: in the world-historical direction its most important result was the bent to voyages of discovery [and scientific research into the actual nature of things, which produced a hoard of objective knowledge]. (…) [P. 308] Like Ahasuerus, he [the “Hollandic Mariner”] yearns for his sufferings to be ended by Death; the Dutchman, however, may gain this redemption, denied to the undying Jew [who, according to Wagner, can’t be redeemed because he is limited to the real world], at the hands of – a Woman who, of very love, shall sacrifice herself for him [Senta in The Flying Dutchman, Bruennhilde, the muse for secular art, in the Ring.] This yearning for death thus spurs him on to seek this woman; …. she is … the longed-for, the dreamt-of, … the Woman of the Future.” [i.e., the muse for Wagner’s music-dramas, his secular substitute for lost religious faith] [562W-{6-8/51} A Communication To My Friends: PW Vol. I, p. 307-308]

Wotan informs Mime that in his travels he has, through his knowledge, helped many solve their problems, specifically the “Noth” that gnawed at men’s hearts. Wotan here is speaking of an entirely different kind of knowledge than the practical and even theoretical knowledge of the world which grants man the ability to grasp his world and tailor it to his needs, the knowledge which grants man power. He is speaking now of those psychological problems which religious belief and art address, such as the disconnect between our ethical and artistic values, and longing for transcendent meaning as expressed in religion, on the one hand, and our practical concerns as well as objective knowledge, on the other. But Mime, further establishing himself as Wagner’s archetype for the rude masses of men, the “rabble,” who trouble themselves only about their immediate needs and advantages, and have no concern with truth or beauty for their own sake [See 442W], tells Wotan that he is solitary and wishes to remain alone, and has just as much knowledge as he needs to get by, and therefore needs no more. Naturally, we hear #41, the Nibelung Labor

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