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Siegfried: Page 561
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Wagner captured this complex array of ideas behind Wotan’s covert intent to make Siegfried his heir in the following passage, in which he says that the Ring shows us the necessity of acknowledging natural necessity, or change, and yielding to it, as Wotan does when he acknowledges the need to go under, so that he can give birth to his ideal self, Siegfried, who will live on after him and be his heir:

… the remainder of the poem is concerned to show how necessary it is to acknowledgechange, variety, multiplicity and the eternal newness of reality and of life, and to yield to that necessity. Wodan rises to the tragic heights of willing his own destruction. This is all that we need to learn from the history of mankind: to will what is necessary and to bring it about ourselves. The final creative product of this supreme, self-destructive will is a fearless human being, one who never ceases to love: Siegfried. – That is all.” [615W-{1/25-26/54} Letter toAugust Roeckel: SLRW, p. 307]

When Wagner says that the ever-loving Siegfried is the final product of Wotan’s self-destructive, self-sacrificing will, we recall that Bruennhilde described herself as Wotan’s will, and that it was by virtue of planting Bruennhilde, Wotan’s wish-womb, with the seed of his confession, that Bruennhilde was metaphysically able to give birth to the free hero Wotan had longed for, Siegfried. Religion as a set of beliefs, a faith, contradicted by knowledge, must die, in order that the savior, who will preserve religious feeling in secular art, safe from refutation, can live. But then, we must remember also that Wotan castigated Bruennhilde for living for feeling alone while Wotan was forced to consciously confront the contradictions of necessity (Noth). It is implicit that both Siegfried and Bruennhilde will ultimately pay a high price for living for love (feeling) alone, as Wotan suggested, and that this will transpire when the fact that their allegedly free and spontaneous love is exposed as covert religion, as Valhalla rebuilt.

Alberich is taken aback, downright shocked, by Wotan’s newfound self-confidence in the face of certain destruction, and can’t initially grasp what tricks Wotan may be up to (this may explain the occasional repetition of #101, representing cunning, during this scene), but nonetheless he asserts that so long as the gold glints in the light, i.e., so long as it is still possible to bring knowledge of the truth (his hoard) to the light of day, he will ultimately overthrow the illusions, the veil of Wahn, which sustain the gods’ rule over men. Wagner described his fear of the inevitability of this future victory of cold science over both religion and art (i.e., modes of thought – expressions of the Ring’s power - tempered by the heart, by music, as it were), a victory which Alberich contemplates as he describes himself as the one who keeps watch, as the one who “knows,” in Wagner’s following critique (cited previously) of the historical school (of which Nietzsche was a part). I cite it here at length because it describes in detail the actual subject behind the allegory of the twilight of the gods, which Alberich contemplates and Wotan fears:

[P. 74] “But the dauntless judge of all things human and divine, the latest product of the Historical school of applied philosophy [Nietzsche], will never touch an archive not first subjected to the tests of Chemistry or [P. 75] Physics in general. Here all necessity for a metaphysical explanation of those phenomena in the life of the universe which remain a little unintelligible to purely physical apprehension is rejected with the bitterest scorn. So far as I can understand the doctrines of the pundits, the upright, cautious Darwin, who pretended to little more than an hypothesis, would seem to have given the most decisive impetus to the reckless claims of that historical school by the results of his researches in the province of biology [consider how desperately Wotan, the alleged

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