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Siegfried: Page 731
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And thus, Wotan, reborn ignorant of his past lives and true identity in Siegfried, seems to have attained the goal which he once confessed to Bruennhilde was futile, the transcendence of one’s own self, the creation of a new identity unbeholden to one’s own past history and circumstances, freed from all pre-condition and causation (fate) itself:

“… he [Wagner] adds, ‘Yes, love up to the point of complete union is just suffering, yearning.’ I: ‘And complete union achieved only in death – the whole of ‘Tristan’ is saying that; this is what I constantly feel, I feel myself as an obstacle which I long to burst through. And yet I want as an individual to be united with you in death – how can one explain this?’ R.: ‘Everything that is remains, what one already has persists, freed entirely from the conditions of its occurrence.’ “ [803W-{7/25/71} CD Vol. I, p. 396]

Ironically, perhaps, Valhalla does not truly go to its doom with the rebirth of man’s religious impulse in the music-drama, the loving union of Siegfried the artist-hero with his muse Bruennhilde, in spite of Bruennhilde’s ecstatic invocation of the twilight of the gods at the climax of her figurative sexual union with Siegfried. Valhalla (the old, original Valhalla, abode of the gods) only goes to its doom when both Siegfried and Bruennhilde have betrayed their love in Twilight of the Gods, and solely as a consequence of the fact that they succumb to Alberich’s curse and go to their own doom. The point Wagner is making is simply that man’s religious impulse lived on in his secular art until the moment when, according to Wagner’s personal mythology, he himself betrayed the unspoken secret of his (and mankind’s) unconscious artistic inspiration to the light of day. Only then did man’s last remaining, vestigial religious impulse die out, according to Wagner. And that is the subject of the last music-drama of the Ring tetralogy, Twilight of the Gods.

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