A+ a-
Wagnerheim Logo
Wagnerheim Bookmark System
Twilight of the Gods: Page 813
Go back a page
813
Go forward a page

And therefore Siegfried, from natural necessity, will actually serve science (Hagen) in his very effort (however unwitting and involuntary) to redeem mankind from science, by making what is unconscious, and should have remained unconscious, rise to consciousness as an object of knowledge, Wotan’s hoard of runes:

“… through him [the poet], … the unconscious in the people’s product comes to consciousness, and it is he who imparts to the folk this consciousness. Thus in art the unconscious life of the folk arrives at consciousness, and that more definitely and distinctly than in science.” [468W-{49-51 (?)} Notes for ‘Artisthood of the Future’ (unfinished); Sketches and Fragments: PW Vol. VIII, p. 349]

This brings to mind Alberich’s old prediction in R.3 that he would one day force himself on the gods’ women, without love, and convert Wotan’s heroes to Alberich’s own service: this prophecy is being fulfilled in Hagen’s manipulation of Siegfried to abduct Bruennhilde, so that Siegfried can compel Bruennhilde to wed Gunther, and to restore the Ring, currently in Bruennhilde’s possession, to Alberich. What then is the end result of Hagen’s machinations, and Siegfried’s unwitting implication in Hagen’s ulterior intent? It is that the last refuge of God, the last refuge of man’s religious faith, his futile quest for transcendent value and meaning, will be lost forever, when modern scientific man discredits the old illusory consolations of religion and art and restores an objective awareness of nature’s truth to consciousness, at great cost to human happiness and social order. Here are some of Feuerbach’s most cogent thoughts on this foregone conclusion to world history, that man will supplant all of his dreams of transcendent meaning and value, all of what he calls the mysteries of religion and of love, with the mundane facts of nature and the egoism inherent to all life, followed by Wagner’s reaction of repulsion toward it:

“ … the spirit as conceived of by the theists cannot be explained by nature; for this spirit is a very late product, a product of human imagination and abstraction, which, accordingly can no more be derived directly from nature than a lieutenant, a professor, a cabinet minister, can be directly explained on the basis of nature, though man as such can. (…) … are we to suppose that the head as a physical organ, that is, the skull and the brain, originated in nature, but that the mind within the head, that is, the activity of the brain, owes its origin to a product of our thought and imagination, a God? What inconsistency, what wrongheadedness! The source of the skull and the brain is also the source of the mind … .” [241F-LER: p. 154]

“Man is what he is through Nature, however much may belong to his spontaneity; for even his spontaneity has its foundation in Nature, of which his particular character is only an expression. Be thankful to Nature! Man cannot be separate from it!” [111F-EOC: p. 180]

“ … man’s task in the state is not only to believe what he wishes, but to believe what is reasonable, not only to believe, but to know what he can and must know if he is to be a free and cultivated man. Here no barrier to human knowledge can excuse us. In the realm of nature, to be sure, there are still many things we do not understand; but the secrets of religion spring from man himself, and he is capable of knowing them down to their remotest depths. And because he can know them, he ought to know them. (…) The elimination of this lie is the condition for a new, energetic mankind.” [284F-LER: p. 219]

Go back a page
813
Go forward a page
© 2011 Paul Heise. All rights reserved. Website by Mindvision.