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Twilight of the Gods: Page 835
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And this proves another point. For all those who believe that the sorrowless youth eternal which Freia’s golden apples provide the gods is just an expression of Freia’s nature as the goddess of love, Bruennhilde’s renunciation of the gods’ eternal joy is a renunciation of all that Freia represented, including presumably transcendent love, but especially religious faith’s promise of immortality. Feuerbach said, and Wagner agreed, that the only immortality is the remembrance of heroic, morally upright deeds, and inspired works of art, which are ageless and universal. The promise of Freia’s golden apples of sorrowless youth eternal is nothing more, Bruennhilde is suggesting, than the satisfaction of egoism and the alleviation of existential fear, and has nothing to do with love.

Another irony is that Bruennhilde has now proclaimed Alberich’s Ring not only as the embodiment of the love she and Siegfried share (though it could only be forged by renouncing love), but furthermore, she says it is worth more to her than the gods’ eternal joy. But in fact Alberich’s Ring, represented motivally by #19, was the foundation of the gods’ eternal joy, since #19 evolved into #20a (Valhalla) during the transition from R.1 to R.2. The gods’ glory was itself the product of Alberich’s egoistic quest for power over the world, and now Siegfried and Bruennhilde have not only taken aesthetic possession of Alberich’s power, but their love is predicated on it. And there we have it: #134, the new religion of art, is itself the product of Wotan’s wish-fulfillment, the product of egoistic impulses Wotan found so loathsome that he could not bear to speak them aloud (i.e., consciously), and instead repressed them by consigning them to the womb of his wishes, his unconscious mind Bruennhilde. The Waelsung race of heroes (including Siegfried), and Bruennhilde and her Valkyrie sisters, are all products of Wotan’s fear of the truth, and therefore of Alberich’s Ring of power. We could not, as Wagner said, desire the restoration of innocence, or grasp what innocence means to us, until we had lost it. These facts insure that Siegfried’s and Bruennhilde’s love is predestined to destruction, since this love is founded on that which is antithetical to its very being. Love was perhaps unwittingly invented as a reaction against the truth.

[T.1.3: G]

Bruennhilde having abandoned Waltraute, her other Valkyrie sisters, the gods, and the heroes of Valhalla, to their fate, Waltraute berates Bruennhilde for her lack of loyalty, her infidelity, to which Bruennhilde responds forcefully that Waltraute should take herself hence and never return:

Waltraute: (#82:) Is this your loyalty (:#82)? (#51:) So, in grief, would you lovelessly send your sister away (:#51)?

 

Bruennhilde: (#82:) Betake yourself hence; (#51:) fly off on your horse: you’ll never take the ring from me (:#82; :#51)!

 

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