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Twilight of the Gods: Page 897
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Siegfried, knowledge which nonetheless left Siegfried untaught because for him it remains unconscious, Bruennhilde’s charge that Siegfried has forsworn himself, that he really did force himself upon her sexually, is essentially his muse’s complaint that he betrayed Wotan’s unspoken secret, which Bruennhilde kept for Siegfried, by giving her away to another man (his audience), rather than loyally keeping his oath to preserve the love he owes his muse. Siegfried’s infidelity to his muse consists in his betrayal of the secret of Wotan’s hoard of knowledge, by raising it from the silent depths (Bruennhilde’s protection) to the light of day.

One point of interest in Bruennhilde’s accusation is that she implies Siegfried forced her to grant him her sexual favors, and her love, during his most recent visit when he, disguised as Gunther, abducted her for Gunther. But of course Bruennhilde is alluding to Siegfried’s prior visit when he first woke her and won her love, a visit that, in view of his more recent betrayal of their love, she now views retrospectively as a part of his conspiracy to abduct her. The point is that we must grasp both of Siegfried’s visits to Bruennhilde as instances of his recurring visits to his muse, his unconscious mind, to heal the wounds caused by rising consciousness of the truth, by seeking inspiration for new works of art. The fact that his first visit in S.3.3 represents full-fledged unconscious artistic inspiration, whereas, on his second visit, he did not achieve unconscious artistic inspiration because he separated himself from Bruennhilde with his sword Nothung, indicates that he is gradually becoming too conscious of the formerly hidden processes of unconscious inspiration, to seek inspiration from his muse any longer, and it is in this sense Siegfried has betrayed the love he owes his muse.

The Vassals, in utter turmoil, and accompanied by #150, call upon Donner to silence this disgrace with one of his tempests, recalling Donner’s attempt in the finale of R.4 - as the gods were preparing to cross over into their newly built abode Valhalla - to clear the air of the taint of corruption in Wotan’s hypocritical machinations to secure Valhalla, by calling forth his storm to sweep the heavens clear. Siegfried’s betrayal of Bruennhilde is the culmination of Wotan’s betrayal of his contract with the giants, the tragic consequence of man’s religious impulse, which substitutes illusion for truth. Wotan’s disgrace was that he was entirely dependent upon Alberich’s quest for power, the egoism which forged his Ring of consciousness, in order to give birth to the gods and their abode Valhalla, and even their ideal, Freia. It is precisely this disgrace, the egoism at the root of even Wotan’s longing for transcendence, which Wotan loathed so much that he could not bear to speak it to himself aloud, and therefore repressed it into his unconscious mind Bruennhilde. Thus it was that Bruennhilde expressed her fear in T.P.2, accompanied by #149 and #150, that her merit as Siegfried’s unconscious mind, his protection from the wounds of consciousness of this disgrace, would be too little to sustain his love.

There is another supreme irony in the oath Siegfried swears: he did not, in fact, dishonor Gunther by having sexual relations with Gunther’s wife-to-be, Bruennhilde. It was only through finding inspiration in Bruennhilde’s loving arms that Siegfried could produce those works of redemptive art which helped sustain the Gibichungs’ self-deceit, their bogus sense of honor and glory. But Siegfried could only accomplish this so long as the true nature of his relationship with his muse Bruennhilde, the inner process through which repressed knowledge of the truth, man’s woe (“Noth”), is sublimated into blissful illusion, remained hidden both from himself, and from his audience. But now Siegfried has unwittingly revealed both the mechanism of his unconscious artistic inspiration, i.e., the true nature of his relationship with Bruennhilde, and also the hoard of

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