Shapiro Consolations Critique Part 6

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Shapiro Consolations Critique Part 6

Post by alberich00 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:06 pm

Ultimately, when Alberich says Wotan will be sinning against the real world if he co-opts Alberich’s Ring-power, i.e., if religious belief takes possession of the human mind and cramps its potential, Alberich is accusing Wotan (religious man) of intellectual dishonesty, saying Wotan does not have clean hands with respect to the truth, that Wotan does not have pride enough to acknowledge the truth, since Wotan has arrogantly assumed divine status. Alberich is saying of himself that he has the courage to acknowledge the real world for better or ill, no matter how ugly it appears to him, no matter how ugly he and his kind appear to themselves, but Wotan cannot stomach the truth about himself and his world. Of course this was implicit in Wotan’s reaction of dismay when Loge told him the price he’d have to pay to forge a Ring from the Rhinegold. Feuerbach gave Wagner the impetus for Alberich’s description of Wotan as a sinner, as an immoral man, when he said that religion contradicts morality when it dishonors the truth and understanding:

“In general, wherever religion places itself in contradiction with reason, it places itself also in contradiction with the moral sense. Only with the sense of truth coexists the sense of the right and good. Depravity of understanding is always depravity of heart. He who deludes and cheats his understanding has not a veracious, honourable heart; sophistry corrupts the whole man.” [133F-EOC: p. 246]

Feuerbach summed up this indictment in his drastic assertion that he’d rather be a devil who owns the truth than an angel standing on falsehood:

“ … I would rather be a devil in alliance with truth [Alberich], than an angel in alliance with falsehood [the gods of Valhalla].” [117F-EOC: p. 188]

[P. 21] "... Wagner understood as well as Rousseau that it was simply not possible to recover man’s first stage of innocence. As he explained in 'The Artwork of the Future,' 'the moment we humans … began to develop as human beings and to break away from our unconscious, animal existence as children of nature to wake to conscious life… this was the moment we went astray, error as the first expression of consciousness' (AF 13). Man’s very make-up ensured his alienation from nature. (142)"

[PH: Quotation from the Introduction to www.wagnerheim.com, Pages 103-104:]

One other, very different example of an opportunity [PH: Deryck] Cooke missed will illustrate how I have been able to employ partial insights from prior pioneers in Wagner studies and draw immense benefit from them to develop my coherent account of Wagner’s narrative, leaving the burden of their interpretation behind as unusable within my scheme. Cooke, in a chapter covering the various allegorical subjects embraced by Wagner in his Ring, quotes Wagner at length [Cooke: P. 250-254] on the subject of the evolution of human consciousness, and the development of religio-artistic thought, and scientific thought, which is where my interpretation begins and ends. Cooke has within his grasp in these few passages, and his intelligent commentary upon them, the opportunity to construe the entire plot of the Ring allegory, but misses the opportunity completely. A brief extract from his book will suffice to illustrate:

“At first [i.e., after evolution had produced the human species], humanity followed its natural instincts, which were as follows: (a) a need to wrest from nature the means of existence; (b) a need for communication, which led to the evolution of language; (c) a need for mutual love and fellowship, which led to the establishing of the family and eventually, of society; and (d) a need to explain to itself its relationship to nature, which led to the creation of myths, and thus to religion and art. It is the third of these four instincts which mainly concerns us here – the Need for mutual love and fellowship that led to the establishment of society.” [Cooke: P. 253]

By skipping over instinct (d), the creation of myths, of religion and art, and never invoking it again for the remainder of his study, Cooke misses one of the main allegorical strands of meaning in the Ring. He then proceeds to discuss the influence of the atheist philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach upon Wagner, whose critique of religion and celebration of science and secular art is an influence which I find in virtually every passage in the Ring, but which Cooke quickly passes over without bringing it up again. And an equally fateful omission occurs two pages later, in which he discusses an extract from Wagner in which Wagner paraphrases Feuerbach’s critique of religion:

“This ‘error’ on the part of primitive peoples – the creation of gods and of religion was, Wagner maintained, a magnificent one, since it arose from that natural instinctive need of humanity to explain to itself its relationship to nature, and it led to the creation of the great myths, which were marvelous projections of humanity’s own highest ideals and aspirations. And the factual error itself was eventually corrected by science, which discovered the causes of nature’s effects inside nature.” [Cooke: P. 254]

Within a few pages Cooke leaves this profound subject behind, never to bring it up again for the remainder of his study. But it is the whole affair! The entire plot of the Ring is contained in brief in these few remarks. But Cooke was the first to draw attention to them, and ultimately inspired me to undertake a comprehensive survey of the entire body of Wagner’s writings and recorded remarks, and compare them with the libretto texts of his operas and music-dramas. Had he lived to complete his entire study of the Ring, would Cooke eventually have incorporated these insights? Perhaps, but if one peruses the final chapters he completed in his study of The Valkyrie one finds considerable strain in his efforts to construe the complexities of the plot according to his assumptions.

[PH: Quotation from www.wagnerheim.com, Pages 126-127:]

Wagner, following his mentor Feuerbach, believed as early as the 1840’s that human consciousness arose among man’s animal ancestors through a natural process of evolution, though it wasn’t until he read Darwin much later that he grasped a possible mechanism for this evolution of lower species into man, natural selection. The Rhinedaughters’ rejection of Alberich’s need for love, and their offer of a substitute, power, is Wagner’s metaphor for that epoch in the evolution of life when Mother Nature no longer satisfied man’s need through the gift of natural instinct, so he was forced instead to satisfy his need by compelling nature to provide it, through conscious learning and hard labor.

Here, in a passage first drawn to my attention by Cooke, is how Wagner described this evolutionary process which culminated in human consciousness:
 
“ … where Climatic Nature draws Man beneath the all-sheltering influence of her rankest prodigality, and rocks him in her bosom as a mother rocks her child [think here of Woglinde’s lullaby #4], -- where we must therefore place the cradle of newborn mankind: -- there has Man remained a child forever – as in the Tropics … . (…) Only through the force of such a Need as surrounding Nature did not, like an over-careful mother, both listen for and still at once ere it had scarcely risen, but for whose appeasement he must himself provide, did he gain consciousness not only of that need but also of his power. This consciousness he reached through learning the distinction between himself and Nature; and thus it was that she, who no more offered him the stilling of his need, but from whom he now must wrest it, became the object of his observation, inquiry, and dominion.

The progress of the human race in the development of its innate capabilities of winning from Nature the contentment of those needs that waxed with its ever-waxing powers, is the history of Culture.” [447W-{2/50} Art and Climate: PW Vol. I, p. 252]

[PH: Quotation from www.wagnerheim.com, Pages 137-138:]

Wagner, thanks to Feuerbach’s critique of religion, was very clear-sighted on the subject of man’s evolution from animal forebears at the very time he was writing the libretto for his Ring, the late 1840’s, quite a number of years before he first read Darwin. In our extract below (again, first brought to my attention by Cooke) Wagner provides a Feuerbachian disquisition on the evolution of human consciousness from animal forebears, and how man’s first form of thought, the error in religious mythology, grew out of his newfound gift of abstract, symbolic thought:

“From the moment when Man perceived the difference between himself and Nature, and thus commenced his own development as man, by breaking loose from the unconsciousness of natural animal life and passing over into conscious life, -- when he thus looked Nature in the face and from the first feelings of his dependence on her, thereby aroused, evolved the faculty of Thought, --- from that moment did Error begin, as the earliest utterance of consciousness. But Error is the mother of Knowledge; and the history of the birth of Knowledge out of Error is the history of the human race, from the myths of primal ages down to the present day. Man erred, from the time when he set the cause of Nature’s workings outside the bounds of Nature’s self, and for the physical phenomena subsumed a super-physical, anthropomorphic, and arbitrary cause … . Knowledge consists in the laying of this error, in fathoming the Necessity of phenomena whose underlying basis had appeared to us Caprice. Through this knowledge does Nature grow conscious of herself; and … by Man himself, who only through discriminating between himself and Nature has attained that point where he can apprehend her, by making her his ‘object.’ But this distinction is merged once more, when Man recognizes the essence of Nature as his very own, and perceives the same Necessity in all the elements and lives around him … ; thus not only recognizing the mutual bond of union between all natural phenomena, but also his own community with Nature.” [414W-{9-12/49} The Artwork of the Future: PW Vol. I, p. 70-71]

We can easily grasp this passage’s relevance to the plot of R.1 and R.2, for it is through Alberich’s renunciation by the Rhinedaughters, voices of nature, that he recognizes the difference between himself and his object of knowledge, nature, i.e., the difference between subject and object, or “ought” and “is.” Alberich’s renunciation of love is but a metaphor for man’s rise above dependence on animal instinct, drawing greater power from conscious learning and thoughtful deliberation than from spontaneous instinct. But the first form of thought, arising as it did long before man had acquired sufficient knowledge of nature to grasp it objectively, was religious mythology, which was in most instances in error about the world and man’s true place in it. Wagner here describes history as the process of correcting the false view that the cause of nature (the creator) is outside of nature, i.e., that nature was created by a supernatural god, or that any real being can exist or originate independently of nature. Wagner says that through man’s historical advancement in knowledge he gradually corrects this error. Of course, in the Ring, not only is the creation depicted as an impersonal natural process devoid of the supernatural, but the gods of Valhalla are always depicted as subject to Erda: Wotan is clearly not a creator god, but merely a beneficiary of Erda’s world, which predated the gods. And Wagner describes above the goal of the acquisition of knowledge as making Mother Nature grow conscious of herself in man.

This extraordinarily important extract includes a potential source of confusion for the further development of our allegorical interpretation which it is best to clear up right away, before we proceed. For Wagner employs the term “knowledge” above in two distinct ways, each of which is the others’ antithesis. The first kind of knowledge is objective knowledge of the natural world, which also includes man’s objective knowledge of his own origin and nature. Nature can become conscious of herself in one sense when man, a product of Nature, inquires after his own origin and nature, and becomes a student of the laws of Nature itself, as he does in science. This is what Wagner means in our extract above when he speaks of man making nature his object, his object of knowledge. The second kind of knowledge is what we might describe as intuitive or aesthetic knowledge, knowledge through feeling. Wagner describes this sort of knowledge when he says above that the distinction between the self (the subject), and Nature (the object) is merged, when man recognizes the essence of Nature as his very own. Though he does not say so in this passage, Wagner is speaking here specifically of music, which he describes elsewhere as disclosing to us the inner necessity of all things outside of us, and our unity with them. Grasping this distinction is central to our endeavor to discern the allegorical logic behind the events of Wagner’s Ring, and I will have frequent occasion to draw attention to this distinction as we proceed.

[PH: See Quotation from www.wagnerheim.com, Pages 234-335, previously cited]

[P. 21-22] "Adopting Romanticism’s Rousseauvian agenda, Carlyle had sought to put man back in touch with his intuitive, unconscious nature and to reject the artificial, the mechanical, and other symptoms of 'diseased self-consciousness.' (SR 157) (...) Although he commenced his 1831 essay in the Edinburgh Review – 'Characteristics' – by praising unconscious intuition, Carlyle concluded that essay with an encomium to the accumulated knowledge of mankind: 'So too, Scepticism itself, with its innumerable mischiefs, what is it but the sour fruit of a most blessed increase, that of Knowledge; a fruit too that will not always continue sour?' " (143)

[P. 22] "In the same fashion, Wagner wished for man to return to an unmediated relationship with the instinctive forces of nature. The 'insight of nature' was the 'acknowledgement of the unconscious, the instinctive and thus the necessary, the true, the sensual' (AF 14). But at the same time he also believed, again like Carlyle, that the means to attain this renewal was a Hegelian process of emergent self-consciousness. As he explained, 'out of error knowledge is born and the history of the birth of knowledge out of error is the history of the human species from primitive myth to the present day' (AF 13). This knowledge – fruit of Feuerbach’s teachings – would show that nature was not regulated by some 'external imaginary power,' in short, the 'rules predicated on religion, nationality, or state,' but was defined rather by its own 'necessary,' 'true,' and 'sensual' internal forces. Man would therefore become free only 'when we become joyfully aware of our relationship with nature.' And this joyful self-awareness, Wagner recognized, was the end result of scientific inquiry and knowledge. 'The path of science is one from error to insight, from hypothesis to reality, from religion to nature' (AF 14)."


[PH: Though the following quotation from www.wagnerheim.com proposes a thesis which seems antithetical to the passage from page 22 of Shapiro's book quoted above, in that it explains how through man's advancement in scientific knowledge he will eventually overthrow his religious beliefs, Wagner offered inspired secular art, particularly his art of the music-drama, as the redeemer of dying religious faith, since science's victory over religious faith inspires the secular artist-hero to salvage the soul of religious faith in feeling, i.e, in artistic expression of man's longing for transcendent value and the restoration of lost innocence, art which unlike religion stakes no claim to the truth and its power, leaving it free from refutation by scientific skepsis. Since according to Wagner inspired secular art, unlike religious belief, doesn't openly sin against nature's truth by positing the miraculous, but instead, through natural means, makes us feel as if we've transcended our natural limits, in this figurative sense man's advancement in that scientific knowledge which overthrows religious belief, inspires the creation of redemptive secular art, which gives us joy instead of anguish. This latter argument will be found in subsequent passages quoted in this critique from www.wagnerheim.com.]

[PH: Quotation from www.wagnerheim.com, Page 218:]

Wagner was very much a student of Feuerbach in his acknowledgment that scientific inquiry will eventually overthrow religious mythology, that what was once unknown or unconscious will inevitably become known, rising from the silent depths of man’s unconscious mind to the daylight of full consciousness. As an example, we have Feuerbach’s remark that what was once explained supernaturally would eventually be construed objectively as natural phenomena, through advancement in scientific understanding of man and his world:

“… though there are numerous phenomena in nature whose physical, natural ground we have not yet discovered, it is absurd to resort to theology for that reason. What we do not know, posterity will find out. How many things that our ancestors could explain only through God and His purposes we have derived from the workings of nature! There was a time when even the simplest, most natural, most necessary things were explained exclusively by teleology and theology. (…) On the one hand man’s ignorance, on the other his egoist tendency to explain everything with reference to himself, to think the world in his own image, lead him to transform the involuntary into the voluntary, the natural into the intentional, the necessary into the arbitrary.” [234F-LER: p. 134]

Wagner himself noted that an arbitrary (and false) view of nature which man had involuntarily formed through the influence of religious mythology, would eventually be the subject of scientific scrutiny, liberating man from error, fancy, and religious belief, so that he could embrace knowledge, reality, and nature:

“Whilst Man involuntarily moulds his Life according to the notions he has gathered from his arbitrary views of Nature, and embalms their intuitive expression in Religion: these notions become for him in Science the subject of conscious, intentional review and scrutiny.

The path of Science lies from error to knowledge, from fancy (‘Vorstellung’) to reality, from Religion to Nature. [417W-{9-12/49} The Artwork of the Future: PW Vol. I, p. 72]

Wagner described this historical advancement of knowledge, this rise from unconsciousness to consciousness, as a natural evolutionary progress from ignorance to knowledge:

“… the march of human evolution is the rational and natural progress from the unconscious to the conscious, from un-knowledge to knowledge … .” [426W-{9-12/49} The Artwork of the Future: PW Vol. I, p. 80]

[P. 22] "There is an inherent contradiction in Wagner’s (and Carlyle’s) celebration of the unconscious instincts of nature and his simultaneous embrace of the dialectical process of self-consciousness as the means to that end. In Wagner’s pronouncement that science would ultimately be negated and end “in its pure antithesis” through man’s renewed engagement with the natural world, Wagner seems to want to have it both ways. As Mary Cicora has aptly summed up the problem, Wagner believed in a 'second Paradise of unconscious consciousness.' (144) But critical to Wagner’s theory, and evidence of his ultimate trust in the Hegelian dialectic, the new stage of free engagement with nature would not be a mere repetition of a past state of bliss, but a higher level of consciousness."

[PH: Quotation from www.wagnerheim.com, Pages 273-274:]

Wagner has also captured this distinction between the two, antithetical kinds of knowledge Wotan seeks to acquire from Erda, in his description below of his own redemptive music-dramas. Here he suggests that man’s bitter knowledge of the objective truth, such as we obtain through science and technology, can find its sublimation and redemption in drama, specifically that synthesis of the arts, the Wagnerian music-drama:

Thus hovered in the air the Poet’s Thought, like a human-outlined cloud that spread its shadow over actual, bodily earth-life, to which it evermore looked down; and into which it needs must long to shed itself, just as from earth alone it sucked its steaming vapours. (…) So should the Poet’s thought [Wotan’s fear and longing for knowledge] once more impregnate Life [Erda] … .”

What Poetry perceived from that high seat, was after all but Life: the higher did she raise herself, the more panoramic became her view; but the wider the connection in which she was now enabled to grasp the parts, the livelier arose in her the longing to fathom the depths of this great whole. Thus Poetry turned to Science, to Philosophy. To the struggle for a deeper knowledge of Nature and of Man, we stand indebted for that copious store [Hoard?, i.e. Hort?] of literature whose kernel is the poetic musing (gedankenhaftes Dichten) which speaks to us in Human – and in Natural – History, and in Philosophy [i.e., Alberich’s and Wotan’s Hoard of knowledge of the world, Erda]. (…) But … Science … can only gain her perfect confirmation in the work of Art; in that work which takes both Man and Nature – in so far as the latter [Erda] attains her consciousness in Man [Wotan] – and shows them forth directly. Thus the consummation of Knowledge is its redemption into Poetry; into that poetic art, however, which marches hand in hand with her sister arts towards the perfect Artwork; -- and this artwork is none other than the Drama [i.e., the Wagnerian music-drama].” [439W-{9-12/49} The Artwork of the Future: PW Vol. I, p. 138-139]

[PH: Quotation from www.wagnerheim.com, Pages 391-393:]

Wotan seems to be involved in a major contradiction here. If, as he just told Bruennhilde, he now wills the “end,” why then does he care whether Bruennhilde fights for Fricka, or for Siegmund, or just does nothing? It is because Wotan both wills the end of the gods, and does not. He is not involved in a contradiction once one understands that though he wills the end of religious belief as a concept, as an affirmation of fact, religious feeling, the longing for transcendent value, will live on in art, which, as we’ll see, is represented by the loving union of Siegfried the artist-hero with his muse of inspiration, his unconscious mind Bruennhilde. And furthermore, religious belief, in all its hubristic overreaching, will live on for a very long time in any case, because the objective truth which scientific inquiry makes known to man, and its implications for religious man’s dependence on illusion, takes a long time to make a decisive, culture-altering impression on the masses of humanity.

In the following enlightening extracts Wagner describes the kind of redemption that Bruennhilde is offering Wotan and the gods. It basically consists in trading bitter consciousness of the irresolvable contradiction between what is, and what man feels ought to be, for the bliss of unconscious feeling, or music. This is achieved through a repression of unconscious thought into the unconscious, what Wagner describes as the “going-under” of the state, egoism, Judaism, and the objective spirit of scientific inquiry, and its sublimation into blissful feeling in art, and particularly the art of music which, being non-conceptual, has no involvement in science’s debate with religion over truth and falsehood:

“Science takes over the arbitrary concepts of the human brain [Wagner is referring to Kant’s apriori knowledge when he describes the concepts of the brain as arbitrary], in their totality; while, by her side, Life follows in its totality the instinctive evolution of Necessity [which Wagner in 1854 would identify with Schopenhauer’s concept of the Will-in-Nature]. Science thus bears the burden of the sins of Life [i.e. Wotan’s confession of his hoard of knowledge], and expiates them by her own self-abrogation; she ends in her direct antithesis, in the knowledge of Nature, in the recognition of the unconscious, instinctive, and therefore real, inevitable, and physical [i.e., Wotan confesses his sin against the bitter truth, and longing to redeem his consoling illusions from it, to Bruennhilde, his unconscious mind]. (…)

The end of Science is the justifying of the Unconscious, the giving of self-consciousness to Life, the re-instatement of the Senses in their perceptive rights, the sinking of Caprice in the world-Will (‘Wollen’) of Necessity [i.e., the “willing of Necessity”; Ellis had no justification for translating “Wollen” as “world-Will”: I am indebted to Derrick Everett for this insight.]. Science is therefore the vehicle of Knowledge [Alberich’s and Wotan’s hoard of objective knowledge] … ; but Life [i.e., feeling, love, music, aesthetic intuition] is the great ultimate, a law unto itself. As Science melts away into the recognition of the ultimate and self-determinate reality, of actual Life itself: so does this avowal win its frankest, most direct expression in Art, or rather in the Work of Art.

The actual Art-work, i.e., its immediate physical portrayal, in the moment of its liveliest embodiment, is therefore the only true redemption of the artist [Wotan redeemed by Siegfried]; the uprootal of the final trace of busy, purposed choice [Wotan’s consciousness]; the confident determination of what was hitherto a mere imagining; the enfranchisement of thought in sense [i.e., the conversion of Wotan’s thought into Bruennhilde’s feeling, embodied in Wagner’s musical motifs] … .

The Art-work, thus conceived as an immediate vital act, is therewith the perfect reconcilement of Science with Life … .” [418W-{9-12/49} The Artwork of the Future: PW Vol. I, p. 72-73]

(...)

Siegfried’s and Bruennhilde’s art, in other words, will redeem man from the unbearable truth by taking possession of it aesthetically, to transmute the horrific history of the world (Wotan’s confession of virtually the entire plot of the Ring) into redemptive art.

[PH: Quotation from www.wagnerheim.com, Pages 458-459:]

So Wotan, by leaving Bruennhilde asleep on a mountaintop protected by Loge’s veil of self-deception, has left as a legacy for Siegfried what Feuerbach described as the essence of religion, its feeling or music, when Wotan as a God, as a concept, has had to pass away in the face of the rise of objective, secular thought and scientific knowledge. This is the ever increasing hoard of knowledge which Wotan, while wandering the earth (Wagner’s metaphor for historical man’s collective experience of the earth, i.e., Erda), has accumulated:

“ … only where … the distinction between the divine and human being is abolished, … is religion made a mere matter of feeling, or conversely, feeling the chief point in religion. The last refuge of theology therefore is feeling [Wotan’s repression of his unbearable hoard of objective knowledge into his unconscious mind Bruennhilde, who transmutes it into musical feeling]. God is renounced by the understanding [the gods of Valhalla are predestined to destruction by Alberich’s knowledge of the truth]; he has no longer the dignity of a real object, of a reality which imposes itself on the understanding [Wotan must leave the world, hoping that the love Siegfried and Bruennhilde share will redeem the world]; hence he is transferred to feeling; in feeling his existence is thought to be secure [What Wotan thought, Bruennhilde felt.]. And doubtless this is the safest refuge; for to make feeling the essence of religion is nothing else than to make feeling the essence of God. And as certainly as I exist, so certainly does my feeling exist; and as certainly as my feeling exists, so certainly does my God exist.” [145F-EOC: p. 283]

“ … God is pure, unlimited, free Feeling. (…) … incapable of comprehending the spiritual grandeur of feeling, thou art terrified before the religious atheism of thy heart. By this fear thou destroyest the unity of thy feeling with itself, in imagining to thyself an objective being distinct from thy feeling, and thus necessarily sinking back into the old questions and doubts – is there a God or not? – questions and doubts which vanish, nay, are impossible, where feeling is defined as the essence of religion.” [43F-EOC: p. 10-11]

“This timid crowd [the religious community of faith] can no longer erect temples or cathedrals, so now the only temple left for God is a chamber of the heart.” [26F-TDI: p. 192]

“What would man be without feeling? It is the musical power in man. But what would man be without music? Just as man has a musical faculty and feels an inward necessity to breathe out his feelings in song; so, by a like necessity, he in religious sighs and tears streams forth the nature of feeling as an objective, divine nature.” [65F-EOC: p. 63] [See also 41F]

“What … is it which acts on thee when thou art affected by melody? (…) What else than the voice of thy own heart?” [42F-EOC: p. 9]

“God the father [Wotan] is I, God the son [Siegfried] Thou. The I is understanding [Wotan’s hoard of objective knowledge], the Thou love [Siegfried will only feel what Wotan thought, thanks to Bruennhilde’s love]. But love with understanding and understanding with love [Bruennhilde, who converts Wotan’s thought into feeling, the musical motifs of the Ring, for Siegfried] is mind, and mind is … the total man.” [69F-EOC: p. 67] [See also 70F]

And here we have Wagner’s paraphrases of all that Feuerbach has said in our extracts above:

“Men of science persuade us that Copernicus reduced the ancient Church-belief to ruins with his planetary system, since it robbed God Almighty of his heavenly seat. (…) The god within the human breast, of whose transcendent being our great Mystics were so certain sure, that god who needs no heavenly-home demonstrable by science, has given the parsons more ado. For us Germans had he become our inmost own: but our Professors [scientists’ objective knowledge] have done him many a harm … . Yet this approachless god of ours had begotten much within us, and when at last he [Wotan] had to vanish, he left us – in eternal memory of him – Music [Bruennhilde].” [999W-{12/25/79} Introduction to the Year 1880: PW Vol. VI, p. 34]

“ … the hopelessly materialistic, industrially commonplace, entirely un-Goded aspect of the modern world is debitable to the … eagerness of the common practical understanding to construe religious Dogma by laws of cause-and-effect deduced from the phenomena of natural and social life, and to fling aside whatever rebelled against that mode of explanation as a reasonless chimera. (…)

But does this mean that Religion itself has ceased? –

No, no! It lives, but only at its primal source and sole true dwelling-place, within the deepest, holiest inner chamber of the Individual; there whither never yet has surged a conflict of the rationalist [Alberich] and supranaturalist [the alleged god Wotan], the Clergy and the State. For this is the essence of true Religion: that, away from the cheating show of the daytide world, it shines in the night of man’s inmost heart, with a light quite other than the world-sun’s light, and visible nowhence save from out that depth.

(…) Profoundest knowledge teaches us that only in the inner chamber of our heart, in nowise from the world presented to us without, can true assuagement come to us.” [705W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 28-30]
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