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The Ring of the Nibelung
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[139F-EOC: p. 270]

“The necessary turning point of history is … the open confession, that the consciousness of God is nothing else than the consciousness of the species; that man can and should raise himself only above the limits of his individuality, and not above the laws, the positive essential conditions of his species; that there is no other essence which man can think, dream of, imagine, feel, believe in, wish for, love and adore as the absolute, than the essence of human nature itself.” [139F-EOC: p. 270]


[140F-EOC: p. 271]

“ … marriage – we mean, of course, marriage as the free bond of love – is sacred in itself … . (…) [Footnote:] Yes, only as the free bond of love; for a marriage the bond of which is merely an external restriction, not the voluntary, contented self-restriction of love, in short, a marriage which is not spontaneously concluded, … is not a true marriage, and therefore not a truly moral marriage.” [140F-EOC: p. 271]


[141F-EOC: p. 274]

“To place anything in God, or to derive anything from God, is nothing more than to withdraw it from the test of reason, to institute it as indubitable, unassailable, sacred, without rendering an account why. Hence self-delusion, if not wicked, insidious design, is at the root of all efforts to establish morality, right, on theology. (…) Thus the work of self-conscious reason in relation to religion is simply to destroy an illusion: - an illusion, however, which is by no means indifferent, but which, on the contrary, is profoundly injurious in its effect on mankind … .” [141F-EOC: p. 274]

[142F-EOC: p. 276]

“Water, as a universal element of life, reminds us of our origin from Nature, an origin which we have in common with plants and animals. … water is the element of natural equality and freedom, the mirror of the golden age.” [142F-EOC: p. 276]


[143F-EOC: p. 277-278]

[P. 277] “ … for the sake of comprehending the religious significance of bread and wine, place thyself in a position where the daily act is unnaturally, violently interrupted. Hunger and thirst destroy not only the physical, but also the mental and moral powers of man; they rob [P. 278] him of his humanity – of understanding, of consciousness. (…) It needs only that the natural course of things be interrupted in order to vindicate to common things an uncommon significance, to life, as such, a religious import.” [143F-EOC: p. 277-278]


[144F-EOC: p. 282]

“The purely, truly human emotions are religious; but for that reason the religious emotions are purely human … . Religion has thus no dispositions or emotions which are peculiar to itself; what it

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