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The Ring of the Nibelung
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[333F-LER: p. 311-312]

“Man with his ego or consciousness stands at the brink of a bottomless abyss; that abyss is his own unconscious being, which seems alien to him and inspires him with a feeling which expresses itself in words of wonderment such as: What am I? Where have I come from? To what end? And this feeling that I am nothing without a not-I which is distinct from me yet intimately related to me, something other, which is at the same time my own being, is the religious feeling. (…) The elements, then, of the I or man, of the real man, are consciousness, feeling, voluntary movement – voluntary movement, I say, because involuntary movement is outside the sphere of the I, in the realm of the divine not-I … .(…) I feel a desire to write poetry, I can satisfy it only by voluntary activity, but the underlying impulse is not-I … .” [333F-LER: p. 311]

 

[334F-LER: p. 313]

[Footnote:] … a man can go so far as to disclaim all credit; for ultimately my feeling, my consciousness, my very being result from premises which are situated outside the I, which are the work of nature or of God. Indeed, the deeper man looks within, the more the distinction between nature and man or I vanishes, the plainer it becomes to him that he is only consciously unconscious, a not-I that is an I. That is why man is the deepest and most complex of all beings. But man cannot understand or endure his own depth, and for that reason he splits his being into an I without a not-I, which he calls God and a not-I without an I, which he calls nature.” [334F-LER: p. 313]

 

[335F-LER: p. 316]

“ … everywhere we see the rabble gleefully attributing a man’s natural failings, which he cannot possibly help, to his ill will. (…)

Differentiation – I am not you, you are not I – this is the basic condition and principle of all culture and humanity.” [335F-LER: p. 316]

 

[336F-LER: p. 316-317]

[P. 316] “ … the true man … says: the earth will give me fruit if I give it what is appropriate to its nature; it does not will to give, nor must it give – ‘must’ implies reluctance and coercion – no, it will give only if I for my part have fulfilled all the conditions under which it can give, or rather produce; for nature gives me nothing, I myself must take everything, at least everything that is not already a part of me – and moreover I [P. 317] must take it by extreme violence. With intelligent egoism we forbid murder and theft among ourselves, but toward other beings, toward nature, we are all murderers and thieves. (…) To whom then does it really belong? To the one who takes it. Is it not sufficient that I live by murder and theft – should I in addition thank the gods?” [336F-LER: p. 316-317]

 

[337F-LER: p. 317]

“ … the Godhead consists as it were of two components, one originating in man’s imagination, the other in nature. ‘You must pray,’ says the one component, the god differentiated from nature. ‘You

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