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The Rhinegold: Page 177
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We can clearly see Alberich, who willingly renounces love for the sake of the Ring’s power, in Feuerbach’s heathen God of the cold – and thus heartless - understanding, who is one with nature in the intellectual sense of identifying with it objectively through reason, rather than separate from it. Wotan we can see in Feuerbach’s Christian God of the heart, who is social by nature and needs love, and who would acknowledge nature only insofar as it does not contradict man’s consoling illusions, man’s subjective feeling of what “ought” to be true.

Finally, Feuerbach tells us that reason is nature’s God, nature’s truth, and the heart is man’s God, man’s truth:

“Reason is the truth of Nature, the heart is the truth of man. To speak popularly, reason is the God of Nature, the heart the God of man … .” [148F-EOC: p. 285]

Here we find Feuerbach has distinguished with great precision a mode of thought on the one hand which we can easily identify with Alberich, who affirms the objective truth of nature by renouncing that subjective feeling which biases us, and another mode of thought which we can identify with Wotan, who affirms man’s heart while denying nature’s bitter truths. Our most persuasive evidence that Wagner identified Alberich with objective nature, and regarded Wotan as a denier of nature’s truth, will finally be at hand when we analyze Alberich’s special kinship with Erda, Mother Nature, and Wotan’s sin against her, as described by Alberich, in R.4

[R.2: O]

Donner is the first to state the obvious, that Alberich represents a threat to the gods, who ought to wrest the Ring from him to protect themselves. Wotan concurs:


Donner: (to Wotan: #19?:) The dwarf would enslave us all were the ring not wrested from him (:#19?).


Wotan: I must have the ring!


Froh: (#37:) It’s easily won now, without cursing love (:#37).


Loge: (harshly:) Absurdly easy, no skill is needed, it’s child’s play indeed!


Wotan: Then tell us, how?


Loge: By theft! ( #42 embryo?:) What a thief stole you steal from the thief: could what is your own be more easily won (:#42 embryo?)? (#33b:) But with cunning defence (:#33b) (#12) is alberich

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