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Essay On Wotan

By Dr. Carl Gustav Jung

Preface to Essays on Contemporary Events [Originally publishe as the !or"ort to #$%&#'(E ($) (E*'GE&C+*C+'E ,(urich- ./012. 'ranslation by Eli3abeth Welsh in E&&#4& O5 CO5'E6PO)#)4 E!E5'& ,7on on- ./0829 6e ical psychotherapy- for practical reasons- has to eal "ith the "hole of the psyche. 'herefore- it is boun to come to terms "ith all those factors- biological as "ell as social an mental- "hich have a vital influence on psychic life. We are living in times of great isruption: political passions are aflame- internal upheavals have brought nations to the brin; of chaos- an the very foun ations of our Weltanschauung are shattere . 'his critical state of things has such a tremen ous influence on the psychic life of the in ivi ual that the octor must follo" its effects "ith more than usual attention. the storm of events oes not s"eep o"n upon him only from the great "orl outsi e< he feels the violence of its impact even in the =uiet of his consulting>room an in the privacy of the me ical consultation. #s he has a responsibility to"ar s his patients- he cannot affor to "ith ra" to the peaceful islan of un isturbe scientific "or;- but must constantly escen into the arena of "orl events- in or er to ?oin in the battle of conflicting passions an opinions. Were he to remain aloof from the tumult- the calamity of his time "oul reach him only from afar- an his patients@ suffering "oul fin neither ear nor un erstan ing. +e "oul be at a loss to ;no" ho" to tal; to him- an to help him out of his isolation. %or this reason the psychologist cannot avoi coming to grips "ith contemporary history- even his very soul shrin;s from the political uproar- the lying propagan a- an the ?arring speeches of the emagogues. We nee not mention his uties as a citi3en- "hich confront him "ith a similar tas;. #s a physician- he has a higher obligation to humanity in this respect. %rom time to time- therefore- * have felt oblige to step beyon the usual boun s of my profession. 'he eAperience of the psychologist is of a rather special ;in - an it seeme to me that the general public might fin it useful to hear his point of vie". 'his "as har ly a far>fetche conclusion- for surely the most naive of laymen coul not fail to see that many contemporary figures an events "ere positively as;ing for psychological eluci ation. Were psychopathic symptoms ever more conspicuous than in the contemporary political sceneB *t has never been my "ish to me le in the political =uestions of the ay. But in the course of the years * have "ritten a fe" papers "hich give my reactions to current events. 'he present boo; contains a collection of these occasional essays- all "ritten bet"een ./C1 an ./01. *t is natural enough that my thoughts shoul have been especially concerne "ith Germany- "hich has been a problem to me ever since the first Worl War. 6y statements have evi ently le to all manner of misun erstan ings- "hich are chiefly ue- no oubt- to the fact that my psychological point of vie" stri;es many people as ne" an therefore strange. *nstea of embar;ing upon lengthy arguments in an attempt to clear up these misun erstan ings- * have foun it simpler to collect all the passages in my other "ritings "hich eal "ith the same theme an to put them in an epilogue. 'he rea er "ill thus be in a position to get a clear picture of the facts for himself.

[%irst publishe as WO'#5- 5eue &ch"ei3er )un schau ,(urich2. n.s.- *** ,6arch- ./C12- 1D8>1/. )epublishe in #$%&#'(E ($) (E*'GE&C+*C+'E ,(urich- ./012- .>EC. 'rans. by Barbara +annah in E&&#4& O5 CO5'E6PO)#)4 E!E5'& ,7on on- ./082- .>.1< this version has been consulte .9 F*n Germany &hall iverse sects ariseComing very near to happy paganism. 'he heart captivate an small receivings &hall open the gate to pay the true tithe.F >> Propheties De 6aistre 6ichel 5ostra amus- .DDD When "e loo; bac; to the time before ./.0- "e fin ourselves living in a "orl of events "hich "oul have been inconceivable before the "ar. We "ere even beginning to regar "ar bet"een civili3e nations as a fablethin;ing that such an absur ity "oul become less an less possible on our rational- internationally organi3e "orl . #n "hat came after the "ar "as a veritable "itches@ sabbath. Every"here fantastic revolutions- violent alterations of the map- reversions in politics to me ieval or even anti=ue prototypes- totalitarian states that engulf their neighbours an out o all previous theocracies in their absolutist claims- persecutions of Christians an Je"s- "holesale political mur er- an finally "e have "itnesse a light>hearte piratical rai on a peacefulhalf>civili3e people. With such goings on in the "i e "orl it is not in the least surprising that there shoul be e=ually curious manifestations on a smaller scale in other spheres. *n the realm of philosophy "e shall have to "ait some time before anyone is able to assess the ;in of age "e are living in. But in the sphere of religion "e can see at once that some very significant things have been happening. We nee feel no surprise that in )ussia the colourful splen ours of the Eastern Ortho oA Church have been superse e by the 6ovement of the Go less >> in ee one breathe a sigh of relief oneself "hen one emerge from the ha3e of an Ortho oA church "ith its multitu e of lamps an entere an honest mos=ue- "here the sublime an invisible omnipresence of Go "as not cro" e out by a superfluity of sacre paraphernalia. 'asteless an pitiably unintelligent as it is- an ho"ever eplorable the lo" spiritual level of the FscientificF reaction- it "as inevitable that nineteenth>century FscientificF enlightenment shoul one ay a"n in )ussia. But "hat is more than curious >> in ee - pi=uant to a egree >> is that an ancient go of storm an fren3y- the long =uiescent Wotan- shoul a"a;e- li;e an eAtinct volcano- to ne" activity- in a civili3e country that ha long been suppose to have outgro"n the 6i le #ges. We have seen him come to life in the German 4outh 6ovement- an right at the beginning the bloo of several sheep "as she in honour of his resurrection. #rme "ith ruc;sac; an lute- blon youths- an sometimes girls as "ell- "ere to be seen as restless "an erers on every roa from the 5orth Cape to &icily- faithful votaries of the roving go . 7ater- to"ar s the en of the Weimar )epublic- the "an ering role "as ta;en over by thousan s of unemploye - "ho "ere to be met "ith every"here on their aimless ?ourneys. By ./CC they "an ere no longer- but marche in their hun re s of thousan s. 'he +itler movement literally brought the "hole of Germany to its feet- from five>year>ol s to veterans- an pro uce a spectacle of a nation migrating from one place to another. Wotan the "an erer "as on the move. +e coul be seen- loo;ing rather shameface - in the meeting>house of a sect of simple fol; in 5orth Germany- isguise as Christ sitting on a "hite horse. * o not ;no" if these people "ere a"are of Wotan@s ancient connection "ith the figures of Christ an Dionysus- but it is not very probable. Wotan is a restless "an erer "ho creates unrest an stirs up strife- no" here- no" there- an "or;s magic. +e "as soon change by Christianity into the evil- an only live on in fa ing local tra itions as a ghostly hunter "ho "as seen "ith his retinue- flic;ering li;e a "ill o@ the "isp through the stormy night. *n the 6i le #ges the role of the restless "an erer "as ta;en over by #hasuerus- the Wan ering Je"- "hich is not a Je"ish but a

Christian legen . 'he motif of the "an erer "ho has not accepte Christ "as pro?ecte on the Je"s- in the same "ay as "e al"ays re iscover our unconscious psychic contents in other people. #t any rate the coinci ence of anti>&emitism "ith the rea"a;ening of Wotan is a psychological subtlety that may perhaps be "orth mentioning. 'he German youths "ho celebrate the solstice "ith sheep>sacrifices "ere not the first to hear the rustling in the primeval forest of the unconsciousness. 'hey "ere anticipate by 5iet3sche- &chuler- &tefan George- an 7u "ig Glages. 'he literary tra ition of the )hinelan an the country south of the 6ain has a classical stamp that cannot easily be got ri of< every interpretation of intoAication an eAuberance is apt to be ta;en bac; to classical mo els- to Dionysus- to the puer aeternus an the cosmogonic Eros. 5o oubt it soun s better to aca emic ears to interpret these things as Dionysus- but Wotan might be a more correct interpretation. +e is the go of storm an fren3y- the unleasher of passions an the lust of battle< moreover he is a superlative magician an artist in illusion "ho is verse in all secrets of an occult nature. 5iet3sche@s case is certainly a peculiar one. +e ha no ;no"le ge of Germanic literature< he iscovere the Fcultural PhilistineF< an the announcement that FGo is ea F le to (arathustra@s meeting "ith an un;no"n go in uneApecte form- "ho approache him sometimes as an enemy an sometimes isguise as (arathustra himself. (arathustra- too- "as a soothsayer- a magician- an the storm>"in :

#n li;e a "in shall * come to blo" among them- an "ith my spirit shall ta;e a"ay the breath of their spirit< thus my future "ills it. 'ruly- a strong "in is (arathustra to all that are lo"< an this counsel gives he to his enemies an to all that spit an spe": FBe"are of spitting against the "in .F #n "hen (arathustra reame that he "as guar ian of the graves in the Flone mountain fortress of eath-F an "as ma;ing a mighty effort to open the gates- su enly # roaring "in tore the gates asun er< "histling- shrie;ing- an ;eening- it cast a blac; coffin before me. #n ami the roaring an "histling an shrie;ing the coffin burst open an spoute a thousan peals of laughter. 'he isciple "ho interprete the ream sai to (arathustra: #re you not yourself the "in "ith shrill "histling- "hich bursts open the gates of the fortress of #re you not yourself the coffin fille "ith life@s gay malice an angel>grimacesB
In 1863 or 1864, in his poem TO THE UNKNOWN GOD, Nietzsche ha !ritten" * shall an "ill ;no" thee- $n;no"n OneWho searchest out the epths of my soul#n blo"est through my life li;e a storm$ngraspable- an yet my ;insmanH * shall an "ill ;no" thee- an serve thee. T!ent# #ears $ater, in his %I&T'() &ONG, he !rote" 6istral "in - chaser of clou sGiller of gloom- s"eeper of the s;ies)aging storm>"in - ho" * love theeH


#n "e are not both the first>fruits Of the same "omb- forever pre estine 'o the same fateB In the ith#ram* +no!n as ('I(DNE,& )(%ENT, Nietzsche is comp$ete$# the -ictim o. the h/nter0 1o " &tretche out- shu ering-

7i;e a half> ea thing "hose feet are "arme &ha;en by un;no"n fevers&hivering "ith piercing icy frost arro"s+unte by thee- O thought$nutterableH !eile H horrible oneH 'hou huntsman behin the clou . &truc; o"n by thy lightning bolt'hou moc;ing eye that stares at me from the ar;H 'hus * lie. Writhing- t"isting- tormente With all eternal tortures&mitten By thee- cruel huntsman. 'hou un;no"n I Go H 'his remar;able image of the hunter>go is not a mere ithyrambic figure of speech but is base on an eAperience "hich 5iet3sche ha "hen he "as fifteen years ol - at Pforta. *t is escribe in a boo; by 5iet3sche@s sister- Eli3abeth %oerster>5iet3sche. #s he "as "an ering about in a gloomy "oo at night- he "as terrifie by a Fbloo >cur ling shrie; from a neighbouring lunatic asylum-F an soon after"ar s he cam face to face "ith a huntsman "hose Ffeatures "ere "il an uncanny.F &etting his "histle to his lips Fin a valley surroun e by "il scrub-F the huntsman Fble" such a shrill blastF that 5iet3sche lost consciousness >> but "o;e up again in Pforta. *t "as a nightmare. *t is significant that in his ream 5iet3sche- "ho in reality inten e to go to Eisleben7uther@s to"n- iscusse "ith the huntsman the =uestion of going instea to F'eutschenthalF ,!alley of the Germans2. 5o one "ith ears can misun erstan the shrill "histling of the storm>go in the nocturnal "oo . Was it really only the classical philologist in 5iet3sche that le to the go being calle Dionysus instea of Wotan >> or "as it perhaps ue to his fateful meeting "ith WagnerB *n his )E*C+ O+5E )#$6- "hich "as first publishe in ././- Bruno Goet3 sa" the secret of coming events in Germany in the form of a very strange vision. * have never forgotten this little boo;- for it struc; me at the time as a forecast of the German "eather. *t anticipates the conflict bet"een the realm of i eas an life- bet"een Wotan@s ual nature as a go of storm an a go of secret musings. Wotan isappeare "hen his oa;s fell an appeare again "hen the Christian Go prove too "ea; to save Christen om from fratrici al slaughter. When the +oly %ather at )ome coul only impotently lament before Go the fate of the greA segregatus- the one>eye ol hunter- on the e ge of the German forest- laughe an sa le &leipnir. We are al"ays convince that the mo ern "orl is a reasonable "orl - basing our opinion on economic-

political- an psychological factors. But if "e may forget for a moment that "e are living in the year of Our 7or ./C1- an - laying asi e our "ell>meaning- all>too>human reasonableness- may bur en Go or the go s "ith the responsibility for contemporary events instea of man- "e "oul fin Wotan =uite suitable as a casual hypothesis. *n fact- * venture the heretical suggestion that the unfathomable epths of Wotan@s character eAplain more of 5ational &ocialism than all three reasonable factors put together. 'here is no oubt that each of these factors eAplains an important aspect of "hat is going on in Germany- but Wotan eAplains yet more. +e is particularly enlightening in regar to a general phenomenon "hich is so strange to anybo y not a German that it remains incomprehensible- even after the eepest reflection. Perhaps "e may sum up this general phenomenon as Ergriffenheit >> a state of being sei3e or possesse . 'he term postulates not only an Ergriffener ,one "ho is sei3e 2 but- also- an Ergreifer ,one "ho sei3es2. Wotan is an Ergreifer of men- an - unless one "ishes to eify +itler >> "hich has in ee actually happene >> he is really the only eAplanation. *t is true that Wotan shares this =uality "ith his cousin Dionysus- but Dionysus seems to have eAercise his influence mainly on "omen. 'he maena s "ere a species of female storm>troopers- an - accor ing to mythical reports- "ere angerous enough. Wotan confine himself to the berser;ers- "ho foun their vocation as the Blac;shirts of mythical ;ings. # min that is still chil ish thin;s of the go s as metaphysical entities eAisting in their o"n right- or else regar s them as playful or superstitious inventions. %rom either point of vie" the parallel bet"een Wotan re ivivus an the social- political an psychic storm that is sha;ing Germany might have at least the value of a parable. But since the go s are "ithout oubt personifications of psychic forces- to assert their metaphysical eAistence is as much an intellectual presumption as the opinion that they coul ever be invente . 5ot that Fpsychic forcesF have anything to o "ith the conscious min - fon as "e are of playing "ith the i ea that consciousness an psyche are i entical. 'his is only another piece of intellectual presumption. FPsychic forcesF have far more to o "ith the realm of the unconscious. Our mania for rational eAplanations obviously has its roots in our fear of metaphysicsfor the t"o "ere al"ays hostile brothers. +ence- anything uneApecte that approaches us from the ar; realm is regar e either as coming from outsi e an - therefore- as real- or else as an hallucination an - therefore- not true. 'he i ea that anything coul be real or true "hich oes not come from outsi e has har ly begun to a"n on contemporary man. %or the sa;e of better un erstan ing an to avoi pre?u ice- "e coul of course ispense "ith the name FWotanF an spea; instea of the furor teutonicus. But "e shoul only be saying the same thing an not as "ell- for the furor in this case is a mere psychologi3ing of Wotan an tells us no more than that the Germans are in a state of Ffury.F We thus lose sight of the most peculiar feature of this "hole phenomenon- namely- the ramatic aspect of the Ergreifer an the Ergriffener. 'he impressive thing about the German phenomenon is that one man- "ho is obviously Fpossesse -F has infecte a "hole nation to such an eAtent that everything is set in motion an has starte rolling on its course to"ar s per ition. *t seems to me that Wotan hits the mar; as an hypothesis. #pparently he really "as only asleep in the Gyffhauser mountain until the ravens calle him an announce the brea; of ay. +e is a fun amental attribute of the German psyche- an irrational psychic factor "hich acts on the high pressure of civili3ation li;e a cyclone an blo"s it a"ay. Despite their cran;iness- the Wotan>"orshippers seem to have ?u ge things more correctly than the "orshippers of reason. #pparently everyone ha forgotten that Wotan is a Germanic atum of first importance- the truest eApression an unsurpasse personification of a fun amental =uality that is particularly characteristic of the Germans. +ouston &te"art Chamberlain is a symptom "hich arouses suspicion that other veile go s may be sleeping else"here. 'he emphasis on the Germanic race >> commonly calle F#ryanF >> the Germanic heritage- bloo an soil- the Wagala"eia songs- the ri e of the !al;yries- Jesus as a blon an blue> eye hero- the Gree; mother of &t. Paul- the evil as an international #lberich in Je"ish or 6asonic guise- the 5or ic aurora borealis as the light of civili3ation- the inferior 6e iterranean races >> all this is the in ispensable scenery for the rama that is ta;ing place an at the bottom they all mean the same thing: a go has ta;en possession of the Germans an their house is fille "ith a Fmighty rushing "in .F *t "as soon after +itler sei3e po"er- if * am not mista;en- that a cartoon appeare in P$5C+ of a raving berser;er tearing himself free from his bon s. # hurricane has bro;en loose in Germany "hile "e still believe it is fine "eather.

'hings are comparatively =uiet in &"it3erlan - though occasionally there is a puff of "in from the north or south. &ometimes it has a slightly ominous soun - sometimes it "hispers so harmlessly or even i ealistically that no one is alarme . F7et the sleeping ogs lieF >> "e manage to get along pretty "ell "ith this proverbial "is om. *t is sometimes sai that the &"iss are singularly averse to ma;ing a problem of themselves. * must rebut this accusation: the &"iss o have their problems- but they "oul not a mit it for anything in the "orl - even though they see "hich "ay the "in is blo"ing. We thus pay our tribute to the time of storm an stress in Germany- but "e never mention it- an this enables us to feel vastly superior. *t is above all the Germans "ho have an opportunity- perhaps uni=ue in history- to loo; into their o"n hearts an to learn "hat those perils of the soul "ere from "hich Christianity trie to rescue man;in . Germany is a lan of spiritual catastrophes- "here nature never ma;es more than a pretense of peace "ith the "orl >ruling reason. 'he isturber of the peace is a "in that blo"s into Europe from #sia@s vastness- s"eeping in on a "i e front from 'hrace to the Baltic- scattering the nations before it li;e ry leaves. or inspiring thoughts that sha;e the "orl to its foun ations. *t is an elemental Dionysus brea;ing into the #pollonian or er. 'he rouser of this tempest is name Wotan- an "e can learn a goo eal about him from the political confusion an spiritual upheaval he has cause throughout history. %or a more eAact investigation of his character- ho"ever- "e must go bac; to the age of myths- "hich i not eAplain everything in terms of man an his limite capacities- but sought the eeper cause in the psyche an its autonomous po"ers. 6an@s earliest intuitions personifie these po"ers. 6an@s earliest intuitions personifie these po"ers as go s- an escribe them in the myths "ith great care an circumstantiality accor ing to their various characters. 'his coul be one the more rea ily on account of the firmly establishe primor ial types or images "hich are innate in the unconscious of many races an eAercise a irect influence upon them. Because the behavior of a race ta;es on its specific character from its un erlying images- "e can spea; of an archetype FWotan.F #s an autonomous psychic factor- Wotan pro uces effects in the collective life of a people an thereby reveals his o"n nature. %or Wotan has a peculiar biology of his o"n- =uite apart from the nature of man. *t is only from time to time that in ivi uals fall un er the irresistible influence of this unconscious factor. When it is =uiescent- one is no more a"are of the archetype Wotan than of a latent epilepsy. Coul the Germans "ho "ere a ults in ./.0 have foreseen "hat they "oul be to ayB &uch ama3ing transformations are the effect of the go of "in - that Fblo"eth "here it listeth- an thou hearest the soun thereof- but canst not tell "hence it cometh- nor "hither it goeth.F *t sei3es everything in its path an overthro"s everything that is not firmly roote . When the "in blo"s it sha;es everything that is insecure- "hether "ithout or "ithin. 6artin 5inc; has recently publishe a monograph "hich is a most "elcome a ition to our ;no"le ge of Wotan@s nature. 'he rea er nee not fear that this boo; is nothing but a scientific stu y "ritten "ith aca emic aloofness from the sub?ect. Certainly the right to scientific ob?ectivity is fully preserve - an the material has been collecte "ith eAtraor inary thoroughness an presente in unusually clear form. But- over an above all this- one feels that the author is vitally intereste in it- that the chor of Wotan is vibrating in him- too. 'his is no criticism >> on the contrary- it is one of the chief merits of the boo;- "hich "ithout this enthusiasm might easily have egenerate into a te ious catalogue. 5inc; s;etches a really magnificent portrait of the German archetype Wotan. +e escribes him in ten chapters- using all the available sources- as the berser;er- the go of storm- the "an erer- the "arrior- the Wunsch> an 6inne>go - the lor of the ea an of the Einher?ar- the master of secret ;no"le ge- the magician- an the go of the poets. 5either the !al;yries nor the %ylg?a are forgotten- for they form part of the mythological bac;groun an fateful significance of Wotan. 5inc;@s in=uiry into the name an its origin is particularly instructive. +e sho"s that Wotan is not only a go of rage an fren3y "ho embo ies the instinctual an emotion aspect of the unconscious. *ts intuitive an inspiring si e- alsomanifests itself in him- for he un erstan s the runes an can interpret fate. 'he )omans i entifie Wotan "ith 6ercury- but his character oes not really correspon to any )oman or Gree; go - although there are certain resemblances. +e is a "an erer li;e 6ercury- for instance- he rules over the ea li;e Pluto an Gronos- an is connecte "ith Dionysus by his emotional fren3y- particularly in its mantic aspect. *t is surprising that 5inc; oes not mention +ermes- the go of revelation- "ho as pneuma an nous is associate "ith the "in . +e "oul be the connecting>lin; "ith the Christian pneuma an the miracle of Pentecost. #s Poiman res ,the shepher of men2- +ermes is an Ergreifer li;e Wotan. 5inc; rightly points out

that Dionysus an the other Gree; go s al"ays remaine un er the supreme authority of (eus- "hich in icates a fun amental ifference bet"een the Gree; an the Germanic temperament. 5inc; assumes an inner affinity bet"een Wotan an Gronus- an the latter@s efeat may perhaps be a sign that the Wotan>archetype "as once overcome an split up in prehistoric times. #t all events- the Germanic go represents a totality on a very primitive level- a psychological con ition in "hich man@s "ill "as almost i entical "ith the go @s an entirely at his mercy. But the Gree;s ha go s "ho helpe man against other go s< in ee - #ll>%ather (eus himself is not far from the i eal of a benevolent- enlightene espot. *t "as not in Wotan@s nature to linger on an sho" signs of ol age. +e simply isappeare "hen the times turne against him- an remaine invisible for more than a thousan years- "or;ing anonymously an in irectly. #rchetypes are li;e riverbe s "hich ry up "hen the "ater eserts them- but "hich it can fin again at any time. #n archetype is li;e an ol "atercourse along "hich the "ater of life has flo"e for centuries- igging a eep channel for itself. 'he longer it has flo"e in this channel the more li;ely it is that sooner or later the "ater "ill return to its ol be . 'he life of the in ivi ual as a member of society an particularly as a part of the &tate may be regulate li;e a canal- but the life of nations is a great rushing river "hich is utterly beyon human control- in the han s of One "ho has al"ays been stronger than men. 'he 7eague of 5ations- "hich "as suppose to possess supranational authority- is regar e by some as a chil in nee of care an protection- by others as an abortion. 'hus- the life of nations rolls on unchec;e - "ithout gui ance- unconscious of "here it is going- li;e a roc; crashing o"n the si e of a hill- until it is stoppe by an obstacle stronger than itself. Political events move from one impasse to the neAt- li;e a torrent caught in gullies- cree;s an marshes. #ll human control comes to an en "hen the in ivi ual is caught in a mass movement. 'hen- the archetypes begin to function- as happens- also- in the lives of in ivi uals "hen they are confronte "ith situations that cannot be ealt "ith in any of the familiar "ays. But "hat a so>calle %uhrer oes "ith a mass movement can plainly be seen if "e turn our eyes to the north or south of our country. 'he ruling archetype oes not remain the same forever- as is evi ent from the temporal limitations that have been set to the hope >for reign of peace- the Fthousan >year )eich.F 'he 6e iterranean father>archetype of the ?ust- or er>loving- benevolent ruler ha been shattere over the "hole of northern Europe- as the present fate of the Christian Churches bears "itness. %ascism in *taly an the civil "ar in &pain sho" that in the south as "ell the cataclysm has been far greater than one eApecte . Even the Catholic Church can no longer affor trials of strength. 'he nationalist Go has attac;e Christianity on a broa front. *n )ussia- he is calle technology an science- in *taly- Duce- an in Germany- FGerman %aith-F FGerman Christianity-F or the &tate. 'he FGerman ChristiansF are a contra iction in terms an "oul o better to ?oin +auer@s FGerman %aith 6ovement.F 'hese are ecent an "ell>meaning people "ho honestly a mit their Ergriffenheit an try to come to terms "ith this ne" an un eniable fact. 'hey go to an enormous amount of trouble to ma;e it loo; less alarming by ressing it up in a conciliatory historical garb an giving us consoling glimpses of great figures such as 6eister Ec;hart- "ho "asalso- a German an - also- ergriffen. *n this "ay the a";"ar =uestion of "ho the Ergreifer is is circumvente . +e "as al"ays FGo .F But the more +auer restricts the "orl >"i e sphere of *n o>European culture to the F5or icF in general an to the E a in particular- an the more FGermanF this faith becomes as a manifestation of Ergriffenheit- the more painfully evi ent it is that the FGermanF go is the go of the Germans. One cannot rea +auer@s boo; "ithout emotion- if one regar s it as the tragic an really heroic effort of a conscientious scholar "ho- "ithout ;no"ing ho" it happene to him- "as violently summone by the inau ible voice of the Ergreifer an is no" trying "ith all his might- an "ith all his ;no"le ge an ability- to buil a bri ge bet"een the ar; forces of life an the shining "orl of historical i eas. But "hat o all the beauties of the past from totally ifferent levels of culture mean to the man of to ay- "hen confronte "ith a living an unfathomable tribal go such as he has never eAperience beforeB 'hey are suc;e li;e ry leaves into the roaring "hirl"in - an the rhythmic alliterations of the E a became ineAtricably miAe up "ith Christian mystical teAts- German poetry an the "is om of the $panisha s. +auer himself is ergriffen by the epths of meaning in the primal "or s lying at the root of the Germanic languages- to an eAtent that he certainly never ;ne" before. +auer the *n ologist is not to blame for this- nor yet the E a< it is rather the fault of ;airos >> the present moment in time >> "hose name on closer investigation turns out to be Wotan. * "oul - therefore- a vise

the German %aith 6ovement to thro" asi e their scruples. *ntelligent people "ho "ill not confuse them "ith the cru e Wotan>"orshippers "hose faith is a mere pretense. 'here are people in the German %aith 6ovement "ho are intelligent enough not only to believe- but to ;no"- that the go of the Germans is Wotan an not the Christian Go . 'his is a tragic eAperience an no isgrace. *t has al"ays been terrible to fall into the han s of a living go . 4ah"eh "as no eAception to this rule- an the Philistines- E omites- #morites an the rest- "ho "ere outsi e the 4ah"eh eAperience- must certainly have foun it eAcee ingly isagreeable. 'he &emitic eAperience of #llah "as for a long time an eAtremely painful affair for the "hole of Christen om. We "ho stan outsi e ?u ge the Germans far too much- as if they "ere responsible agents- but perhaps it "oul be nearer the truth to regar them- also- as victims. *f "e apply are a mitte ly peculiar point of vie" consistently- "e are riven to conclu e that Wotan must- in time- reveal not only the restless- violent- stormy si e of his character- but- also- his ecstatic an mantic =ualities >> a very ifferent aspect of his nature. *f this conclusion is correct- 5ational &ocialism "oul not be the last "or . 'hings must be conceale in the bac;groun "hich "e cannot imagine at present- but "e may eApect them to appear in the course of the neAt fe" years or eca es. Wotan@s rea"a;ening is a stepping bac; into the past< the stream "as amne up an has bro;en into its ol channel. But the Obstruction "ill not last forever< it is rather a reculer pour mieuA sauter- an the "ater "ill overleap the obstacle. 'hen- at last- "e shall ;no" "hat Wotan is saying "hen he Fmurmers "ith 6imir@s hea .F %ast move the sons of 6im- an fate *s hear in the note of the G?allarhorn< 7ou blo"s +eim all- the horn is aloft*n fear =ua;e all "ho on +el>roa s are. 4gg rasill sha;es an shivers on high 'he ancient limbs- an the giant is loose< Wotan murmurs "ith 6imir@s hea But the ;insman of &urt shall slay him soon. +o" fare the go sB ho" fare the elvesB #ll Jotunheim groans- the go s are at council< 7ou roar the "arfs by the oors of stone'he masters of the roc;s: "oul you ;no" yet moreB 5o" Garm ho"ls lou before Gnipahellir< 'he fetters "ill burst- an the "olf run free< 6uch * o ;no"- an more can see Of the fate of the go s- the mighty in fight. %rom the east comes +rym "ith shiel hel high< *n giant>"rath oes the serpent "rithe< O@er the "aves he t"ists- an the ta"ny eagle Gna"s corpses screaming< 5aglfar is loose. O@er the sea from the north there sails a ship With the people of +el- at the helm stan s 7o;i< #fter the "olf o "il men follo"#n "ith them the brother of Byleist goes.