From gggg gggg@21:1/5 to All on Mon May 17 06:31:09 2021
According to this:
- The central symbols of both - in the Ring, the Gold of the Rhine and the World-Ash Tree (with the Sacred Spring flowing from its roots), and in Parsifal the Holy Grail and Spear (its tip aglow with the redeeming blood of Christ) - are elemental
repositories of life energy which are coveted, manipulated, and abused by those who seek power, whether for good or for ill. In psycho/religious terms, the pairs of symbols - Rhinegold/World-Ash and Grail/Spear - represent the feminine/masculine energies
of the psyche in sacred union, the unified, pure, unconflicted soul as yet uncorrupted by sin ("sin" being the ego's embrace of an illusion of separateness and self-sufficiency, a notion fundamental to many religions, most germanely Christianity and
Just as, in the Ring, Wotan commits the original sin of ripping his spear of dominion from the World-Ash, and Alberich the parallel sin of ripping the Gold from the rock and fashioning it into an instrument of personal power, so in Parsifal Titurel
forces the Grail's free, nurturing grace into the controlled ritual of a nature-corrupting, sexuality-denying cult, Titurel's agent Amfortas arrogantly tears the Sacred Spear away from its companion, the Grail, thus delivering its power into evil hands,
and Klingsor, in dark parallel to Titurel's suppression of sensual life, castrates himself in order to obtain Spear and Grail for his own destructive ends. Alberich is Wotan's dark alter ego, as Klingsor is Titurel's, and in Parsifal it's significant
that after Parsifal destroys Klingsor he returns to Montsalvat to find that Titurel too, along with his grip on the Grail, is dead. His death is a "Gotterdammerung" - but this opera, unlike the Ring, does not end here, but goes on to fulfill what the
Ring's final measures could only promise.
The parallels continue with Parsifal himself, who, I like to say, is a Siegfried who grows up. Siegfried, meeting a woman and crying out for his mother who died giving him birth, remains to seek fulfillment in Brunnhilde's arms, which too easily become
Gutrune's (remember that Brunnhilde told Siegfried that she loved him even before he was born - a mother's role). Parsifal, crying out for his mother who died from grief at losing him, recognizes through his identification with Amfortas that to yield to
Kundry's embrace is to lose his manhood before he ever finds it - to remain, like Siegfried, immature forever - and ultimately that the healing of the soul, the union of male and female, must take place at a higher level: the reunion of Grail and Spear.
The enactment of this reunion is the only thing that can heal the wound of Amfortas, the unbearable, guilty pain of which is the isolated ego in extremis. It is to this that Parsifal understands he must devote himself - this which, whether or not Wagner
knew it at the time, that last exalted motif of the Ring foretold.