On Marriage and Children

Here I have transcribed page 95 from Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche. I bolded the font to emphasize my favorite parts. Creating life through love is perhaps the most mysterious and beautiful idea that crosses my mind’s path. If you read my first blog under the “travel diary” menu, these are the pages Eric shared with me on the plane. Hope you find it as insightful as we did!

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On Marriage and Children

I have a question for you alone, my brother: I throw this question like a plummet into your soul, to discover how deep it is.

You are young and desire marriage and children. But I ask you: are you a man who ought to desire a child?

Are you a victor, the self-conqueror, the ruler of your senses, the lord of your virtues? Thus I ask you.

Or do animal and necessity speak from your desire? Or isolation? Or disharmony with yourself?

I would have your victory and your freedom long for a child. You should build living memorials to your victory and your liberation.

You should build beyond yourself. But first you must be built yourself, square-built in body and soul. 

You should propagate yourself not only forward, but upward! May the garden of marriage* help you to do it!

You should create a higher body, a first motion, a self-propelling wheel – you should create a creator.

Marriage: that I call the will of two to create the one who is more than those who created it. Reverence before one another, as before the willers of such a will — that I call marriage. 

Let this be the meaning and the truth of your marriage. But that which the many-too-many, the superfluous, call marriage – ah, what shall I call it? 

Ah, this poverty of soul in partnership! Ah, this filth of soul in partnership! Ah, this miserable ease in partnership!

All this they call marriage, and they say their marriages are made in Heaven. 

Well, I do not like it, this Heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not like them, these animals caught in the heavenly net!

And let the God who limps hither to bless what he has not joined stay far from me!

* * *

(On page 96, Nietzsche continues with brutal honesty about such marriages that he calls “a little dressed-up lie.” He does, after all, have a rep for sharing his unfiltered, entirely honest philosophies and thoughts. In this transcription I have left out some of his stark descriptions on what some men call their marriage. However, I will share the end of the page where he shares what he calls a marriage.)

* * *

One day you shall love beyond yourselves! So first learn to love! For that you have had to drink the bitter cup of your love.

There is bitterness in the cup of even the best love: thus it arouses longing for the Superman*, thus it arouses thirst in you, the creator!

A creator’s thirst, arrow, and longing for the Superman: speak, my brother, is this your will to marriage?

I can call holy such a will and such a marriage.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.


* Superman is the term Nietzche uses to name the human embodiment of divinity.

* The beauty of reading is making our own interpretations. Nietzche says, “May the garden of marriage help you to do it.” I believe the garden of love is the true force that will help us propagate ourselves forward and upward.




One thought on “On Marriage and Children

  1. Pingback: Arrive – eudaimonia

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