Humanity is an entrance. Humanity is a portal that opens on two sides. Each side of the portal there is a human being. Now ‘to enter’ in French is ‘entrer.’ ‘Entre,’ in French, is a preposition related to the verb. This French preposition translates in English, ‘between.’ Yes, every way we enter is an entrance, every entrance thus a “between”; herein a noun, a thing, a state of being: the between. The act of entering is one of betweening; to be between is to be in an entrance of a kind visible or invisible, again, something that lies between one here and another there.
The between that exists for you and for me is this thing humanity; humanity only exists between you and me, only between two people is there any hope of humanity, of acting humanely. This is where our humanity resides, lives, inhabits–the habitat of humanity. Humanity is the between of being humane; you and me are the limits of this being between.
I once said in another essay that to enter is to between; yes, simple enough said. Herein, to between is a verb: I between, you between, everyone betweens. Rimbaud said in a letter to a friend, Je me deux, or, I two myself, another kind of tearing asunder, of splitting the self and thus creating an internal between-ness inside. Je me deux is also the reflexive of douloir. Douloir is to feel sorrow. Je me deux is thus a way to say I feel sorrow or I feel myself sorrowful? Jacques Lacan had used this in an essay on Marguerite Duras as I am rent, torn asunder, as I have alluded to herein above . . . Rimbaud’s poetics were in this two-ness. Everybody does do this to himself; everyone’s in the between; I am between here and there, now and then; my humanity journeys from me to you. What then do we say about the journey that is life, this living.
The self has one as well, a between. We double ourselves in every meeting; every face we face another mirror. All journeys are between; your life as it is lived is between. To between or not to between, that could become the question.
Between me and you, between me and another; therein lies our humanity.