the others, waiting for death, and you, in their voluptuous arms, that are not death’s

“How can one do something when one has neither implements nor any materials nor knowledge nor strength with which to do this, save one’s own still awake vitality? This thing one has to do – to die – one can nonetheless do with others. The others that stand close by are as remote from one’s life as the death that is at any moment imminent. One dies in the arms of others, by the hands of others. In the quiet of white hospitals, the doctors, one’s family and friends who are also one’s doctors, tell one the time has come, have told each one who got born how it has to be done. When they lay in one’s arms and held one collapsed in voluptuous abandon, were they not making seductive the abysses of extinction? When the other that held one is also lost, still others will, beyond appeal, judge how it was done. Humankind is silent about the Biharis, waiting. All the others, the men and women organized into the community of nations which have taken possession of the earth, demand of the Biharis that they do this – die.

“Humankind that has propagated its life and its will without reasons and doomed uncounted races of animal life to extinction, is satisfied when it can find reasons to obliterate a segment of its own inconceivably excessive numbers.”

– Alphonso Lingis, Abuses, 1994, pp. 213-214

– from, with more about the Biharis, “children from nowhere”, here