By miracle, the Grand Inquisitor explains that when Christ rejected the second temptation — the refusal to cast Himself down — he was rejecting one of the essential characteristics man expects from religion: the truly miraculous. Of course, Christ, as divine, could reject the miraculous, but He should have understood that the nature of man desires a miracle. "But Thou didst not know that when man rejects miracles he rejects God also; for man seeks not so much God as the miraculous. And as man cannot bear to be without the miraculous, he will create new miracles of his own for himself and will worship deeds of sorcery and witchcraft." In other words, man's basic nature is to seek that which transcends human existence; he worships that which is superhuman, that which has a sense of the miraculous. "We are not working with Thee," the Inquisitor says, "but with him — that is our mystery. It's long —
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Ivan, Grand Inquisitor, eight centuries, essential characteristics man