Original title: The Everlasting Man
Translation: Giannis D. Ioannidis
Every agnostic or atheist who celebrated Christmas as a child retains within his mind, whether he likes it or not, the ability to associate two ideas which the rest of Humanity considers completely foreign to each other: the idea of a baby and the idea of an unknown of force that weighs down the stars. His mind and imagination still combine these two ideas, even when his dry logic sees no reason to make such an association. The image of a mother holding a baby in her arms will always refer him to some savior and combine the terrible name of God with mercy and sweetness. Let us note this: these two ideas are not by their very nature self-evidently and inevitably connected to each other. Neither the ancient Greek, nor the Chinese, nor Aristotle, nor Confucius make such a combination. Just as gravity and kitten do not necessarily go together, God and baby do not necessarily go together. They were associated in our minds with Christmas because we are Christians, because we are psychologically Christians, even if we are not theologically Christians. In short, this combination decisively transformed human nature. For there really is a difference between the man who knows this and the man who does not. This difference is not necessarily a difference of moral weight. It is about the combination of omnipotence and weakness, or divinity and childishness, which is really the conclusion of the Christian faith, and nothing, not even millions of repetitions, could turn it into a boring platitude. So we have every reason to speak of a unique feature of Christianity. Bethlehem is the place where extremes meet.