Nature's Gambit: Child Prodigies and the Development of Human Potential

By David Henry F E Ldman; Lynn T. Goldsmith | Go to book overview

9
Beyond Co-incidence

TRADITION and a sense of being connected to generations and times past run deep with prodigies. While little is known about such links, they must be acknowledged as part of the prodigy phenomenon. During the years I have conducted my study several of my subjects have reported incidents that have made me reflect on a possible connection between prodigies and unknown forces or influences. This chapter presents some examples of occurrences that suggest that there does remain an element of mystery and uncanniness to the prodigy. Perhaps this element helps account for why prodigies and prophecy have been linked through history. These examples are the most extreme to have been reported to me during the ten years of our research and certainly should not be taken as typical. They do not occur frequently, nor did reports surface in every family. Yet I think it would deny one of the significant aspects of the experience of studying prodigies if these incidents were not mentioned.

It is interesting that the two families to have reported episodes of mystical, inexplicable behavior are also the ones to which we have become closest over the years—the McDaniels and the Konantoviches. It might be that they shared these unusual experiences with us because we had demonstrated an openness to the nonrational, or it might be that becoming closer simply led to their trusting us enough to reveal an aspect of their experience unavailable to us with the other families. Both these families

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