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A lot has been printed in the newspapers lately about a five-year-old child who can paint wonderful pictures. I would like to write on how prodigies such as this one are born.

Outstanding geniuses have appeared every once in a while throughout the written history of man. We have often heard of famous musicians in the West who could play the piano or violin very skillfully at an early age, or who created great musical compositions when they were quite young. The famous Austrian musician Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828) is said to have composed music successfully when he was only a teenager and he wrote over five hundred compositions before he passed on at the age of thirty-one. He had a tremendous talent indeed. There must be a special reason for such a great genius to be born, and this is what I am going to write about.

Such an event has a specific spiritual meaning. There is no way of knowing the cause for it through material scientific deductions, but I think it is necessary to understand, so I am going to explain from the viewpoint of what we call spiritual science.

There are two types of genius: one is a former great genius who has been reborn, and the other is an individual who is possessed by one.

As an example of the first type, suppose a person has been a great musician in a former life. After he has passed on to the spiritual world he cannot forget the music of which he has been so fond. He comes back to this plane while still retaining the strong attachment he had in his previous life.

As an example of the second type, suppose, after passing over to the spiritual world, such a musician can hardly wait until the proper time for his rebirth. He begins to search for someone in his family line who is right for this purpose, waits until that person can control his fingers, and possesses him. Then, because this possessing spirit is that of a great musician, the child begins to display an amazing skill. In such a case, since the spiritual being cannot possess someone who is not related to him, he chooses one who is in his lineage, specifically a young child. This is because a child is much easier for a spirit to enter than an adult, and it requires less effort for the genius to use the child's body as freely as he wishes.

Ordinarily, how can a young child display as much gifted talent as an adult? When we come to know the spiritual meaning, as mentioned above, we realize there is nothing strange about a child's being a genius or what is called a prodigy.

We cannot say that every prodigy continues to be great after he is grown, though in a case of the first type, rebirth of a genius, the individual himself is the genius and so never changes. In a case of the second type, genius caused by possession, a child may display talent only up to a certain age and after that become average, since a possessing spirit can only control the child for a limited time in order to fulfill a special mission assigned by God or to satisfy the wish of an ancestor. God is always in charge, so whatever the reason it is He Who has permitted the genius to possess the child in the first place. When the experience comes to its destined fulfillment, the musician's spirit must withdraw.


March 11, 1950



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