The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The nature of the Self, in the mind of a child.

Tiarnan is rather philosophical for a six year old. Today, he was having a serious little chat with his mother, when he suddenly asked, with the utmost intensity:

“Who is in control of me?”

His mother, Syahidah, focussed on him, somewhat startled at the question.

“Is it me, me, or is it my brain?”, he continued, drawing a distinction that seemed a little mystifying to her.

“Who do you think is in control of you?”, she prompted, acceptingly.

“Just me.”, he said, simply. “...and God, sometimes. God controls the whole world – but I am in control of me!”

He seemed happy with that conclusion.

Syahidah was quite happy, too, to have heard him think so. Listening to Tiarnan is rather refreshing. He ponders the world, asking questions of matters, that adults have come to overlook, or take for granted. He then reflects on them, deeply, answering them from within the context of his experience – yet, meaningfully, nevertheless. Tiarnan is a little philosopher and, in many ways, is proving to be a deep thinker, prone to pondering mysteries and cracking the enigmas of life. It is notable that the questions that concern him most could all be lumped under the heading: “The Meaning of Life”...for its nature and context are his primary interests. He really wants to understand what it means to be alive. He doesn’t just accept that he is alive and go from there...he is really questioning what life is and what it means to experience the living state. Yet, he is only six years old and has never read any philosophical or religious work of any kind. He is thinking for himself, afresh.

All of this leads me to wonder whether, as an adult, he might become a writer, who ponders deep questions and answers them for his readers. If so, that would be an altogether familiar outcome, for those who are privy to my writings of yesteryear (hint: not the general public, as yet).

Intellectually, Tiarnan has many a likeness to my own preoccupations – though his are in juvenescent form. That doesn’t disguise the fact, though, that he seems driven by the same motivations to question, understand and explain his world. Once again, I marvel at how much genetic influences appear to play in the formation of our minds, our characters and our interests.

I look forward to Tiarnan’s many interesting questions and ponderings, in the future.

Posted by Valentine Cawley
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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:05 AM 


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