Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death – F W H Myers
In the year 1837, Vito Mangiamele, who gave his age as 10 years and 4 months, presented himself before Arago in Paris. He was the son of a shepherd of Sicily, who was not able to give his son any instruction. By chance it was discovered that by methods peculiar to himself he resolved problems that seemed at the first view to require extended mathematical knowledge. In the presence of the Academy, Arago proposed the following questions;
‘What is the cubic root of 3,796,416’. In the space of about half a minute the child responded 156, which is correct.
‘What satisfies the condition that its cube plus 5 times its square is equal to 42 times itself increased by 40?’ Everybody understands that this is a demand for the root of the equation x3 + 5x2 –42x – 40 = 0. In less than a minute Vito responded that 5 satisfied the condition; which is correct.
The third question related to the solution of the equation x5 – 4x – 16779 = 0. This time the child remained 4 to 5 minutes without answering; finally he demanded with some hesitation if 3 would be the solution desired. The secretary having informed him that he was wrong, Vito, a few moments afterwards, gave the number 7 as the true solution.
Having finally been requested to extract the 10th root of 282,475,249 Vito found in a short time that the root is 7.
At a later date a committee composed of Arago, Cauchy and others complained that ‘the masters of Mangiamele have always kept secret the methods of calculation which he made use of