I lived the first years of my life in the Garden of Eden. I was born in Mauritius in a family of French origin. My ancestor who came to Mauritius around the time of the French Revolution was said to have been a Rosicrucian and a companion of the Count of Saint Germain.

The family became very wealthy as landowners who grew sugar cane and owned sugar factories. Their wealth was built on the labour of slaves from Madagascar and south-east Africa, later of Indian labourers.

My family belonged to a small minority of Protestants and were outsiders on the island as the other French-Mauritians were all Catholics. They belonged to the New Church, which is grounded on the teachings of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish scientist and mystic of the 18th century who had had visions of heaven and hell and had channeled the esoteric meaning of the bible.

When I was born, my family no longer had much money but we still lived a life of abundance. We lived on the very large property of my grandparents. There was a huge garden, surrounded by woods. My grandparents lived on the ground floor of a big house and on the first floor lived my aunt and uncle with their four children. We had a pavilion next door to ourselves, my parents, my three older siblings and myself. My other aunt and her husband and three daughters lived about 500 metres further across the main road. We always all ate together at lunchtime in the big house and I played the whole day outside, barefoot, with my two cousins, who were one and two years older than I was. We had a large vegetable garden and fruit trees and my aunt held chickens. We had servants: a cook, a maid, a woman who washed the clothes and I had a nanny. My grandparents and the other families had servants of their own. What's more there was a gardener and several women who kept the garden clean and tidy.

My father was a lovely Irishman (a Protestant from the south of Ireland!) who had come to Mauritius as a young man and worked as a civil servant for the British colonial administration.

I am told that I was a gentle and easy child and was loved and cherished by everybody. So I lived in paradise, until the day my parents left us children in the care of our grandparents for a journey. My father was granted home leave every five or six years. Before leaving, about the time of my 2nd birthday, my mother hugged, cuddled and kissed me for days on end and I was in the 7th heaven.

They left when I was asleep and when I woke up I was told they had gone off for a walk. My big sister consoled me with biscuits and we played with the cat. Six months later a man and a woman came to live with us and I was told they were my parents, but I couldn't remember. I could never trust again.

All of this I heard of later, much later, as an adult, after I had regressed into the despair and terror of abandonment during a therapy. Now, I believe I must have created these circumstances because of an ancient karmic wound of having felt forsaken by the Great Mother, the Goddess, at a time when I had lived in total harmony with her. I must say it's only a feeling, a good guess, as I have no memories of anything of the kind.