The first devastating flash of unusual insight occurred when I was a child. I remember that my mother had completely failed to comprehend something of vital importance to me. I must have been deeply hurt, then suddenly, with such vital power that I can still recall it, a sudden blaze of understanding took possession of my whole being; with it the conviction that I was alone, that I was a being apart, and must stand on my own. Swift, instantly upon this, was a great wave of exaltation. ‘I am alone! Oh joy!’ This was a lifting of the spirit which I shall never forget, so real as to be undeniable, although impossible to put into words.

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