Rosicrucian Writings Online
The Woman of MysteryBy Olga Rosmanith
[From The Rosicrucian Digest May 1958]
I met Dr. Quetta Woodbridge only twice following the Armistice of the First World War, but I remember her tangible quiet power and her luminous unearthly face more vividly than the personalities who were around me yesterday.
She had a practice of her unorthodox skills in that exclusive neighborhood in
She sought no publicity. On the contrary she tried to defend herself against curiosity and thrill seekers and do her healing miracles in peace, but stories of the healed and of the glamorous nature of her consulting room flickered through London clubs and drawing rooms like marsh fires. Every newspaper sent reporters to try to get a scoop on a new sensation.
Not one of them could enter the stronghold.
One day the editor of the
I was evidently his last resort. In my late teens I was not yet under consideration for the tough assignments. But the editor thought I might get inside that mysterious door in some devious way because I was a woman.
I was not only thrilled by the challenge to succeed where all the men had failed, I was drawn as by a magnet by the gist of the stories I had heard and what this mystery doctor seemed to stand for.
I accomplished entrance into the guarded stronghold by the simple and obvious method of asking for a consultation as a patient. The doctor specialized in nervous disorders and I thought it would be no trouble at all to convince her that the conflict between my newspaper work and domestic responsibilities gave me insomnia.
If so, I might get the treatment which had been making news of miraculous cures among her soldier patients. They went to her unable to stop shaking and emerged from her treatment like men born again, healthy, fearless, completely readjusted.
I cannot recall whether a man or a woman opened the dark heavy door, for my "treatment" started immediately. I was left to sit for about five minutes in the entrance foyer. This had bare walls in off-white, was lit indirectly, and furnished with dark, heavy furniture, strangely beautiful, decorated with engraved metal, unfamiliar to me. I later learned it was Tibetan.
In a few moments the atmosphere of the outside world fell away, and I felt the tranquility of utter indifference to time or place. Then a door opened and I was invited to come and sit in the "waiting room." This room also had no outside light. Drapes hid the foggy day. I sat in a deep chair on the floor of a blue sea. I was enveloped in blueness. The ceiling was vaulted and painted in this vibrant blue and scattered with gold stars. I leaned back in the chair and looked up.
The atmosphere was so charged with the quality of a presence that I seemed to hear a breathing in the silence. I lost my emotion of excitement at having got inside the door. I began to feel a premonition of some extraordinary experience.
When the door was opened to the consulting room and I was bade to go in, all my preparation was lost. I knew that whatever I would say to the doctor, it would not be a lie.
The servant, who ushered me in, closed the door and I was alone with the doctor.
This room too was darkly draped against outside light. A huge bronze Buddha stood on a tall stand in the window embrasure, with two tall candlesticks on either side; the flames in the great candles were burning steadily and slowly.
The doctor was small, and she sat in a chair upon a little platform so that she would look down on the patient seated below her. She was dressed like a nun in a shimmering pale grey material which also folded round her head and face concealing her hair.
Her face was oval, luminously pale, and out of it shone enormous grey eyes, the pupils rimmed with black; the most lustrous, the most compelling, the most compassionate, the wisest, the most understanding eyes I have ever seen.
The face was pure and unlined, the mouth firm and large, but tender. It might have been the face of a woman of thirty-five who took good care of her skin. But the eyes were those of a sage who might be a thousand years old.
I sat in the chair below her.
"Don't speak," she said. "Let me think about you."
She looked at my eyes and went past them. I had an electric sensation as if I were physically touched.
"Olga," she said, "you are not ill in any way. It is very unlikely you ever will be. You have come from a newspaper. Isn't that so?"
I admitted that it was.
She closed her eyes as if she were listening. I looked at her hands lying relaxed on the arms of her chair.
They were long, slender and of a pearly peach-blossom whiteness. Nothing about her gave any indication of the strength which could control spirited horses, as I learned later.
She opened her eyes and smiled. That too was electrifying.
"You will have integrity," she said, "and will tell the unvarnished truth about me, so I am going to tell you all about my treatments. I learned them in
"First I will tell you the method of healing by the breath. Now when a patient is in battle shock, his breath is shallow and uneven. I teach him to breathe slowly, deeply--but effortlessly, just like this. Not as the gymnasium teaches which is very tiring, but gently, calmly, so that long drinks of oxygen banish his fatigue.
"Now this is against orthodox practice for it is working on the symptoms. Try it yourself. You'll see how difficult it is to remain agitated while you breathe the slow, tranquil, unworried breath."
In two minutes I had grasped the difference between breathing deeply with effort and breathing deeply with ease--one exhausted and the other exhilarated.
"You are a good student," she said, "remember how to breathe and it will solve many of your problems. Next we have the breathing for stamina. So simple. It is nothing more than this fact--oxygen is vitality, it contains a life principle. Most people use only one third of their lungs, so they get only one third of the energy which is the birthright of the body.
"Many people die because they are too tired to breathe. The more they need it the less they can work for it. Regard it as essential as your food. Oxygen is indeed most essential to sparkling strength. Drink it. Eat it.
"Some of my feeblest patients have been restored to the vital strength of young men by nothing else than instruction in how to get their rightful supply of oxygen."
Now she gave me the little pamphlet of breathing instructions she had had printed for her patients.
"There is too much to tell you in an interview. It is merely a return to nature. Now is that sensational?"
I agreed that it was not. What was sensational was the fact that her simple routine was then considered abnormal.
"Now there is the voice. Treatment by the voice is my own idea though it does stem from my instruction in
"I use it to bring the nerve-shattered, trembling patient back to normal.
"Now is it not true that emotion affects the tones of the voice? Hysteria rises to a high pitch. Fear is thin and falsetto. Only tranquility is low and pleasing, from the middle of the chest. I teach them the habit of speaking as if they were tranquil and in peaceful command of themselves. To speak self-mastery and breathe self-mastery, and not to bother their heads with their feelings. I will do that. Just speak and breathe as if--"
The doctor opened her lovely slim hands. "They like this treatment because it is so easy. They do it faithfully as if--I ask no more of them. Very soon they are."
Now she came down from her chair on the little platform and unrolled a slightly padded mat. She put it on the floor.
"Lie down on this on your back."
I obeyed immediately.
She sat on the floor beside me in the folded Buddha position. She arranged my arms a little away from my body with the palms turned up.
"Now deliberately relax every muscle down to your last small toe till you are like a rag doll if you are picked up. Now what do you feel?"
I felt as if the forces of gravity and the hard floor were pulling every muscle into place and untying knots everywhere. She called it "relaxism." It is a well-known elementary principle but I have never come across anything that releases the circulation of the blood and clears up so much fatigue in so few minutes.
Color therapy is standard practice now but it was revolutionary then. She took me into her little treatment room where patients were bathed in the psychological atmospheres of tinted light. Dr. Woodbridge said the color used the principles of physics as well as of psychology. "Light filtered through a color takes that color's frequency. There is a field of frequency round the body. This changes according to the health condition. The blue rate will change the body frequency to its own if the light is powerful enough and the patient is left in the rays long enough."
She answered my question before I asked it. "Yes, you can close your eyes and sleep while the lamp shines on you. A blind man can be healed of certain nervous disorders by light shining through the color blue."
She swung into place and switched on in turn the different colored lamps. They were large globes of colored glass of intensely vital colors. Violet, dark blue, light blue, deep yellow, pale yellow, green, orange, dull red, crimson, even a fiery shade of scarlet.
"That's a poison color," she said of the latter, "but there are uses for poisons. It can wake a man from melancholia to a state of irritation which can be the first step to returning life."
The light shed from these globes in the small white-walled room had such a lambent quality it made the air seem like colored water. The dark blue and the green gave the aspect of one's walking under the sea. The deep yellow was like tropical sunlight. The orange was like desert sunrise. The crimson felt like being caught in flames.
"Too much isn't good for you," she said, switching off the orange light. "Come back to the consulting room."
We returned to the tranquil presence of the Buddha.
"Is that all?" I asked.
"It is far from all," she answered. "If you remember and practice any of the things I have told you, you will today have taken the first step on a journey of ten thousand miles; the journey that leads to the power of self-mastery. When you can walk unmolested among wild animals and not be afraid, you will know you have attained it."
On further questioning she showed me a newspaper clipping and photograph of herself walking unscathed through a corral of unbroken horses milling around her without molesting her.
"If savage animals come near, you speak to them as if you love them," she said. "Naturally they don't understand words but the fearless compassion in your voice starts a telepathic communication. You don't need to speak at all if your inner power--which everyone has--is realized and highly developed."
The dim, unremembered servant now entered to announce the arrival of a patient.
The doctor from
"Walk on the Path. It is yours. You will tell the truth in your article. Let them know how simple it is to be natural and grow strong on goodness, tranquility, water, and air. I depend on you not to be sensational."
I kept my promise. But the editor was not disappointed. She had given me a photograph and he was the only one who had an inside story. He published the article as I wrote it and as she approved it.
But he wrote the title.
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