Former anarchist – now a 100 year-old “fully engaged” Christian Science practitioner!

If you think that was just an attention-getting headline, you are partly right. I couldn’t resist!

However, it is also true.  On Monday evening, on the Progressive Radio Network’s “A Better World” show (in the USA), – hosted by Mitchell Jay Rabin – an interview with centenarian pianist, and Christian Scientist, Lillian Schwabe was introduced in the following way:

Having studied piano at age 7 with the famous Russian composer Leo Ornstein, and later at the Adamant Music school in a special class of 12 New Yorkers. She entered at NYU at age 16 to study English with the famous Thomas Wolfe. She studied piano with Edwine Behre, and others, consummating in a recital at one of the stages at Carnegie Hall.in 1947. In 1922 she became a founding member of Megegan Colony, an anarchist community north of New York City who were International Workers of the World. Lillian now lives in Greenwich Village and works full time as a Christian Science Practitioner. Fully engaged and continuing to significantly contribute to the world, Lillian turns 101 on August 10. Today’s show will focus on the power, art and science of Christian Science as a healing modality and a way of life.

A recent Better World newsletter included the following interesting comment:

Mary Baker Eddy

Our belief systems are being challenged across the board, which is why this week’s shows are, from this point of view, particularly interesting.  Lillian Schwabe, at age 100 is as nimble as she may have been at less than half her age, and more than most at half her age.  In Christian Science, drugs, surgery, radiation, not even nutrition are the bases of the healing.  The mind, heart and soul are united in faith, in imagery in commitment to health and God’s will for healing.  How interesting! and it has worked countless times at this point, since Mary Baker Eddy came up with it in the late 19th century.  So talk about belief systems changing or a paradigm shift occurring.  Can you imagine if millions of people believed and practiced this, what would happen to our healthcare system?!  Want to change things?  Change your beliefs.

Congratulations to Lilian for being such an example of a life-practice that enables her to be unhampered by ageing…an example which might itself be described as putting a bit of an anarchistic cat among the pigeons of materialistic assumptions. 

As they would say in America…”Go, Lilian!”

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Categories: Healing

Author:Tony Lobl

I write on spirituality and health for a diversity of online media outlets, from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I have been published by the Independent, the Washington Post, the Guardian, E-Hospice, MindBodyGreen and The Christian Science Monitor and I post regularly on the Huffington Post UK and BuzzFeed. In addition to writing and broadcast appearances I enjoy engaging with journalists, academics, health professionals and government officials about the possibilities for improving health outcomes through a greater emphasis on spirituality in healthcare and social care. I've also greatly valued the many opportunities I have had to travel globally for my church and to meet people around the world. My wife Jenny and I spent 10 years in Boston, USA, before returning to London in 2002, to take on a role as the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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5 Comments on “Former anarchist – now a 100 year-old “fully engaged” Christian Science practitioner!”

  1. Jean Whitehead
    July 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Thank you for this and the link to ‘A better world’. The interview is amazing for anyone who has time to watch – but doesn’t start until nearly 11 minutes into the clip!

    Jean W

  2. Terry in Upland, CA
    July 25, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    It would be interesting to hear how Lillian’s views on anarchy blended with her views on CS. Does her view of the world still hold an anarchist’s view?

  3. Mary Harvey
    July 4, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    I was very close to Lillian. She was my best friend, mentor, everything. She just passed away May 22, 2012. I had never met anyone like her. I was a journalist and had interviewed hundreds of spiritual teachers and she was the only one I ever met who walked her talk. Yes she was still an anarchist. She lived life HER WAY. She was amazing. She had a more active social life than people who are twenty. She talk twice a week at Church and had hundreds of clients. She went to the Opera ravenously, dined at fine restaurants and dressed to the hilt everyday of her life…by herself. She walked faster than my 6ft husband who is a runner. She was just about 5 feet tall. She was brilliant. She had a library of 2000 books of which she read every one. They spanned all kinds of topics from philosophy, to art, to politics. Lillian wasn’t just fully awake and enlightened, LIllian was a Master. Healed everything you can imagine and had enough fun to fill multiple lifetimes. On her Memorial Tribute pamphlet we have a photo of her sitting on a horse on a Merry go Round just a few years ago. I am so blessed to have known her…so blessed…any you are blessed to just watch the video interview. Any touch of her is a blessing from the Divine.

    • July 4, 2012 at 1:36 am #

      I feel very honoured to have this comment added to the blog, Mary, and to read this further insight into Lillian’s incredible life. Thanks for sharing it, and the news of Lillian’s passing. I didn’t know that. I can well understand why she will be missed by those, like yourself, who directly knew and loved her…I did, indeed, feel very moved by the video. I expect that Lillian’s words to you, like those of Jesus to one who glimpsed the unique merits of the Master’s life and ideas, might be – “now go and do likewise!” Blessings to you, and thanks again for being in touch.

    • Heather Dewey
      March 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Thank you so much for writing this! I just finished watching the video interview and picked up the phone to call her afterwards. There was no answer of course. I do feel blessed to have had the opportunity to experience her in this video, left me most inspired. Its great to hear more about her and her life, if you could share any more? A book? Does anyone know if there is a print out of the interview? Bless you.

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