04/11/2013 10:19 am ET Updated Jun 11, 2013

Is Heaven a Haven?

Lately, there have been a couple of books about the out-of-body experiences of two scientists (Dr. Mary Bell, To Heaven and Back and Dr. Eben Alexander, Proof of Heaven). Both authors are doctors who have reversed their long-held clinical beliefs regarding the finality of death as a result of personal experiences.

When our broken bodies and brains depart Earth for the dimension we designate as heaven, could this be comparable to sending a totally totaled automobile back to the factory for restoration rather than to rot in a a grave/junkyard?

The car has served us faithfully, hauling us around in exchange for fuel and maintenance. What if vehicles were rewarded with a chance to rest, a new carcass (pun intended) and an opportunity for further service?

Is it possible that our divine creator is so shortsighted as to fashion a complex multi-faceted being such as man -- to say nothing of the intricacies of feminine wiles and wisdom -- then toss it aside for an unseasoned model? Why would he/she put such a limited shelf life on life?

No doctor or midwife ever observed an expiration date stamped on any baby's foot. When the baby's bod wears out, could it go back to the factory for renewal? This makes an excellent case for recycling! It is called reincarnation!

In previous blogs I have referred to perhaps the original major influence of my life, a book I received as a young child titled Jiji Lou, subtitled "The Story of a Cast-Off Doll," by Luline Bowles Mayol. The narrative tells how Jiji Lou, a rag doll who had seen better days, along with a broken china dog named Nebs, were tossed into a garbage can because their mistress' nurse had deemed them a disgrace to the nursery.

They were rescued by Jenks the Junkman and taken to Junkland, a haven for cast-off toys, where all arrivals were restored to original condition by the Make-Over Man.

Newly inspired, Jiji Lou and Nebs make a pumpkin home for all the baby dolls in Junkland!

It cannot be mere chance that one of my professions was image consulting. I provided guidance for clients desiring more successful careers by adjusting their dress and demeanor. Later, I founded a nonprofit organization (SuitAbilty) which assisted disadvantaged welfare recipients and at-risk youth toward financial independence and improved self-esteem.

Jiji Lou remains my role model as I reinvent myself for perhaps the sixth time. Now I call myself a life transition counselor.

Another mentor from Greek mythology is Persephone, beloved daughter of Demeter, goddess of the grain. As Persephone gathered flowers in a field, Pluto, god of the underworld, was smitten with her beauty and abducted her to his dark underworld kingdom. Pluto eventually struck a bargain with the inconsolable Demeter, permitting Persephone to divide her time between earth as Demeter's dutiful daughter, bringing spring and summer, and Hades, where she reigned as queen of the underworld, leaving earth barren in autumn and winter.

In youth, I was mama's little girl. In my version of Persephone's story, I seduced Pluto and willingly went with him to Hades, his home. Hades is a metaphor for the subconscious, where I learned to navigate its secrets and mysteries, maturing into a wise woman and guide.

In today's culture, many Persephone women attempt to remain "The Eternal Girl," as she was called, reluctant to recognize that wilted flowers are dead. Only by burying their innocence can women embrace mature wisdom, finding a deeper joy in new roles as national treasures and trendsetters for upcoming generations.

In our vintage years, women -- men as well -- need to rise to their inborn full potential, no matter how many times we have to reinvent ourselves.

Aren't we as a species worth at least as much as junk?

For more by Irene Tanner, click here.

For more on wisdom, click here.

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