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Maybe its the Rapture that wasnt, or the lobsters we murdered last week in
o
c
celebration of my moms birthday. Either way, Ive been pondering a lot of lifes
h

c
bigger
questions lately. Im no theologian, and my spiritual journey thus far has been
o
fn
bedeviled
(pardon the pun) by detours and u-turns galore. Trying to figure out
o
t
ranswers
to the mysteries of the universe is maddening work!
e
:n
Just this morning I had an interesting, hourlong phone conversation with a friend
t

about this stuff. Shes a hardcore Catholic and Imwell, notbut really, we came to
a lot of the same conclusions. Truth is, were both just as confused as ever.
Take the lobsters. Moments before my mom sent them to their deaths by plunging
them into a pot of boiling water, I said something along the lines of, At least theyll
be in a better place soon. Meaning some life-after-death spiritual realm, and not my
stomach (though there was that, too). My dad replied that once the lobsters were
dead, they would simply be dead. This surprised me, as my father firmly believes
in the existence of God, Heaven and Hell.

So, people have souls but animals dont? I asked.


Thats right, he said.
How can that be so? I wasnt being argumentativeIm just genuinely interested in
these things.

Animals are lesser life forms. They were created to serve man, or for some other
purpose.

What about mosquitoes?


I thought I had stumped him with that one, but without hesitating, he answered,

They exist to feed bats.


I resisted the temptation to ask why bats existed, because I had a feeling the
conversation could have continued, back and forth like that, all night long. Which
would have been okay, I suppose. I find these questions fascinating and yet, as Ive
stated, infuriatingly unanswerable. Or rather, for me at least,
infuriatingly unknowable, as there are always people who have answers that suit
their beliefs. And thats fine, of course.
I believe in ghosts. I believe in some form of the afterlife. Whether its Heaven or
Hell or some other less-defined spiritual plane, I cant be sure. But, shouldnt it exist
for all? Lobsters think (maybe not like we do) and breathe. They move.
They exist. Why should their light just fade out once they die, while ours continues
to shine? And, heres something that really bothers me:
Why are there no dinosaur ghosts?!
Dont get me wrong, Im glad there arent. People get freaked out enough seeing the
disembodied spirits of old men and women in period dress. Can you imagine if you
were walking along one night and saw the ghost of a fifty-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus
Rex lumbering your way?? Thatd be enough to stop your heart.

But why arent there?


My dad would say dinosaurs were created for some other purpose (though it cant be
to serve man, since man didnt exist then) and werent intellectually developed
enough to have souls. I looked this question up online, and a lot of people say
dinosaurs existed so long ago their energy has already evaporated, which also
explains the lack of woolly mammoth and sabertooth tiger and Neanderthal ghosts.
Or that, if reincarnation is real, all the dinosaurs have already long ago been reborn
as other creatures. Or that they didnt form attachments to man (as dogs and cats
do, and there are many reports of dog and cat ghosts) and, therefore, have no
reason (or ability) to manifest themselves as apparitions. Theres even one theory

that states, because the fossil of a plesiosaur was found in Loch Ness, all those
sightings of the Loch Ness Monster could, in fact, be the ghost of this dinosaur
explaining the lack of any other hard evidence of the creatures existence.
See what I mean? Answers galore, and yet, no real answers.
And then theres all this business about the Rapture. Somehow, somebody
manipulated the Bibles text into meaning one year equaled one thousand and that
the end of the world was going to occur on May 21, 2011. The media grabbed hold
of this story and Facebook was awash with have you been Raptured yet status
updates throughout the day. I was going to resist, but ended up posting a video of
Blondies Rapture because it kind of started feeling like one big party (where a
man from Mars eatin cars and eatin bars would be really groovy). I mean,
nobody really believed it was going to happen, right? But then I heard about this
California preacher named Harold Camping and his followers who did believe, and
set about the business of spreading the word. Some folks apparently even maxed
out their credit cards because bill collectors would have a hell of a time coming after
them once theyd been raptured, capisce? This Camping guy was astounded when
the world went on with its regularly scheduled program, and holed up for a couple of
days before emerging to announce that the real rapture will now take place on
October 21st, and that last Saturday was an invisible judgment day. Meaning, God
has already determined our fate, but the results wont be announced for five
months. Its like watching some reality television series in which there has already
been a winner, but we wont find out who that is until the finale airs. Think of
October 21st as the Mother Of All Results Shows.
I have a question.
If weve already been judged and our fates are locked in, whats to keep us on the
straight and narrow now? It no longer matters, right? I might as well loot, pillage and
plunder to my hearts content, since the decision has already been made. While Im
at it, Im going to take candy from a baby and trip an old lady or two trying to cross
the street. Aint nobody left to impress, after all.

True believers will say May 21st did bring about cataclysmic disaster. A volcano
erupted in Iceland. There were freak hailstorms and tornado outbreaks across the
U.S. People were killed unexpectedly (I imagine a few of them, in their final
moments, believed the Rapture really was occurring). Skeptics will talk about
tectonic plates shifting and low pressure systems where cold air collides with warm
air to spawn funnel clouds and say that freak accidents happen everyday. Whos
right? Whos wrong? Both of them? Neither?
I hope you dont take me seriously, or are offended by anything Ive written. I remain
openminded about everything pondering the big questions keeps the ol brain
active, if nothing else. Religion, philosophy, science, and nature they all fascinate
me. And I believe they can all coexist.
I just wish the answers werent so hard to come by.
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Posted in Daily LifeTagged Christianity, Existence of God, Harold Camping, Life after
death, Loch Ness Monster, Philosophy, Rapture, Religion, Science, Spirituality
2 2 T H O U G H T S O N WH Y ARE TH ERE N O

DIN OSAUR GH OSTS?


1.

PLANEJANER

says:

Markthank you for tackling the hard question regarding dinosaur ghosts. This keeps
me up at night.
:)

as far as already being judged, thats called predestination, and I dont believe thatthat
would mean that God creates people he ALREADY knows He will cast down to HELL. Why would
a loving, caring, tender God do that? I dont believe Scripture teaches this
I DO believe that we all come to a moment in time where we have to decidedo we believe in
Godor not? If the answer is no, once and for all, well then, I think your chances are slim to
none for eternity.
I cannot imagine an ETERNITY separated from God
Eternity.
Regardless, here is what I know and believe:
God is God. God is Good. God is Love.
What on earth would keep a person from knowing Someone like that?
blessings, and fun post, as always.
jane
Like

Reply
1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

Maybe we cant ever decide, Jane. What if the best we can do is admit the
possibility exists and hope for the best? I admire and respect your Faith, and
am curious if you think in that instance that God (who you describe as caring, loving,
and tender) would admit an agnostic into His Kingdom? Id really like to know your
thoughts on this. :)
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Reply
2.

CARLDAGOSTINO

says:

Theological contortionists have put into theory that predestination and free will are
compatible. They have all kinds of convoluted logic to support it. Now thats a hat trick
if ever. I would suggest taking up stamp collecting, butterfly mounting and even knitting rather
than travel this road of examining matters that ultimately have no satisfactory answer. It will
drive you mad. One woman in Puritan Massachusetts in mid 1600s reached such a level of
consternation over whether she was saved or not murdered her child by throwing it down a
well. Now she knew she was going to hell. I imagine the ghost of the child was pretty pissed.
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1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

LOLstamp collecting, eh? Then Id drive myself crazy searching for the
elusive (and extremely valuable) inverted Jenny. But yeah, I probably
wouldnt lie awake nights thinking about it!
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3.

SOMETHINGSINFUL

says:

Oooh, I LOVE this post. I could ponder this stuff for days and now (thanks a lot!) I
probably will. I believe there really is no possible way of knowing. I also think that
whatever is meant to happen WILL happen, regardless of whether we believe in it or not. (Just
because I dont believe in something doesnt necessarily mean it doesnt exist.)
Personally Im not really getting into that whole Rapture theory, no matter when they say it
will happen, I have a sneaking suspicion that the bible is, in large part, fiction (or at least wellmeaning fable) and if God created *everything* well then where did God come from? Hmmm?
But I doubt my beliefs for or against are in any way going to change the outcome of the
Universe. Or even my souls destiny. If there is an afterlife, I suspect when I die Ill be right
along with the rest of you, doing whatever it is were all meant to do.
Unless of course Ive just sealed my fate by denouncing all that is holy and can now expect to
just get snuffed out like your lobsters.
Like

Reply
1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

Thank you, Tamsyn! Im very proud of this post. Its not easy for me to talk
about this stuffthis one definitely counts as one of those deeper, more
soul-searching entries I promised Id write aboutbut these things have been on my
mind for awhile, and it feels good to get them out there in writing (and maybe open up
an honest and enlightening discussion about the various possibilities that exist).
Either way, I agree with you 100%. Believing or not believing wont change the Universe
(although true Catholics believe it will change your Fate and your entire afterlife
experience). Personally, I think if were strong enough to admit that we just dont know
but are open to the idea, that would be enough to get us into the so-called Pearly
Gatesbut maybe thats just wishful thinking?
All I know is, I think Stephen Hawking has got some nerve to so blatantly say Heaven is
a fairytale. Hes a scientist, and therefore should never completely rule something out
regardless of his beliefs.
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4.

RON

says:

No, Im not offended at all at what youve shared here, Mark.


I found it fascinating! I think you and believe the same thing. Or at least, have a
feeling about the same thing(s).
I too believe that animals have souls. In fact, I sometimes think animals have more of a soul

than some of us humans, because animals are more deeply connected to nature.
I believe in destiny and fate. And I also believe in reincarnation, and that my destiny and fate
are based on my past lives. My life has already been planned out before I ever became
physical. Therefore, my task is to stay attuned to what my life presents to me, and see it ALL as
a learning experience. THATs my free will!
Great post, buddy!
Like

Reply
1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

Thanks, Ron! I appreciate that!


I didnt even touch on my own thoughts about reincarnation I sometimes
have a sinking suspicion that Ive been here before. I can even name where and when
and what I was doingbut I think Ill save that discussion for another post!
I agree, life is one big learning experience and having an open mind is probably the best
trait that anyone can possess!
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JESS WITKINS says:

5.

Where did you find that photo?! That ghostbuster image is hilarious. Good question,
where are the dinosaur ghosts? If I find any on my graveyard tours, Ill let you know.

Like

Reply
1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

Theres a website called Deviant Art (http://deviantart.com) that has some


really cool images, like the one I used here. And also some mature
content. Which, lets face it, is a selling point for me. :)
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Reply
6.

PLANEJANER

Mark.

says:

Theres this Man. Youve heard of him, you know others who know him, but you? Youve
never met him. Youve maybe seen him around, here and there, caught a glimpse of him in
town or in the mountains or as youve gazed up at the night skyjust out of the corner of your
eye. But its fleeting, you tell yourself it was nothingAnd, you know, youre not even sure
where he lives.
One day, you go to your mailbox and inside is an invitation to a partyyour favorite kinda
Hawaiian Luau with a pig roasting in the ground, at the home of this Man youve only heard
about.

The invitation gives the directions to his home, a way youve never seen on any map.
Hm. The road must existotherwise, how could all those other people have gotten there?
Well, you know some of those other people who are going to the partyso you ask themHey,
is it going to be a good party? I really like Hawaiian Luau partiesbut I dont know this guy.

Yes! They all reply, Yes! It is going to be great! We LOVE the Host! He is awesome. Make sure
you follow the directions to his house, though, or you will get lostyoull end up someplace else
entirely.

Buthow do you know? you ask


And they say, We know because weve met him. Like you, we didnt know the way to his
housebut we followed his directions and, well, we trusted him to lead us to his house. We
kinda just had to take a leap of faith. Weve never been disappointed we did. We know the party
he plans to throw will be amazing.

But, his directions make no sense to me! How can I get in my car and follow directions I dont
understand?

Mark, they say, You just have to get in your car and trust the words he wrote in your
invitation. Believe me, they will get you where you need to go.
You ponder. You worry. You look for a way to his house some other way, any other way that you
can think of. You want the roasted pig, you just dont want to follow the directions he gave you. I
mean, if it makes no sense to you, how are you just supposed to get in your car and trust
directions that confuse you?
The date of the party draws near. Youve been out and about in town, and again, you think you
may have spotted the party giver. He was there, near the homeless. He was nearby as children
played in the park. He gazed out at you, you think, from behind the eyes of a street vendor,
selling delicious hot-dogs.
There were moments, moments when you almost got in your car, right then, and decided to
follow the directions to his house
But again, fear held you backlogic. I mean, his directions made NO SENSE to youhow could
you trust him?
But, you really, really want that Hawaiian Luau and bbq pigand the only way to get it is to
follow the directions on your invitation, throw caution and logic to the wind, and trust this man
who has invited you to feast with him.
Blessings, Mark. The journey of faith makes no sensethats why its faith.
And, ask yourself this: If youve been given the invitation to the party, and you dont accept it, if
you decide, nahthis cant be for realdo you think there will still be a place for you at the
table once you rsvp your decline? Orwill he remove your place setting, and set it for someone

who accepts?
John 14:6 (The Message)
6-7Jesus said, I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from
me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him.
Youve even seen him!
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7.

KATHRYN MCCULLOUGH

says:

Thank God someone has taken up this issueabout dinosaur ghosts, I mean.
About the raptureall evening on Saturday, my friends speculatedokay, the world will
end at 6pmbut at 6pm where? That was a bit of a loop-hole in the predictionno? Well, that and
that the world did not end!
Kathy
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1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

I have a friend in Australia and I checked in with her early in the day to
make sure the world hadnt ended out there. 6 PM for me was rather
anticlimactic!
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8.

JEVCAT

says:

One of the outliers of the Inklings set Chesterton or MacDonald, I think, put forth the
idea that most animals do not have souls, but those that are in relationship with
humans, pet dogs and cats, for example, develop them through the interaction and will be with
us in heaven. I guess that means assuming their human goes to heaven Id hate to think the
alternative!
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Reply
1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

No kidding. The alternative would give new meaning to the words hot dog!
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Reply
9.

CATHERINE

says:

You crack me up. A dinosaur ghost would be the scariest shit ever. And you are so right
if weve already been judged, now through October is the perfect time to do
everything weve always wanted to do!
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Reply

1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

I guess its now safe to point out that since October came and went, and
came and went again, and is well on its way to coming around yet again,
that Mr. Camping must be feeling pretty foolish right about now.
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Reply
10.M says:

Animals including the dinosaur have souls, what they lack is a three part vessel body,
soul, and spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23) This makes man the unique vessel that can

contain, experience, and enjoy God. The dinosaurs are the demons (disembodied spirits) they
fell with Satan a former angel. So they dont need a ghost they enter things containing water
including people, animals, the water etcsee the gospels where Jesus sent the Legion of
demons into the hogs and fled into the water.
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1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

Thanks for responding. This answer for me puts far too much emphasis on
the Bible, God, and the Devil to suit me. I think if I believed in all those
things Id be able to justify the lack of existence of dinosaur ghosts, too. But I appreciate
your thoughts on the matter. Its definitely an interesting topic even now, two years
later!
Like

Reply
11.CARL

D'AGOSTINO

says:

You dont have a ghost of a chance of finding the answers.


Like

Reply
1.

MARK PETRUSKA

says:

As Carl DAgostino would saythats a 10!


Like

Reply
1.

CARL D'AGOSTINO

says:

Next time Ill shoot for an 11 or 12.


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