Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Enigma Of The Soul by Billy Ray Chitwood

Welcome to the second of the archive posts from Billy Ray Chitwood.. This week Billy explores our perception of ‘Soul’.

Enigma Of The Soul by Billy Ray Chitwood

How often do you use the word, ‘Soul?’ How often do you think about your ‘Soul?’
Mirriam-Webster defines ‘Soul’ as:

1. the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life
2. a: the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe

So, that’s enough, right? The two definitions pretty much say it all, and there are more definitions there in the dictionary if you want more.

‘Soul’ seems to me, though, such a huge word to be so small. Writers likely get the most use out of the word than the people who really work for a living — no anger, please, just adding a little levity here. Really, it seems to me that ‘Soul’ is not in too many mundane conversations. ‘Soul’ is usually saved for the philosophers, poets, preachers, Romantics, sentimentalists, and writers.

You can almost envision the literary expatriates who gathered in Paris between the period of World War One and the onset of World War Two…writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway, Sherwood Anderson, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Lawrence Durrell, Gertrude Stein to name a few — okay, okay, I’m name-dropping — but these were the people I read and studied in college and their lives got somehow interwoven with my own, with my ‘Soul.’ I can see them sitting at the sidewalk cafes talking in the afternoon about their writings, about how the devastation of war had impacted their lives.

I can see them drinking the Bacchus liquids and debauching in the evenings, pausing in their fun and frivolity for serious and sober moments to discuss the condition of the ‘Soul.’ These were the people Gertrude Stein referred to as ‘the lost generation.’ Certainly, why not Paris? Why not gather in the great city of lights with so much art and beauty? It was the place to be if you were disillusioned by a world intent on war and destruction. It was the perfect place and time to discuss matters of the ‘Soul,’ and these great writers held those discussions in the finest style and with some of the most celebrated erudition prevalent in those days.

So, why do I post about ‘Soul?’

Guess it’s easy for me, an old timer looking back on his life, how he’s lived, somewhat of an anachronism in today’s fast moving digital world. ‘Soul’ is such an all-encompassing word. It holds such a fascination for me in these sunset years, but it has always held that fascination for me — guess ‘Soul’ for me is what writing is all about. We live, we pay taxes, and we die, but the ‘Soul’ offers us so many delectable scenarios of which to consider and ponder.

‘Soul’ is that defining part of us that we can’t pinpoint, can’t know exactly where it is, but we have to know that it is there. ‘Soul’ is everything Mirriam-Webster says it is, but so very much more. There are times when the directions we take as a world concerns me greatly. It is my hope that we can still take time, Paris or not, to discuss the implications of such an enigmatic and beautiful word.


©Billy Ray Chitwood.

I am sure that Billy Ray would love to hear your thoughts on ‘soul’.. our own… others.

For me, having been with both my father and then my mother as they died, I can honestly say that I felt a physical leaving of the body that was their ‘essence’. I am not a religious person but I like to think that I am spiritual and I saw that physical essence as a sign that perhaps there maybe something that came after for our souls.

A small selection of the books by Billy Ray Chitwood

A recent review of Mama’s Madness

Karen Ingalls  4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling  February 4, 2018

A chilling and disturbing story based on a true event. I had difficulty putting the book down hoping that the main character would be found and punished. There were some editorial issues and at times there was too much repetition, but overall a good book. I appreciated the author’s epilogue which gave the story more meaning.

And one for Stranger Abduction

“Stranger Abduction” is a well-written novel based on an actual event. A mother and daughter walk from their home to a store in Arizona and never make it back. Mr. Chitwood gives a very viable and chilling account as to what might have happened next. Doris and Deena find themselves thrown into the human trafficking trade, while the Deputy Jack Kiefer never gives up on finding them. The details and characters kept this a page turning book as well as the side story with the Deputy. This is a glimpse into an evil that is going on around us as “products” (a label used for Doris and Deena) are being drugged and used for other’s gratification or service. I highly recommend this book, because even with a dark subject matter there are always heroes.

Read the reviews and discover and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Billy Ray on Goodreads:

About Billy Ray Chitwood

An Appalachian hill boy from east Tennessee, Billy Ray Chitwood has family roots that go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Billy Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, taught high school ‘Advanced Writing’ in Lorain, Ohio. He has served honorably and proudly in the United States Navy. Aside from sales/marketing management positions with top textbook publishers, he has been a model and an actor in film, stage, television. He is still active in his own business as the CEO of Chitwood, Inc.

Billy Ray has written fifteen books, most of which you will find on amazon and amazon UK. Many of his novels of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. His first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has much factual and historical accuracy about the author’s own life.

Currently, Billy Ray spends his time on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with his lovely wife, Julie Anne, and their feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Connect to Billy Ray


Billy Ray would also like to recognise Craig Boyack for his support for his blog and here is the latest post from Lisa Burton, Craig’s sidekick:

If you would like to share some of your older posts with a new audience then please take a look at this post that outlines what I would need. Thanks Sally

34 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Enigma Of The Soul by Billy Ray Chitwood

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Enigma Of The Soul by Billy Ray Chitwood | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Soul for me means peace. When my dad passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack, I was devastated. It felt like my own heart had been ripped wide open. My brother held me and gave me comfort, but more than that he spoke of Dad fishing the streams in Heaven. I believe that’s true, and it gives me peace. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hmmm… I don’t believe we have souls that are distinct from our bodies. I believe the soul (and its cousin mind) is a creation of our brains, which we had to invent to overcome our fear of the great unknowable that is death. Good, thought-provoking post, Billy Ray! You’re 2-for-2 today!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Trying to describe the soul is difficult…it is easier to feel. I love this topic and adding the definition in:) i always see a glimpse of soul in poetry and here in this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Madonna, Hot Cross Buns, Chicken Poop and Houston 1985 | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  6. I’ve always thought the soul is that true part of us connected to the divine. It, of course, transcends definition through religion– which is the construct of man. Animation, spirit, yes, certainly variations of these. It’s language that gets in the way, but I think most of us have a sense of what the soul is. It’s like trying to define consciousness outside the workings of the brain. The one thing I know is that the soul is ineffable, part of “the mysteries” and one either has a sense of it or one does not. But this is a great post and quite thought provoking, though now I’ll come back to saying the soul also transcends thought!

    Liked by 1 person

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