Seamless Subtleties is one man’s journey to understand the meaning of existence, and its tight connection with humanity amid inconceivable pain. Drawing from his harrowing past, Raymond explores his traumatic experiences to extrapolate what makes people tick discordantly. Zeroing in on the two-dimensional existence of human beings — the tangible (cerebral) and the intangible (spiritual). Raymond’s eclectic journey is replete with specific tools to help others (especially those in the unbelievably inhuman conditions) live beyond the temporal to become “more creative and more connected to who we are” — all for the purpose of achieving being “one with the energy of life.”
Michael Raymond’s debut book is a chilling memoir, with a philosophical twist. Raymond opens with background from his dysfunctional childhood, quickly followed by his theoretical viewpoints. A matter of much more than mere semantics, Raymond differentiates between the brain (a power tool) and the mind (consciousness), and that one needs to be wary of the brain’s trappings to overtake enlightenment that can eventually whittle one’s identity “to the point of feeling meaningless.” Raymond breaks that down even further with an explanation of very detailed tools: his “SEER TRAPS” system, “fourteen reasons why we should value our intangible essence,” and the difference between wisdom and knowledge.
While his is an incredibly sad upbringing, Raymond only begins to scratch the surface of his past, before delving into his eclectic findings. Readers may confuse Raymond’s truth-seeking observations as leaning toward another bizarre attempt at metaphysics, until they read the remainder of his story. In fact, this reviewer is certain that no one will be prepared for the succession of heartless and unconscionable situations that heavily lace Raymond’s account. A victim of covert surveillance and harassment and familial treachery, Raymond candidly shares how his successful career and happy marriage suddenly took a nosedive. What follows is a disturbing list of experiences. Besides incarceration and institutionalization, including the associated physical and mental torture, Raymond states, “I’ve been stalked, invaded, robbed, vandalized, harassed, humiliated, demeaned, defamed, emotionally and physically tortured twenty-four hours a day for more than ten years.”
Since Raymond’s well-written memoir reads more like a creatively gripping thriller, one may momentarily forget that his first person narrative is a work of fact, not fiction. Unfortunately, “sicken” and “sordid” are but a few descriptive words that capture the essence of Raymond’s story. Yet amidst extreme duress, Raymond miraculously finds solace in silence by seeking mental awareness (via his tools) as a means of survival.
In closing, this reviewer believes that Raymond pens it best when he says, “writing this was the only way to get anyone to actually become fully aware of my whole story. The reader can select how much pain they can tolerate and when. This was my only avenue of expression left.” While highly recommended as a must-read, readers, pay heed to Raymond’s words since Seamless Subtleties is undoubtedly not intended for the faint of heart.