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Perfect Brilliant Stillness Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Paragate Publishing (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976578301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976578307
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Your book is a beacon which can shine through all the nonsense that is broadcast under the name of ‘advaita’. ----Tony Parsons, author of As It Is and Invitation To Awaken

This book is a Gonzo Gita... at once intimate, vulnerable, informal, passionate, and rigorously rational... ---- Dr. Robert Gussner PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont Dept. of Religion

From the Publisher

The fine print:

There are many books out there that will help you to live a better life, become a better person, and evolve and grow to realize your full potential as a spiritual being.

This is not one of them.

At the time of this writing, almost every popular spiritual teacher in America and Europe is teaching that ultimate spiritual enlightenment, once attained only by certain yogis, gurus and other extraordinary beings, can now be yours; and that reading their book or attending their seminar will help you toward that end. This book will tell you that these ideas are absurd, because it’s quite obvious that neither you nor anything else has ever existed.

In fact, notwithstanding the enthusiastic blurbs on the cover, I would actually encourage any reasonably normal person not to buy this book. I say this because there’s no point in spending good money on yet another ‘spiritual’ book only to have it turn out to be of no use to you. The subject matter is such that only a very few will be interested in it. What is written about here, if it is really understood, is so genuinely strange that it is on the far edge of what the normal human brain can comprehend or accept. I wouldn’t have understood it myself, or found it interesting, before what happened in the jungle.

In addition, if you do find yourself interested, and are able to see past the words to understand at least some of what they point to, you are likely to find it quite disturbing. Few people buy books on spirituality to be deeply disturbed, so consider yourself forewarned.

And finally, if you read it anyway, and what is hinted at here resonates and is by some remote chance followed to its end, then that will likely also be the end of you. So again, a warning. With any luck, you will not come back from this with a life you can call your own; ‘you’ will not come back at all.

There’s no way to know what the chances are of this happening, but the Upanishads say that "only once in a thousand thousand years does a soul wake up," so there’s probably no need for concern. Probably.

That said, enjoy.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 59 customer reviews
The most genuine, authentic spiritual book that I've ever read.
Jose E. Alvarez
This book is a must for those who want descriptions of who we really are and what we will all eventually know.
Amazon Customer
This is a very clearly written book on a very paradoxical topic.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Fred Davis VINE VOICE on March 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book ate me up. I've read many, many, too many spiritual books covering the spiritual spectrum from A to Z (Advaita to Zen) over the past 25 years. Very, very few are so unwaveringly honest, so uncompromisingly direct, so clean and clear of ulterior motive or hidden agenda.

I didn't think I had a lot of ego left when I picked this book up. Well, I was wrong. I still have a lot of ego left, but it's a good deal smaller and more humble than it was before That behind "the david thing" as the author sometimes refers to himself, got hold of it.


This is a take-no-prisoners book, presented as a personal spiritual memoir, but holding about as much ego-smashing power as will fit between two paperback covers. Don't read it unless you want to know what may be some hard truth. Halfway through it was clear to me that although this body/mind unit has made a lot of progress, or at least seems to have, it still has a long way to go--at least one major leap about which I know nothing more than hearsay.

This unit will take The Leap, or it won't, but it sure hasn't so far; that's clear.

Right after Mr. Carse kindly pointed out that I was deeply confused, he then patiently explained over the course of the next two chapters why that was so. He pointed the finger of blame squarely at me.

Byron Katie says that if she had a prayer, which of course she does not, it would be, "Lord, please deliver me from the need for love or approval." Boy, do I ever get that.

The means became the end. The devoted seeker became the deluded finder. I read until I found what I wanted.

Ouch. "Momma, I think that emperor is naked."

It's pretty durn embarassing. But I'm going to use it, not dodge it; own it, not deny it.
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124 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Scott Meredith on September 11, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very cool book.

Into the neo-advaita space pre-populated by Douglas Harding, John Wheeler, Nathan Gill and Bob Adamson etc. rolls this Harley-Davidson shovelhead hog of a treatment. Basic idea is simple: 'Life is but a dream' ... so, get over it!

But there's nothing you can do to get over it, as you don't exist and there's no actual `it' there to get over anyway. So, um, don't worry about it.

I like Carse's treatment because he delivers a straight-forward uncompromising message in a friendly, unpretentious, and sometimes humorous tone.

Carse biographs aspects of his own awakening Experience (Note: Please forgive the advaitically incorrect language of this review. "I" know very well (except there is no I, and nothing to know) that "Carse" (there is no Carse) did not Experience anything (nothing exists) ... blabitty blah blah... just fill in the necessary disqualifiers after every single word on your own from now on please). He is at great pains to assure us that the exoticism of an awakening experience, its setting or apparent cause or context, mean absolutely nothing. Therefore it is amusingly ironic that in his case the (non)awakening happened(didn't happen) in of all places (there are no places), deep within the Amazon jungle rain forest, when he was working on mysterious shamanic practices.

For god's sake! Talk about catnip to the vast Seeker hordes out there! Poor guy, all the other neo-advaita biggies try in vain to downplay their own, relatively mundane, scenes/stories of (non)Awakening (e.g. walking in a city park or whatever), but Carse really has his work cut out for him here.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By D. Waite on June 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Self cannot be described but David Carse makes a very good effort. Quoting from Sufi and Taoist sages as well as Advaitin ones, he helps uncover the non-dual truth that is the essence of the phenomenal appearance. The language he uses is direct and carries the conviction of experience. In many books on Advaita there is the distinct feeling that what is said is in the realm of theory or based upon what has been read elsewhere; one is left in no doubt that this is not the case here. Although nothing new is being said, the material comes across so clearly, simply and self-evidently. And I think this is the key to why the book succeeds. The words carry the understanding to those seeking the explanations but they cannot prevent the heart-felt, mind-less, direct `knowing' from shining through and piercing the merely intellectual.

Although much is said about the inadequacy and ultimate failure of language to speak of reality, David's writing is very good. I have said in my own books that it is not possible to talk clearly about this subject without using the correct Sanskrit terminology but this book seems to give the lie to that statement. There are some very original metaphors and many brilliant, quotable observations. Sometimes, every other paragraph seems to contain a new profundity.

David is not a teacher of Advaita and specifically states that he does not teach. Beginners will probably not benefit and should perhaps look elsewhere to begin with. But, if you think you know it all already yet feel that `it' has still not clicked, this is definitely for you. It is the book for those who want to differentiate between intellectual understanding and realization.
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