Is the Will Free?

Some one once asked me if I believed in free will. I blurted out that I don’t really care if there is free will or not because in all ways it certainly feels like there is and that’s all that really matters. Perhaps this very simple response is the best answer of all.

The state of free will is enjoyed when the mind automatically resides on the level of infinite choices. When the mind is not
bound to any one choice or any specific direction, then the sense of freedom is supreme. The awakened mind is freedom
itself. Herein the whole field of choice is permanently fulfilled; in the presence of God, all choices are possible.

I like to think of determinism as a partial experience of free will wherein all decisions are guided by the wisdom of cosmic reality, as needed, to speed individuals on to their eternal freedom as fast as possible.

When we have a large bank account, the choices available to us greatly exceed the choices available to a person who has less. Not only the choices but also the quality and quantity of experience are tremendously enhanced. Similarly, the more access to consciousness we have the more enjoyment is available. Overflowing Self-awareness, like overflowing wealth, is easy to share and positively influences more and more people.

We determine our own freedom by making choices that minimize restrictions to choice. Determinism is just a limited form of free will, which, with maturity and understanding, grows to greater and greater freedom of choice.

If we are driving down the street and we come to a red light, we understand that it is sensible to stop and wait for a green light. We do not view the red light as a restriction to our activity even though it told us to stop and delayed our progress. Just like red and green lights, laws—natural and man-made—are not restrictions to free will but are the rules that ensure our survival to make more intelligent choices.

The Wooden Bench In The ‘70s – Short Personal Story from The Landscape of Enlightenment


In our early twenties, Catherine and I, like many of our generation, were living in an old farmhouse in the country. On one occasion I was outside furiously constructing a bench from old pine lumber; I was totally obsessed with getting it finished quickly. Completely out-of-the-blue something switched inside, a flash of clarity washed over me and I suddenly understood that there was no reason to rush, that I should slow down. I had shifted to a smoother way of acting. It felt almost as if I went into slow motion and immediately the whole process became effortless and faster; the nails started driving true and I stopped hitting my fingers.

When I went to finish the bench the next day the exact same experience of rushing to get it done began again, and again
I experienced a sudden stillness and as if heard a voice glide through my mind, “Easy now, slow down.” I slowed down
without even trying. This time the expanded calmness did not stop. I never again felt that frantic, anxious-to-finish experience while working or in any other activity. With this small jolt of intuitive understanding I saw that the silent stillness of my background experience was not actually disconnected from physical activity, that it has a real purpose and benefit for practical activity. This understanding made the reality of my inner silence more noticeable. From this point forward, the growth of knowingness and the close relationship of my so-called ‘inside’ experience and my ‘outside’ experience continued to unfold quickly.

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How Normal is Normal? – Excerpt from The Landscape of Enlightenment


So here I am, a completely normal fellow having completely normal experiences. The events of my daily life, coupled with
my so-called ‘inner’ experiences, have created over time a unified understanding of the simple connectedness of all the
levels of my awareness. To arrive at this state of integration I did not withdraw from regular activity except for some short periods of time when I attended meditation retreats to gain deeper rest and clearer experiences. Meditating daily, coupled with the demands of helping to raise two creative, intelligent daughters while running a business, certainly constitutes being ‘immersed in daily life’ and, in my opinion, helped to develop and stabilize my current level of experience.

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Harri’s descriptions soar from the mundane to the sublime and take the intimate details, understanding and experience of the Awakened state to an entirely new level. He makes clear that this life of ours can be a delightful continuum of perception from the deep liveliness of expanded consciousness to the smallest details of daily life. It is not necessary to go to heaven in order to experience heaven or to be divine. Instead, these are natural aspects of individual awareness that are usually hidden and misunderstood. Harri shares with us his amazing life story from early childhood to the present through personal stories, photographs, poems and works of art.

Day-to-Day Self-Realization


Even though differences are minimized through the knowledge and experience of unified consciousness, they also become brighter, richer and more heart-felt. They no longer hide the experience of Self-awareness. In fact, it is the great variety of differences—inner vision, physical activity, family, friends, feelings or any activity—that gives rise to the day-to-day living of Self-realization. The inner Self is realized as inclusive of normal life, not exclusive, for it certainly includes the normal experiences of life. Nothing is excluded. After all, the inner Self naturally desires experience in reference to something tangible. Separation from even surface experience, however insignificant it might seem, is just not possible and is not the nature of the awakened heart and mind.

Vedic Observatory




Looking at the Maharishi Vedic Observatory I found my consciousness occupying and shimmering as the center of the Rik Ved section while radiating out to each super specific instrument. Standing, as it were, in this shining space where the whole area of my head was like a vast blazing sun which was pouring, radiating and finding specificity both into and out of my body. The light of a huge sun of consciousness pulsed down my body in a delightfully layered shadow-array of pure light. I became a multi-dimensional mirroring shadow-faceted effulgence.

This kind of radiating light and shadow was very organized and very smart making my physiology and its relationships the actual sundial of the whole process. I could see that the instruments were a perfect description of the replicated reality between my heart, my mind, my body and cosmic activity. And how the laws of nature were Riking in sycronous orbits throughout both the galaxies and my body. What a powerful self-dialing technique just there for the looking. Like observing a beautiful landscape, the joy of the experience is a natural gift, just like looking at the Maharishi Vedic Observatory the self-revealing knowledge is Maharishi’s simple gift to us all.

Standing as it were in the center of a perfect geometry of cosmic rotational sequences I became those sequences. I saw the radiating light of the sun not only as one homogeneous brilliance but I perceived inter-layered cosmic intelligence through the age old eyes of the perfectly configured universality of the instruments. I saw countless delineated steams of light making up the dazzling, sounding wholeness and how the mathematical perfection of the instruments was naturally organizing the space of my physiology into a sycronous reflector of the movements of the sun, in fact of the entire cosmos.

My head and physiology was as if completely luminously hollow and completely full of the glorious, faceted glory of a million shadows, a million sparkling, spinning relationships. Each shadow in relation to every other shadow was revealing the wonderful specificity of the reverberating gaps.

In the brilliance of this perfectly configured sight, I suddenly realized the wholeness and significance of the mechanics and precise organization of these reflected shadows. I saw that the shadows were in a perfect relationship to each other. This perfection revealed the process of how the sight of the absolute light of consciousness objectifies and is objectified by the perfect positioning of the shadows and how they are one continuum of each other. And how the shadows are able to actually contain and illuminate pure consciousness itself.

I see the relationship within the spaces between the shadows as the reverberating wholeness of Atharva Ved. Very much like all the relationships of the physical layers and process of my body, which when in perfect functioning order, generate the experience of the unbounded Self-awareness of Rik Ved.

The very shadows are like the physical structures of the body that when aligned in communicating fully with each other then the shimmering eternal gap is known and seen to be and contain the whole self-aligning show.

The Maharishi Vedic observatory when viewed has this influence through the instrumentality of the knowledge lively in their precise structure. I saw how each instruments spontaneously sketched its unified influence on the different aspects of my body. An organizational map of the constellations their movements and relationships became a luminous map of Maharishi’ knowledge and descriptions of pure consciousness superimposed within and as everyones physiology.

The Range of the Senses


I experience my mind and body as layers of organized conscious light in a sea of luminous stillness—from a transparent to a golden hued unboundedness of shimmering, roaring sound, the very structure of knowingness, the very structure of a heart-brimming existence. My senses are full of expanding knowledge and the specific shining flavors of that awareness which are the reverberating streams of energy connected to specific centrally concentrated areas of my nervous system. My senses flowing as pure light energy are the shape of my body and are the corresponding, tangible means by which consciousness moves within a ocean of unbounded self-awareness, connecting my physical organization and the celestial environment into one vast package of the purest, pulsing sight. I live daily in a clear see-through divinity of Absolute, divine and regular activity.

There is a vast radiant sun of blazing light that is the structure and makeup of my heart that streams out and in simultaneously connecting the parallel activity of the physical sun, planets and constellations to my heart, to my central nervous system and to my senses. At the center of this enormous radiance is an indescribable concentrated sphere of pure light that is like a cosmic to tiny personal doorway of connectedness to my physical and regular activity.

My eyes are luminous with the divinity of pure joy; joy in a sight that is the Absolute sound of all sounds, the Absolute form of all forms. I can see the structured space of my body extending around me to infinity. The brilliant, vibrating points of consciousness that are the content of my physiology uniformly extend out to the same configurations of heavenly and universal existence. A very profound stillness is so unboundedly full that the distance between emptiness and fullness—between my body and the Absolute, between heaven and earth, God and the Gods—has all but disappeared. Yet here I am living both as a package of humming bliss, the strumming reverberations of pure-awareness.

How can I describe the wonder-full experience of a celestial perception that is dominated and inundated by the structure and knowledge of the unbounded togetherness of this cosmic family. This innate, Absolute, divine, all-inclusive attribute of my, of everyone’s mind, body, and senses, perceives and serves to tangibly unite all the continuous layers of experience from pure heavenly silence to daily activity.

I experience total, unmoving silence, constantly; this silence has a transparent, self-luminous, self- knowing unbounded depth to surface quality, that spirals throughout all the levels of my experience. Unbounded awareness sparks as knowledge and bubbles as togetherness throughout all the movement of my attention.

The most delicate sound, the most sublime sight, the softest touch, the subtlest fragrance, and the most enchanting taste, I see as knowledge-laden, with soma-spilling from their divine activity, connecting even the movements of my daily life. This continuity, this connectedness, this ever-present nature of the subtlest to the most expressed, of silent consciousness to my physiology and to ordinary activity is the true wonder of all descriptions and experiences of everyone’s individual consciousness.

My whole experience could be explained as a universally manifesting wonderful eternal infinity, tethered to the tiniest point of my silent, heaven-spanning heart. In the detailed wholeness of this simultaneity, I can see an ocean of pure stillness cascading within its own nature. This cosmic sight and sound is the seed knowledge of my heart, mind and physiology, unboundedly pulsing as Absolute, celestial and earthly creation: a divine wind of self-awareness that as if shakes the Absolute into a continuous cosmic and personal physiology— the very totality of ancient, beginning-less, endless human self awareness.

Working Everyday

Pictured here is one of our most complex custom stone designs.

For many years I have been involved as the founder and director of design in a business with about fifty employees and lots of high-tech machinery. Our family design team creates architectural inlay floor designs and wall murals in natural stone. Our company, Aalto Design, exports projects for clients all over the world.

We oversee the various stages of manufacturing from the initial design to computer programming, stone selection and cutting on high-tech computerized machines that precisely shape all the different pieces of stone for hand assembly, finishing and installation. It is a creative process that ranges from the initial, abstract design concept to its final, material expression, such as a mural or a decorative marble inlay floor.

This process could be likened to the activity of consciousness, which ranges from subtle knowledge-levels of intuition and progressively expresses more and more concrete aspects of the heart, mind, body and environment. All processes in our lives, whether we know it or not, follow a similar dynamic, starting from the subtlest, most still regions of our unbounded-consciousness all the way to daily activity. We could even stretch a point and say that one of the most common, densest materials on earth—natural stone—along with the most pervasive, lightest material in the universe—pure-consciousness—together typify the range of human experience. From physical and material life to the subtle field of inner awareness is the scope of our perception. For most people, the natural connections existing among these layers of spiritual- to-physical activity are unseen and unknown. But because those connections are already inherent within all human experience they are not really that hard to find.

From noisy manufacturing to quiet meditation, from booming thunderstorms to balmy summer days: the whole story and natural relationship among personal, divine and universal consciousness can all be known and seen as one interconnected, flowing unity without any loss of detail or enjoyment. Our consciousness is expanding naturally anyway but by adding a meditation routine to our daily activity and by going after and gaining the knowledge of what is being experienced, our progress will be greatly enhanced.

Owning a noisy factory did not in any way hamper my expanding or even celestial experience. In fact the state of growing, stable Self-awareness will only produce more and more understanding and divine clarity in the up and downs of our busy lives.