by Barbara Ferrell Hero

The universe works in wondrous ways to help us when we need it. We seem to live in a dual universe, where part is reality and part is illusion. One is an external world where we are not usually in charge of its cause and effect. The other is the inner world where we are often in control of our cause (intent) and its effect (manifestation). Perhaps, when our intent is to tap into our universal mind we reach that inner world reality. Is our inner world reality the place where we tune into the universal consciousness? To me the inner world is the place we turn to when we pray to our God, or meditate, or receive ideas that create our arts and sciences. I think our inner world is a place that can transcend negative emotions, be filled with elation in which we can exist in harmonious relationships. It is a place of oneness with all of humanity as well as all of nature.

We can even create our own outer realities by the intent and focus of our thoughts, words and deeds. I will cite an example of the operation of intent and focus. We were in an external situation that didn't seem to be going our way. In that situation, I was compelled to ask myself, "What is real, what is illusion?"

For some time I had had a troubled feeling about our '97 Ford Taurus Wagon. In a few days we were due to head south for a week's trip and the rear wheel alignment was out of adjustment, the power steering became intermittent, a clicking noise was heard just before the power steering failed, then the electric windows of the car would not open. We had been told about a magical garage that could fix all of these mysterious ailments.

On a Friday at 1:30 we arrived at the magical garage three towns away, where a colorful sign indicated that we were at the right place. After they balanced the wheels, it was found that they did not have the device required to lock the wheels permanently and that there was not enough time to work on the steering or the windows. They gave us an appointment for the following Tuesday at 9:00 am so that all of the above could be fixed.

On the following Tuesday at the appointed time with just a few days remaining before our scheduled trip, we arrived back, or so we thought, at the magical garage. The colorful sign was nowhere to be found. A large sign read an unfamiliar name. We walked around the building and couldn't find the old name of the garage anywhere. Was this reality or illusion? Had the garage been so magical that it had disappeared? It looked the same and the same people were at the same counter that were there on Friday. When we went up to the service counter, the clerk explained to us that they hadn't been able to order the part because their ownership had just been transferred and that the old name had been covered by the new one. We felt a sense of relief that our minds had not played tricks on us. When they told us that we would have to leave the car for over a day while they completed the wheel alignment and corrected the transmission switch, my troubled feelings returned magnified.

I settled down in the waiting room with my intent and focus on, "How are we to arrive at our destination on time?" I turned to my inner self within the stillness of my being, knowing that all would be well. Then, a very personable and friendly man came by and introduced himself as the "new owner" of the garage. My inner guidance urged me to ask him if he rented cars, as I knew that it would not be wise to take our ailing one on a 1,800-mile trip. He said, "Yes". I told him that we had an appointment in another state to keep on Friday. While we waited, a rental car appeared and off we went. Because of my shift of perspective from the "so-called" problem in the outer reality to my inner vision, the universal mind urged me to transcend that which appeared to be impossible.

It seemed to me that everything happened just so that we would not need to drive our Taurus for four days straight. I had been worried about driving that distance even before we went to the magical garage. It all seemed so dream like, waiting there, having the sign changed. It was like a stage setting, an illusion of reality. We were for a time in a dual universe where we couldn't tell which one was reality and which one was illusion. We found that it doesn't matter as long as we focus on where we are going. This incident renewed our faith that, indeed, the universe works in wondrous and magical ways to help us when we need it.

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