"Reflecting" (Utsusu)

This scriptural term occurs mostly in the Osashizu, The Divine Directions, in which the Chinese characters applied to it include--besides the ones meaning "reflecting"--ones that indicate "projecting" and "transferring."

All states of God's mind and all states of human minds manifest themselves in the universe, which after all "is the body of God" (Ofudesaki III:40, 135). This process of manifestation is sometimes explained in the Scriptures by saying that all mind states are "reflected" in the universe.

Each way you have used your mind is reflected in this world. You have been born and reborn into this world many times. Each way you have used your mind is shown. . . . Everything is reflected in this world.

Osashizu, January 8, 1888

My workings ensure that everything in the world is reflected in accord with the truth.

Osashizu, August 5, 1899

More specifically, reflection may be seen as occurring at four levels: the world, the Mirror Residence, the human body, and the mind.

First, let us look at a few more scriptural references to reflection in the world:

I have all sorts of things reflected in the world. Everything is reflected in the world. The world is a mirror.

Osashizu, February 4, 1889

Your state of mind is reflected in the world.

Osashizu, December 6, 1906

Second, we are told that the Mirror Residence, or the Residence of God, reflects everything.

The Mirror Residence. Because it is a mirror, it reflects each and every kind of thing. . . . Only when you settle your mind in joyous acceptance can I feel relieved.

Osashizu, March 25, 1887

Jiba is a mirror, just as the world is a mirror. As the world reflects the states of mind of the world's people, so does Jiba reflect all its cloudiness.

Osashizu, February 1, 1897

Third, the human body is another place where things are reflected.

Everywhere in the world, each state of mind is reflected in the body as it is.

Osashizu, November 1887

If I say "causality," you probably do not understand it. The entire world is a mirror. Although all human beings go through births and rebirths, each way you have used your mind is accurately reflected in your body. Understand this well.

Osashizu, February 15, 1888

Another place where things can be reflected is the mind. Having something reflected in the mind might sound like the learning process of imprinting. The following passage from a Divine Direction, for example, might be seen as referring to that sort of process:

In this path, faith must be reflected in the minds of children while they are still young.

Osashizu, November 16, 1900

Yet a closer look suggests that the Divine Directions' references to reflection in the mind are not merely talking about the learning process but contain more depth. These references include phrases like "I want you to reflect [the truth]," where the word "reflect" connotes "conveying" or "communicating."

I want you to visit them and reflect the truth of sincerity to them.

Osashizu, September 18, 1903

Will everyone reflect this [to him]?

Osashizu, February 12, 1900

This usage of the verb "reflect" often occurs with reference to the Honseki, Izo Iburi, as well as Naraito Ueda.* Consider these examples:

When the Seki** speaks, it is the same as God proceeding to this Seat and speaking. He speaks reason; he speaks God's words. Heaven is having him reflect those words.

Osashizu, February 4, 1901

The Seki reflects God's mind, God's mind. . . . He does not reflect a human mind. In matters of weighty importance, it is Heaven that has his mind reflect Directions.

Osashizu, August 12, 1890

I shall provide Directions. You must not think them to be human words. Remember that the Honseki is the mainstay in whom I have [the truth] reflected; there is no need to worry at all.

Osashizu, February 2, 1899

The reason I settled him as the Seki is reflected in the mind.

Osashizu, July 28, 1894

* After Izo Iburi passed away in 1907, it was Naraito Ueda through whom the truth of the Sazuke was bestowed for 11 years.

** Literally meaning "seat," this term refers to the Honseki, Izo Iburi.

(This article was first published in the October 2005 issue of TENRIKYO.)