The Four Worlds (Hebrew: עולמות Olamot/Olamos, singular: Olam עולם), sometimes counted with a prior stage to make Five Worlds, are the comprehensive categories of spiritual realms in Kabbalah in the descending chain of Existence.
The concept of "Worlds" denotes the emanation of creative lifeforce from the Ein Sof Divine Infinite, through progressive, innumerable tzimtzumim (concealments/veilings/condensations). As such, God is described as the "Most Hidden of All Hidden", and Olam is etymologically related to, and sometimes spelled as, עלם (Noun: העלם Helem meaning "concealment"). While these dimmings form innumerable differentiated spiritual levels, each a particular World/Realm, nonetheless, through the mediation of the sephirot (Divine attributes), five Comprehensive Worlds emerge. "Higher" realms metaphorically denote greater revelation of the Divine Ohr light, in more open proximity to their source, "Lower" realms are capable of receiving only lesser creative flow. The Worlds are garments of the Ein Sof, and Hasidic thought interprets their reality as only apparent to Creation, while "from above" the Divine Infinite fills all equally.
As particular sephirot dominate in each realm, so the primordial fifth World, Adam Kadmon, is often excluded for its transcendence, and the four subsequent Worlds are usually referred to. Their names are read out from Isaiah 43:7, "Every one that is called by My name and for My glory (Atzilus "Emanation/Close"), I have created (Beriah "Creation"), I have formed (Yetzirah "Formation"), even I have made (Asiyah "Action"). Below Asiyah, the lowest spiritual World, is Asiyah-Gashmi ("Physical Asiyah"), our Physical Universe, which enclothes its last two sephirot emanations (Yesod and Malchut). Collectively, the Four Worlds are also referred to as ABiYA, after their initial letters. As well as the functional role each World has in the process of Creation, they also embody dimensions of consciousness within human experience.
Other articles related to "four worlds, world":
... The way in which a person is in the world at a particular stage can be charted on this general map of human existence (Binswanger, 1963 Yalom, 1980 van Deurzen ... On each of these dimensions people encounter the world and shape their attitude out of their particular take on their experience ... Their orientation towards the world defines their reality ...
... Kisei HaKavod-Throne of Glory, are related in Kabbalah to beholding the Four Worlds from Yetzirah, and from Beriah ...
Famous quotes containing the word worlds:
“Perchance the time will come when we shall not be content to go back and forth upon a raft to some huge Homeric or Shakespearean Indiaman that lies upon the reef, but build a bark out of that wreck and others that are buried in the sands of this desolate island, and such new timber as may be required, in which to sail away to whole new worlds of light and life, where our friends are.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)