A world is a possibility and a type of existence in a particular dimension. From the first configuration; Adam Kadmon (Primordial man), emerged the emanations that made the other worlds.
There are four worlds. The first to unfold from Adam Kadmon is called Atsilut, the world of emanation, where there is no existence of the separated and no negative force even at its lowest levels.
The second world is Beriah (creation), the world of the souls.
The third world is Yetsirah (formation), the world of the angels.
The fourth world is ‘Asiah (action), the world of physical existence
There is a screen (divider) that separates one world from another, and from this screen the ten Sephirot of the lower world emerge from the ten Sephirot of the higher world.
All the worlds are similar they each contain ten Sephirot and five main configurations: But the quintessence of the higher world is superior.
There is no interruption of the flowing of energies from both directions. All the worlds are joined by the last Sephira of the higher world which “connects” with the higher Sephira of the world under him. The three first Sephirot of configuration ‘Atik Yomin are in the Sephira Malkhut of the higher world, his seven lower Sephirot are in the first configuration Arikh Anpin of the world under it.
Atsilut – world of emanation
The first world, Atsilut, is the world of emanation, the world of divine thought. It is a completely spiritual world without any existence of separated entities. It brings into existence and sustains the other worlds. It is the highest of the four worlds, above Beriah, Yetsirah and ‘Asiah.
From Atsilut unfolded all the lower worlds, which are the source of existence for the physical worlds and the possibility of reward, punishment and evil.
Beneath Atsilut, the lights of its Malkhut collided, and a curtain was made between Atsilut and Beriah from the striking of these lights. From there, other configurations similar to the ones in Atsilut were formed in the lower worlds, but of a lower force since the lights were dimmed by the curtain. It is because of the diminution of these light’s intensities that existence for separated entities became possible.
Beriah – world of creation
The second world to unfold is called Beriah, the world of creation. It is the world of the souls. It is the first world where separate entities have the possibility of existence. These individual creations are of the highest spirituality; they are the souls with their full luminosity, before they descend into physical bodies. Beriah is under Atsilut and above Yetsirah and ‘Asiah.
Beneath Beriah, under its curtain, other Partsufim similar to the ones in Beriah were formed in the lower world of Yetsirah – Formation, but of a lower force since the lights were even more dimmed by the curtain. It is because of the accrued diminution of the light’s intensity that even more separated entities such as angels will come to be.
Yetsirah – world of formation
The third world to unfold is called Yetsirah; it is the world of formation, the world of the angels. After Beriah which has separated entities, albeit of the highest spiritual level, Yetsirah is also a spiritual world, but the angels that are its separated entities also have a spiritual form. This world is under Atsilut and Beriah but above ‘Asiah.
Beneath Yetsirah, under its curtain, other configurations similar to the ones in Yetsirah were formed in the lower world of ‘Asiah – Action. Because of the much-accrued diminution of the light’s intensity, physical entities will be able to exist.
‘Asiah – world of action
The fourth world to unfold is called ‘Asiah – Action, the world of physical existence. It is the furthest from the emanation of the light, which has now been filtered by the three worlds above it. All types of physical existence are now possible, and even the existence of opposite forces are allowed. It is the world of man as an entity composed of two contrary elements: a soul from the very high world of Beriah, and a physical body from the lower world of ‘Asiah. These two components are always in a condition of struggle, the soul being attracted and drawn to the realms of its spiritual origin, the body to this world’s physical pleasures and vanities.
From the last level of the Sephirot of ‘Asiah (Malkhut of ‘Asiah), the negative force emerged.
In parallel to the four worlds (ABYA), there are four types of existence in our world:
- mineral corresponding to עשיה (Action)
- vegetal corresponding to יצירה (Formation)
- animal corresponding to בריה (Creation)
- man corresponding to אצילות (Emanation)
The other entity, which is called Sitra A’hra (the other side, or the negative force), has its own four worlds of אצילות, בריה, יצירה and עשיה. It also has configurations, Sephirot, Hekhalot and angels, as in the positive world, but of a lower force.