Kabbalah Trek: A Journey Into Four Worlds

The entire cosmos
exists within one dewdrop
on a blade of grass


In Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), The Four Worlds (Arba’ah Olamot) are elements of the creation process. As the Ohr Ein Sof (Infinite Light of the Divine) moved further away from its Source, it became more corporeal.

The teachings resonate with the understanding that existence is multi-dimensional, interdependent and in a constant state of flux.

We can see it reflected in the Zen Buddhist concept of Impermanence, which means all existence is conditional on other conditions, thus everything is impermanent and in a constant state of flux. As a result you, everything and everyone else can change, making liberation and enlightenment possible.

The Four Worlds represent spirit, mind, heart and body — the four components of the human experience. Within them are the four seasons, the four elements, the four directions, the four laws of nature and Five Levels of Soul-Consciousness.

“She (the soul) is called by five names: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya and Yechida.”

Jewish Sages

All levels are interconnected, although it’s common in the human experience, to live primarily in one world or another. Our task is to help each other cultivate the best of all worlds. The Worlds go from highest to lowest, yet they are not separate — each exists in the other, flowing from one into the other.

Each World has a corresponding Sefirah (Divine Attribute) on the Etz Chayim (Tree of Life). The Tree of life is a map of the universe, the cosmos, the psyche, creation and human illumination. 

1) WORLD OF ATZILUT/EMANATION: Transcendental Oneness with The Source Of All and all Creation, Divine Mind, Divine truth, Nothingness as everythingness. Divinity as Ein Sof — Infinite, Without End.

Levels of Soul-Consciousness: Chaya (Life) and Yechida (although Yechida is manifested in the world of Action).

Sefirah: Chochma (Wisdom). Element: Fire (masculine): Transformation, creation, passion, destruction

2) WORLD OF Briyah/Creation — Archetypes, creativity, self-awareness, self-expression. Level of Soul-Consciousness: Neshama (breath). “The Divine soul (nishmat) gives them understanding.” (Job 32:8).

Sefirah: Binah (Understanding). Element: Air (masculine): Intellect, communication, energy flow, oxygenation.

Separation: One-up-manship, hyper-rationalization, cognitive dissonance, IQ over EQ (emotional intelligence).

3) WORLD OF Yetzirah/Formation — Feelings, emotions, intuition, form and function. Soul-consciousness: Ruach (wind-water). “For the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) hovered over the waters.” (Bereishit 1)

Sefirah: Chesed (Loving-Kindness). Element: Water (Feminine): Power, fluidity, emotions, change, sustainer of all life.

4) WORLD OF AsiYah/ACTION — Laws of nature, cause and effect, bodily functions, eating, sleeping, sex, exercise, actions. Soul-Consciousness: Nefesh (Animal/blood/life-force).

Sefirah: Malchut (Sovereignty) and Shekhina (Divine Feminine). Element: Earth (Feminine): Roots, grounding, rebirth, renewal, fertility, mortality, life-cycles, sustenance.

Separation: Materialism, lasciviousness, exploitation, greed, duplicity, extremes.

The colors — white, red, green and black — are the colors associated with each world.

Soul Level Yechida (the soul’s primordial essence and Infinite Light of the Divine/Ohr Ein Sof), exists in the highest world of Atzilut, yet manifests in the lowest world of Asiyah (Physicality/Action). From this we learn a universal principle: the highest exists within the lowest and the lowest within the highest. Separation is a human invention.

In the mystical understanding, when we read the Shema (the most important prayer in Judaism), we are in the World of Aztilut. We are ONE with Divinity and Divinity is One with us.

The message we can learn from the The Four Worlds is that we are in a continual state of mutualism with everything and everyone, for the Holy Sparks of the Divine exist in everything animate and inanimate.

“When you go out to the meadows to pray, every blade of grass, every plant and flower enters your prayers and helps you, adding strength and power to your words.”

Rebbe Nachman

We can see corresponding Oneness threads in Kabbalah, Zen Buddhism and the Yin Yang principle that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites (dark-light, young-old, female-male). We see it in the Interbeing principle coined by Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. Everything is in everything else.

The Hebrew word for universe is yekum יְקוּם meaning Existence, all that Exists. The root word is kum קוּם which means to rise. It’s also the root word for HaMakom meaning The Place (a Hebrew term for GD) and hakama הֲקָמָה, (feminine) meaning construction. All of existence rises up to The Place of construction.

If we break down the word universe to uni-verse it means “one poem.” Our one poem is eloquent and replete with many forms of expression. Healing happens every time we gather together in the spirit of Ohr Ein Sof to compose our one poem together.

©️02.29.2020 The Wild Pomegranate

3 thoughts on “Kabbalah Trek: A Journey Into Four Worlds

  1. It’s publishing now though from Feb?
    I love your posts here because they help me to make peace with Judaism. I love the peace you live with. It’s an example if that’s the right word.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: When A Torah Takes A Tumble – The Wild Pomegranate

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