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The Four Spiritual Worlds

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Kabbalah teaches that there are four spiritual worlds:

Emanation – Atzilut             Creation – Beriah
Formation – Yetzirah           Action – Assiyah

The articles in this section will explain the role of each of the four worlds in simple words. This section is based on the Book 'Discovering Jewish Mysticism' by Rabbi Nissan Dubov.


The Parable – The 4 stages
Imagine a couple has an idea that they want to build the ideal house for themselves and their family. The idea struck them totally out of the blue. In a flash they had a picture in their mind of a state-of-the-art palatial home with gardens and a pool. Relishing such an idea, the couple then sat down and worked out the entire structure in their mind by visualizing each bedroom, dining room, kitchen, garage, etc. In the mind, the initial idea has been developed in breadth and depth. After such a beautiful dream, they could easily delete the entire image from their mind. However, to carry the idea further, they have to get emotionally excited about the idea. The couple must then call an architect and a builder and start putting the initial idea on paper. Once the plans have been drawn up, our couple then has to go into the practicalities of buying a plot of land, applying for building permission, financing the project, and the actual building of the house. Only after months of work will the house be finished and our couple may then enter the fulfillment of their dream.
We could delineate four stages in this process:
1) The initial flash of inspiration (concept)
2) The broadening of the concept (developing the
concept in detail)
3) Emotional involvement and the drawing of actual plans
4) Practicalities (building)
Kabbalah explains that these four stages were also used in the creation of the world.

The 1st stage - Emanation

The first stage was the overall concept. The first level of conceptualization is the initial stage in which the Sefirot become manifest. This level is called the world of Atzilut.

The 2nd stage -Creation

In the next stage, the initial concept is worked out, and plans for the creation are further developed. Within the mind, the building has taken on some form of independent existence. Something has been created, albeit only in theory. This world is called the world of Beriah (creation).

The 3rd stage - Formation

The next stage is the world of Yetzirah (formation). It is in this world that finite plans are drawn up for actual creation. The predominant Sefirot in this world are the six emotional Sefirot from Chessed to Yesod.

The 4th stage - Action

The next stage is the world of Yetzirah (formation). It is in this world that finite plans are drawn up for actual creation. The predominant Sefirot in this world are the six emotional Sefirot from Chessed to Yesod.



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