In Qabalah it is taught that there are four worlds or realms / levels of existence. As with the Tree of Life the
four worlds emmanate from one antother in a series, from the highest and most divine to the lowest material level. The four
worlds describe different regions of the Tree of Life, with a number of spheres, or sephira, being attributed to each
world. In addition to this it is said that each of the four worlds contain a full Tree within it, and this is depicted in
a diagram called 'Jacobs Ladder' in which four connected trees are shown, and the bottom sphere of one tree
isa the highest sphere of the next tree down and so on. In Qabalah all things are interconnected and any abstraction from
this inherent unity is recognsied to have limitations.
The Four Worlds are:
: The highest of the four worlds Atziluth is known as the realm of causes. This is a world of
pure spirit, unadulterated divine light. It is entirely active and giving and thus is sometimes considered to be symbolically
masculine. The three highest spheres, sometimes known as the trinity - Kether
belong to this realm. The various Divine Names of Qabalah are also associated with this world.
: The second highest of the four worlds Briah is known as the realm of Ideas. This is a world of
pure intellect, but this should not be considered to relate to logic and rational problem solving and such like. Briah is
abstract Intellect, the realm of Platos Ideas, the divine archetypes from which all things are created; in Briah is the Idea
of the world, before it is actually created. Briah is composed of the three spheres directly below the abyss: Chesed
. The Archangels of Qabalah are associated with this realm, and may be thought of as residing within it just as we reside
within the material world.
: The second lowest of the four worlds, Yetzirah is known as the realm of formation, or the
formative world. This is the realm of the Astral, of the collective unconscious and the Anima Mundi (world Soul) and
such like. It is the realm where specific forms are created. Yetzirah is composed of the three spheres directly below the
viel of Parekh: Netzache
. The Angels of Qabalah reside within this world.
: The lowest of the four worlds, Assiah is known as the realm of effects. It is the world of the
body and the senses, and of all objects and matter. Only one sphere belongs to this realm and that is Malkuth