Olamot: The 4 Worlds

According to the Jewish tradition of the Kabbalah, four are the worlds, the “layers” that make up our Universe. The word “olam” (universe world) comes from the root “elem” or “hidden”, so these four Olamot are the hidden or “not visible”, “veiled” dimensions of the structures on which the material and sensitive world is formed.

In physics the fundamental forces are the interactions or forces of nature that allow to describe the physical phenomena at all scales of distance and energy and that are not therefore referable to other forces, identified in four fundamental forces or interactions: the gravitational interaction, the electromagnetic interaction, the weak interaction and the strong interaction. Also the physical Universe is linked to four “elements”: space, time, energy and matter. Space is identifiable in the 4 cardinal points, and 4 are the states of matter. All this leads back to the divine Sacred Tetragrammaton, composed of four letters Yod – Hey – Vav – Hey, in which each one corresponds to a stage of Creation.

World of Atziluth

It is the very beginning of emanation and is comparable to Ain Sof, therefore, is considered a “non-world”. In Atziluth there exists only the pure totality of all individualizations, where the flow of divine Life begins its course in an “ideal” life. The word Atziluth derives from the root Etzel which means “near”, therefore it is the world at the closest proximity to the Ain Sof, and therefore its main characteristic is that in it there is no separate consciousness, just as a newborn child has no consciousness of his being separated from his mother, but lives in symbiosis with her even though he has been born.
The word “atzil” means “noble”, and even here we can interpret the word by association of ideas and think of a category of people who are close to the King. In Atziluth the proximity to the divine, the perpetual communication with it, the non-separation, makes this universe complete, in it there is no lack, nor necessity. Atziluth is not subject even to the law of entropy, there is no energetic exhaustion, as the newborn is nursed by the mother, so the “creatures” of Atziluth absorb their nourishment directly from the Divine Source. Here life is eternal, indestructible, there is no competition, and there is no necessity.

World of Briah

This World descends from Atziluth and is its expression, the word Briah comes from the root bar, which means external, from which derives the word “barah” which means “to create”, that is to give life to something new, completely different and separate. Briah is the first world completely external and separated from the Divine, the raw material of Creation, is the root of the 4 elements that make up the physical Universe.

In the field of quantum physics, it corresponds to the Theory of Everything, which is able to explain all known physical phenomena by connecting them together. The Unified Theory of Fields explains that the 4 fundamental forces (strong interaction, weak interaction, electromagnetism and gravity) were originally, when the physical Universe was still at the very first moments of its life, a single force. Briah is a world made of darkness, it is the primordial night that has in itself the ability to create, to bring to light.

If the world of Atziluth is comparable to the consciousness of a newborn child who lives in symbiosis with his mother, Briah is the child who, at a few months of life, perceives the difference between himself and the outside world, but does not yet know anything about his “I”, because his identity is not yet formed, but there are only the foundations to do so.

World of Yetzirah

Briah’s creative power is manifested in his ideal creations. The word Yetzirah comes from the root Tzar, which means narrow. In order for the creative power to manifest, it must be channeled, to form means to give shape to something that already exists, so channel the creative energy to give it a form that contains it, delimiting it. In this world, in addition to separate existence, differentiation also takes over. Energy can be channeled in various ways, thus assuming various archetypal forms that still maintain a common root. Although we are already in a world of differentiation, we are not yet in the discriminating world of matter: energies, although differentiated, maintain their bipolarity, so their value is dual. The energies that manifest in the World of Formation come from Netzach and Hod, and in the Zohar these two Sefiroth are called armies, armies, legions, because of their extension and variety.

Therefore Yetzirah is the world of archetypes, the children of the mother Binah. These archetypes are in essence the variegated energies of the Victory of Life and the Splendor of its Form.

Yetzirah’s archetypal world is easily accessible to human consciousness, philosophically and artistically, but the most representative method from the human point of view is the mythological tale.

World of Assiah

This World is that of matter and actions. To carry out an action means to make it fruitful, revealing its potential, therefore Assiah is the world of becoming, which also implies impermanence and death. In Assiah there is discrimination, there is competition between the polarizations of the same energy that tend to exclude each other giving rise to necessity (compensation to restore the balance broken by the polarization itself).

Necessity leads to a new action, therefore to change, which will not stabilize in a phase of equilibrium but will tend towards the opposite polarization, from which another movement will originate. It is the mechanism of the pendulum, of perpetual motion, that holds the material world.