THE FIVE WORLDS: In Lurianic cosmology therefore we have the following strata of reality:
En Sof: Absolute or Infinite – Beyond all archatypes
- Adam Kadmon: Tetragrammatons or Divine names
- Atzilut: Sefirot or Divine Archetypes and Partzufim or Divine Personas
- Beriah: Archangels and Divine Souls (neshamot)
- Yetzirah: Angels
- Asiyah: Inferior Angels and klippot; Physical world
“…the world of Emanation [Atzilut] is the root to the world of Creation [Beriah], its branch. The world of Creation is in turn the root to the world of Formation [Yetzirah], its branch, and so on…”
Almost exactly the same metaphor – root and offshoot – in the ancient Indian Chandogya Upanishad. And because each lower world contains the same sefirotic configoration as the one which preceeded it, each lower level is a lower image of the preceeding World. The ten Sefirot, the ten archetypal attributes of God, are thus repeated in each World or plane of existence.
Whereas in the Zohar and elsewhere there are only four worlds or universes (planes of existence) the Lurianic system adds a fifth universe, Adam Kadmon, a s ort of manifest Godhead, that mediates between the En Sof and the four lower worlds.