The Four Worlds

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The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:27 am

I wanted to invite anyone here to give feedback on a section of the Introduction of my new book. It consists primarily of an explanation of the Four Worlds. Here are the specific goals of the section:

(1) To introduce the idea and basic definitions of the Four Worlds to readers, including one block of anticipated readers who have no prior exposure to Qabalah. (The terms are used throughout the book, so we must give people a chance to understand them.)

(2) To especially describe them as progressively rarified strata of existence.

(3) To give some idea about the experience of progressively opening to one after the other of these.

(4) To do this briefly.

This is in an area of the large Introduction that briefly (summarily) introduces Qabalistic ideas to the reader. It is the first section (followed by others on the Sephiroth, Paths, definitions of qabalistic psychology, and other ideas relevant to the book). I'm intereste4d in all opinons about clarity, content, approach, whatever. Final decision of what to do with the feedback is mine, of course, but it seemed I could serve a couple of purposes by posting this here - both giving an instructive post on the topic, and soliciting feedback.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:28 am

The Four Worlds

Qabalists describe reality in terms of four progressively rarified planes of existence, or Four Worlds. These form a continuum reaching from humanity to Deity, from the material world portrayed by our physical senses to the pure and uncharacterized spiritual essence.

The three densest of these worlds have Hebrew names that mean “making,” which emerges from “forming,” which in turn comes from “creating” (which essentially means “conceiving”). The fourth world is the plane of the creator.

The World of Assiah (OShYH) is the “World of Action” (or “Making”). [FN: As in many European languages, a single verb means both “to do” and “to make.”] It corresponds to Earth among the Elements. Assiah is the material world as we know it through our five physical senses. As the “World of Action,” it is the field of the actual. Qabalists describe it as the resplendent raiment of the Daughter, a symbol of the innocence of the human soul. By the principle of “start where you find yourself,” Assiah is the threshold to most systems of spiritual development.

The next most subtle or inward of the Four Worlds is the World of Yetzirah (YTzYRH), or “World of Formation.” It corresponds to Air. Yetzirah is the level of images and other forms that pre-exist material actuality. We participate in, and potentially control, these formulations by concentrated thought, employing the image-building power we call imagination. In human psychology, Yetzirah corresponds to the field of personality, including the whole range of emotion; the reactive and adaptive aspects of consciousness; the capacity to form, perceive, and select images; and the intellect. The World of Yetzirah itself is what we commonly label the “astral plane.” The Yetziratic aspect of each of us is “in and of” the World of Yetzirah in the same sense that our physical bodies are “in and of” the physical world. In awakening to conscious awareness of Yetzirah, we learn to see past the veil of our physical senses to the wondrous world behind them, a world of magic and fantasy, of psychic realities and shifting tides, and of energies too subtle for physical sensation.

The next plane is the World of Briah (BRYAH), literally “the Creative World.” It corresponds to Water. Even into the 21st Century, most humans have lived their entire lives oblivious to this stratum of consciousness. Yet, Briah is well within human reach: it is the natural level of the spiritually illuminated. Throughout history, many thousands of people have testified to this from their own experience. Waking into Briah from the sleep of personality is an unveiling of those soul-nourishing spiritual realities normally hidden by the drapings of human sensation, emotion, and thought, a perceiving past the ever shifting and personal to the enduring and transpersonal. Beyond the turbulent water of troubled emotion and rebounding thought is the serene embrace of the Great Mother, the profound peace of vibrant stillness, and an end of any sense of separation. This is Briah.

The highest (inmost, most exalted, most subtle) of the Four Worlds is the World of Atziluth (ATzYLVTh), the so-called “Archetypal World.” [FN: This usage differs from the best-known use of “archetypal” in modern times, which is its use in the writings of C.G. Jung. Archetypes in the sense that he used the term are natural to Briah.] It corresponds to Fire. Atziluth is the realm of the divine. The Atziluthic within us is the ESSENCE behind the highest intuitive and philosophical perceptions of “God” that humanity has had, because it is that aspect of ourselves that is truly Creator. As you may expect, only a handful of people known to history have become authentically awake in the World of Atziluth.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby danica » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:51 am

no objection to clarity, approach and content. I think both those acquainted to Qabalah and those who are not can read it and find it informative and useful; the complete beginners as well.

I think I saw one typing error
The next most subtle or inward of the Four Worlds is the World of Yetzirah

you probably ment more subtle here?
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Orione » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:10 am

As a beginner I can say it's very clear. I did just read Lon Milo Duquette's explanation of these worlds a few weeks ago, and that clarify things to some extent already, but there was too much humour going on for me to really get the point :)
I think it's very clear. And I finally 'get' why we're said to have a divine spark (instead of a divine drop, breath or bit of dust :lol:).
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:30 am

Yes, it's overall very clear, without being remedial. I especially liked the last sentence in the Yetzirah paragraph. It says a lot in very little space.

IMO the second paragraph could use some elaboration. For someone who isn't already familiar with the four worlds, it seems like it would be a little confusing - which order are the worlds being listed? what is meant by emerging? why is the plane of the creator the fourth world and not the creative world?
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby the atlas itch » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:13 am

Hi Jim

Here are a few thoughts that came to mind as I was reading through your introduction:

I wish you made a clearer distinction between Briah and Atziluth in terms of the “Creative” aspect (same observation as AB above)

The term “archetype” always brings Jung to mind and, by extension, I associate the Jungian archetypal realm with Daath. How is the archetypal world of Atziluth different from this popular understanding of “archetypes”?

I would like to know whether these Four Worlds represent the totality of all attainable reality or the totality of reality attainable for a human being.

It would be nice to see a clear explanation of the causal relationship between these Worlds (i.e. in order to cause change in Assiah, you must stimulate the plane Yetzirah or higher, etc)

You describe the Four Worlds as “progressively rarified strata of existence”. This description evokes a hierarchical relationship between the Four Worlds. Hence, as you write, “most humans have lived their entire lives oblivious to this stratum of consciousness [Briah]”, but have the capacity to wake up into this Creative World. These descriptions reinforce the traditional hierarchical model of the Four Worlds. But isn’t it equally correct to conceive of the here and now as a mixture of the Four Worlds and the ascent up the Tree be conceived as a shutting down the influences of the various worlds via meditation or whatever? That is, the ascent up the Tree can be conceived not only as an upward movement, but also as shutting down the “phenomenological shimmer” to disclose increasingly rarified awareness in the here and now – i.e. one’s consciousness in the present becomes increasingly subtle and expanded - that is, to access Yetzirah, one must shut down the conditioning of Assiah, to access Briah, one must shut down the conditioning of Assiah and Yetzirah, etc and so forth? However, as I read your introduction, it seems you are suggesting the ascent up the Tree opens up new and hitherto unknown realities to the aspirant rather than already-present realities in the background coming to the forefront of consciousness. It would help if this point was clarified.

Along similar lines, in the Kabbalistic Theory of Emanations, each sephiroth is composed of the emanations of the preceding higher sephiroths and can the same theory be applied to the relationship between the Four Worlds?

What is the difference between the four elements of the Tetragrammaton and the four elements of the Microcosm?
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:44 am

danica wrote:I think I saw one typing error
The next most subtle or inward of the Four Worlds is the World of Yetzirah

you probably ment more subtle here?

Good catch, Danica. (Even... subtle :D ) Thanks for the other comments.

Since I haven't actually finished the Introduction, my usual proofreaders (including the assiduous and awesomely helpful Edward) haven't had their crack at this yet. Yes, it's a strange usage from point of pure grammar, so now we can privately debate this profoundly esoteric subject. (I meant more vs. most, not the Four Worlds :twisted: )

EDIT: Now that I have some food in my, I see the formation here. I originally agreed with you on "more subtle" as a comparison, but had ignored the word "next." Yes, the construction "next most" is the right one. - Nonetheless, thanks for your subtle catch. It had me thinking for a couple of hours. A comma between "next" and "most" would have warranted the change to "more."
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:52 am

AvshalomBinyamin wrote:Yes, it's overall very clear, without being remedial. I especially liked the last sentence in the Yetzirah paragraph. It says a lot in very little space.

IMO the second paragraph could use some elaboration. For someone who isn't already familiar with the four worlds, it seems like it would be a little confusing - which order are the worlds being listed? what is meant by emerging? why is the plane of the creator the fourth world and not the creative world?

Thanks for both of these. - Let me ask you (though probably you've already implicitly answered above), do you think the subequent paragraphs resolve this? Or do they leave the reader hanging too long? (I have a kinda easy fix for it that has some compositional awkwardnesses, but I'm sure it can be handled.)
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:24 am

the atlas itch wrote:I wish you made a clearer distinction between Briah and Atziluth in terms of the “Creative” aspect (same observation as AB above)

The creator is not the same as the act of creation. (But, of course, the point here is that it wasn't clear enough until I explained further. OK, I'll touch that one up. (I may have to give in and lengthen the paragraph to discuss the origin of all of these names in Isaiah 43:7 - see Notes section on Col. 1208 in 776 1/2.)

The term “archetype” always brings Jung to mind and, by extension, I associate the Jungian archetypal realm with Daath. How is the archetypal world of Atziluth different from this popular understanding of “archetypes”?

Thanks for the question. I've fiddled with the footnote to try to make it clearer, though I'm not going to turn it into a mini-essay <g>. The term "Archetypal" for Atziluth is unfortunate though traditional - we won't change it. Since the word roughly means "first or oldest pattern" it is already one step removed from the pattern-maker. Jung coined it fresh, and his usage is, I think, truer to the literal sense of the word. This is probably another subtle distinction similar to Creator vs. Creating, where Atziluth might be entitled to a name like "Archetyper," and Briah has the fruit of that, the Archetypes themselves.

I would like to know whether these Four Worlds represent the totality of all attainable reality or the totality of reality attainable for a human being.

Qabalists are terribly pragmatic, and rarely distinguish between those two things. But in a sense the answer is inherent in the definitions since Atziluth is not human in any usual sense of the word.

It would be nice to see a clear explanation of the causal relationship between these Worlds (i.e. in order to cause change in Assiah, you must stimulate the plane Yetzirah or higher, etc)

Thanks. Not the subject of this book. (The introduction has already spread from a 20 page "generous" estimate to almost 30, and will be 35-40 before it's done - My main effort at discipline is to keep all of these discussions focussed on what knowledge is necessary to understand the remaining 500 pages of the book.)

You describe the Four Worlds as “progressively rarified strata of existence”. This description evokes a hierarchical relationship between the Four Worlds.

Yes. That is what I meant to communicate.

Hence, as you write, “most humans have lived their entire lives oblivious to this stratum of consciousness [Briah]”, but have the capacity to wake up into this Creative World. These descriptions reinforce the traditional hierarchical model of the Four Worlds.

Yes. They are explicitly hierarchical.

But isn’t it equally correct to conceive of the here and now as a mixture of the Four Worlds and the ascent up the Tree be conceived as a shutting down the influences of the various worlds via meditation or whatever?

That doesn't change the inherent hierarchy in the Worlds themselves. Your error here is in conceiving the hierarchy in terms of the Tree. Notice that the Tree isn't mentioned anywhere in this discussion. The hierarchy is the Worlds themselves, and the Tree exists in totality in each of these Worlds. (Ignoring the rest of your stuff about the Tree since it's not what this material is about. Also not sure what this "shutting down" line of discussing is, but, if I get engagted in it, I'll derail my own thread and take it way off-topic.)

However, as I read your introduction, it seems you are suggesting the ascent up the Tree opens up new and hitherto unknown realities to the aspirant rather than already-present realities in the background coming to the forefront of consciousness. It would help if this point was clarified.

Again, I didn't mention the Tree - not in the slightest. But yes, I'm saying that the "ascent" of the Worlds is a progressive opening up new and hitherto unknown realities. Absolutely. (No need to clarify the text on this one, since the conflicting information is in your head (your preconceptions) instead of in the text, and is highly atypical - not likely to be in the mind of most readers.)

To say it another way, you've posited some sort of conflict between "opening up new and hitherto unknown realities to the aspirant" and "already-present realities in the background coming to the forefront of consciousness." I'm not sure what this conflict is. Those things "in the background" have been in such deep background that they have been entirely unknown to the aspirant until that point. They are totally new revelations.

Along similar lines, in the Kabbalistic Theory of Emanations, each sephiroth is composed of the emanations of the preceding higher sephiroths and can the same theory be applied to the relationship between the Four Worlds?

It would add unnecessary confusion to go that way. My goal, remember, is to let the reader know what these Worlds are, and their basic characteristics, so that as I spend 500 pages referencing them, the terms will be sufficiently familiar that one can follow along; for example, when I speak of the 21st Aethyr being the apex of Yetziratic consciousness and the opening of the current therein being the veil that discloses Briah behind it, this should be experientially meaningful.

What is the difference between the four elements of the Tetragrammaton and the four elements of the Microcosm?

Beyond the scope of the book, but I'll happily address it here. The Elements can be thought of as horizontal and vertical (my terms to make a point). When we normally speak of working with the four Elements, we are thinking of them horizontally: Here I am on whatever plane, and they surround me. When we think of the Worlds, we are also thinking of the Elements, but with attention to the shifting of planes. (The 16 Court Cards of Tarot address the interrelationship of these two orientations very well.)

Thank you very much for this.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:01 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:Thanks for both of these. - Let me ask you (though probably you've already implicitly answered above), do you think the subequent paragraphs resolve this? Or do they leave the reader hanging too long? (I have a kinda easy fix for it that has some compositional awkwardnesses, but I'm sure it can be handled.)

Yes, the subsequent paragraphs are really clear. When I critique the second paragraph, I'm talking about only minor tweaking to improve clarity. It's just that it's so early in the topic, that I'd be inclined to really be downright remedial so that the reader doesn't miss out on the juiciness of the descriptions.

Something along the lines of (this rough idea):
The three densest of these worlds have Hebrew names that mean (starting with the densest) “making,” “forming,” and “creating” (which essentially means “conceiving”). The fourth world is the plane of the creator. One can grasp, intuitively, how each denser world emerges out of the more rarified, abstract world above; formation emerges out of creation/conception, and making/action is subsequent to formation.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:44 am

Though a more extreme and lengthy rewrite, what do you think of taking the second paragraph down this road?

The names of these Worlds trace to Isaiah 43:7, where God (YHVH) is credited as saying, “All that is called in my Name: for to my Glory I have created it (BRAThYV), I have formed it (YTzRThYV), and I have made it (OShYThYV).” Thus, the final three of the four Worlds (expressed in the letters of the Divine Name YHVH, and beginning with the densest) are titled OShYH, Assiah, “action or making;” YTzRH, Yetzirah, “formation;” and BRYAH, Briah, “creation” (which essentially means “conceiving”). The fourth world, Atziluth, is the plane of the creator.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:09 pm

Really cool! :D (I was going to ask if you were going to make that connection at some point, but forgot to mention it)... I always like the OT tie-ins to the subject (so many of us started judeo/christian, 'rebelled' and then rediscovered our origins from a different perspective, so the tie-ins are always a bit mind-opening)
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby gurugeorge » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:46 pm

Great stuff, very clear and concise. One thing I'd say though, for a total beginner of a sceptical bent, the notion of a "world" might be a stumbling block (wtf does he mean by "world"???). What's the Hebrew word being translated as "world"? Maybe a short paragraph about that?
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:06 pm

gurugeorge wrote:Great stuff, very clear and concise. One thing I'd say though, for a total beginner of a sceptical bent, the notion of a "world" might be a stumbling block (wtf does he mean by "world"???). What's the Hebrew word being translated as "world"? Maybe a short paragraph about that?

Thanks. - But in this case the "skeptical" issue is irrelevant. Nobody is asked to believe anything. This is part of the introductory text that provides language so that people will understand the rest of the book.

Hebrew translation of "world" is olahm.

Notice I'm avoiding broad scholarly treatment (which is why I originally avoided the OT quote). This setion is for the tech, not the engineer: Enough facts to understand the language before throwing people into 500 pages where I use the language. Bottom line (all other goals being secondary), the goal here is that when I use, say, "Briah," and when I contrast it to, say, "Yetzirah," the reader will likely know what I mean and what their practical relationship is. I'm going for "broad stroke but accurate."

The purpose is not to deeply discuss Qabalah - just to let people otherwise untrained in the subject to get through a book that aggressively uses it. (This is a very interesting discussion for me. I'm finding that my resistances rise specifically to people wanting the book to be a different book than what it is. Another time, maybe :lol: )
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:09 pm

AvshalomBinyamin wrote:Really cool! :D (I was going to ask if you were going to make that connection at some point, but forgot to mention it)... I always like the OT tie-ins to the subject (so many of us started judeo/christian, 'rebelled' and then rediscovered our origins from a different perspective, so the tie-ins are always a bit mind-opening)

Thanks. I remain doubtful, because I'm trying to make this not a scholarly work with citations and extra intellectual baggage. The extra info in this new paragraph is actually extraneous to understanding the book... unless it really does make it easier for them to understand the Worlds themselves. In that case, it's pure gold!

Anyone else have thoughts on this particular point?
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby LPD Nu » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:21 pm

93, Jim,

Reading it once as a consumer and not an editor, I liked it and think it will especially help those relatively new to the subject.

No criticisms here.

93s,

Br C
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:26 pm

Thanks, C.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby deleted » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:20 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:Though a more extreme and lengthy rewrite, what do you think of taking the second paragraph down this road?

The names of these Worlds trace to Isaiah 43:7, where God (YHVH) is credited as saying, “All that is called in my Name: for to my Glory I have created it (BRAThYV), I have formed it (YTzRThYV), and I have made it (OShYThYV).” Thus, the final three of the four Worlds (expressed in the letters of the Divine Name YHVH, and beginning with the densest) are titled OShYH, Assiah, “action or making;” YTzRH, Yetzirah, “formation;” and BRYAH, Briah, “creation” (which essentially means “conceiving”). The fourth world, Atziluth, is the plane of the creator.

One minor point, but it is a complicated subject... You begin with "the final three of the four Worlds," as if Atziluth were numbered first, but then when you list them, you begin again from the opposite direction, listing the "densest" first and moving to Atziluth.

It would aid clarity if you kept the same direction the whole way through. That's the only thing I can think of. Clear and compact.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:45 pm

Good catch. Thanks. (That's what happens when I copy and paste from another writing of mine written from the opposite side of the room.)
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Angel of Death » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:23 am

Well that certainly cleared up alot of things for me:)
I did get slightly muddled at the second paragraph, I like the rewrite you followed up with, that cleared it up for me.

I realize it is just an overview, but I thought a few more adjectives could add to its clarity, esp for World of Assiah. The word actual seems to need back up to me, I see material, and physical. Is it the world of tangible matter? Is that where the other worlds can materialize?

As someone who has no real understanding of this subject I found your intro very helpful, but I did also wonder why do you divide into four worlds? Is this in an attempt to understand and gain mastery of? How does seeing these four worlds aid us? Can these four worlds be parralled to humanities overall development, or of a humans physcial developement? How do these worlds help us relate to the Tree?

just some extra question.

Thank you very much for sharing this BTW, I found it very interesting and helpful:)
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:13 am

Veronica wrote:Is it the world of tangible matter?

That's a complicated question. Let's break it down.

Mostly, tangible is a functional synonym for material, actual, and substantial. To the extent that it can be distinguished from them, it's particular meaning is to indicate that something can be touched\ (Lat. tangere, "to touch"). The problem is that one can touch, and be touched by, things on other planes when one is also there, e.g., your astral body can touch astral objects, and all sorts of Yetziratic things can touch and move you.

I think I also managed to about using "substance" or "substantial," since all of the worlds have some kind of substance composing them. The same criticism can be leveled at "material," since all levels are formed of some kind of matter, some sort of mother-substance... but the conventional meaning of "material" is so engrained that I thought it safe enough.

Is that where the other worlds can materialize?

Yes. - For the short introduction, that line of discussion would introduce some problems, so I've scooted around it. In particular, that "coming into being of the world" would warrant discussing the planes from top down. I think it's important, in this book, to discuss them bottom-up because (1) that's the sequence that unfolds in the 30 Aethyrs and (2) the main point I want to get clear enough in the Intro is the relationship of these to the Path of Initiation. So, the bottom-up "continuing unveiling of new discovery" angle is more fruitful than the tom-down "here is how reality as we know it is created, formed, and made."

As someone who has no real understanding of this subject I found your intro very helpful, but I did also wonder why do you divide into four worlds?

I didn't come up with it. Kabbalists did that over a millennium ago.

How does seeing these four worlds aid us?

So far as the subject relates to the present book, the knowledge enables one to better understand the contents of the book. Please remember, the goal isn't to explore the Four Worlds per se, but to make the names and basic ideas available to readers of the book.

Similarly, this will be followed by about a page and a half on the 10 sephiroth, a couple of pages on the Hebrew letters and the Paths on the Tree, etc. In no sense exhaustive, and (so far as I can manage) in no way digging into the whole history and larger metaphysic of the thing. When one or more large books could be (and have been) written on the sephiroth alone, a page and a half is hardly exhaustive <g> - it's just "Qabalists have these 10 ideas blah blah, here are their names and their basic natures. Probably a whopping three lines on each :twisted:

Can these four worlds be parralled to humanities overall development, or of a humans physcial developement?

The latter all takes places within Assiah (except to the extent that all creation, formation, and making-doing manifests through the planes). Again, though, that's the top-down "history of reality" angle and not the topic of the book.

(Wow, you're all making pretty clear that a book only on the Four Worlds would be worthwhile for someone to write.)

How do these worlds help us relate to the Tree?

At the point they are introduced, there hasn't been any mention of the Tree of Life. These are the starting point, and the Tree a subset of them. The main point will be made that the entire Tree exists in all four Worlds. To a very great extent, the entire rest of the book is a demonstration of how the Tree unfolds upward and inward within these Worlds.

just some extra question.

And very good ones. You are all helping me better understand the mind of my audience. I won't be able to address much of this without diverging considerably from the subject matter of the book, but I'm certain these questions will affect how my thoughts develop in writing the Introduction overall.

Thank you very much for sharing this BTW, I found it very interesting and helpful:)

You're very welcome. I hoped I'd meet a couple of useful goals with one post.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:20 am

Alrah wrote:Just one question... what makes the higher worlds 'high, and lower worlds 'low'? I'm sure some of the more well read people on eastern philosophy coming into the subject would want to know that, as the eastern schools do away the hierarchy.

The most honest answer is: Convention. The history of it, I'm sure, is as simple as "God is up, Earth is down."

In modern times we could address it in terms of vibratory rates. "Higher" means "higher rate of vibration." This matches all observations I can think of and, in particular, the more-vs.-less rarified scale.

There is also the standard occult teaching that by "higher" we mean "inner," and by "lower" we mean "outer."

there is currenly no argument that can shore up the four worlds hierarchy except for: 'this is the way it is', which just looks like the usual excuse for any hierarchy on earth

First, I'm not anti-hierarchical as you appear to be. I see these quite pointedly as hierarchical. Given all the space and time in the world, I would persist in describing this hierachy of worlds in heriarchical terms. (And FWIW a majority of Eastern schools, especially those in India would be rather shocked to hear that they've done away with hierarchy.)

But in this book in particular, "this is the way it is [traditionally talked about]" is exactly the argument that applies. Remember, this Introduction is not the body of the book. It is substantially an introducing of the established language - almost a verbose selective glossary. It isn't the place to rewrite the language but, rather, to empower people to understand the existing language.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby danica » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:23 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Alrah wrote:Just one question... what makes the higher worlds 'high, and lower worlds 'low'? I'm sure some of the more well read people on eastern philosophy coming into the subject would want to know that, as the eastern schools do away the hierarchy.

The most honest answer is: Convention. The history of it, I'm sure, is as simple as "God is up, Earth is down."

In modern times we could address it in terms of vibratory rates. "Higher" means "higher rate of vibration." This matches all observations I can think of and, in particular, the more-vs.-less rarified scale.

There is also the standard occult teaching that by "higher" we mean "inner," and by "lower" we mean "outer."

and I would add ''higher'' means - more abstract = 'closer' to One (or None, if you will) in conceptual qabalistic sense, while ''lower'' means - 'closer' to Many (or Ten, if we take the diagram of the Tree as basis for discuson).
there's no need to moralize those words at all.
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby the atlas itch » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:40 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:Thank you very much for this.

No, thank you for that clear explanation. I learned something new..
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Re: The Four Worlds

Postby deleted » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:42 pm

The three densest of these worlds have Hebrew names that mean “making,” which emerges from “forming,” which in turn comes from “creating” (which essentially means “conceiving”). The fourth world is the plane of the creator.

Been pondering something along these lines if you're still interested in losing the technical reference to Isaiah...

The densest of these worlds has a Hebrew name that means "making." This world has its source in the more subtle world of "forming," which in turn derives from the still more subtle world of "creating." The world of "creating" (which essentially means "conceiving") emerges from the fourth and highest world, that of pure spiritual essense, or the plane of the creator.

Just fiddling with it for clarity.

Peace.
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