The Five Worlds – The Cosmology of Lurianic Kabbalah

the emanation of worlds

the concentric emanation of worlds, according to Lurianic Kabbalah

{from R. I. Krakovsky – Kabbalah, the Light of Redemption)


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.


In Lurianic cosmology therefore we have the following strata of reality:

  • En Sof       –  Absolute or Infinite – Beyond all archetpes
  • 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

It is interesting to consider that whereas for other Kabbalists it was the En Sof which was identical to the Deity, for Luria it was the world of Atzilut, or at least its higher aspects.  These aspects of divinity Luria refers to as Partzufim, more on which shortly.  Thus he distinguishes between Atzilut and the three lower worlds [Sholem, pp. 272­3].

Source: Kepher


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