Baal HaSulam, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah“: Kabbalists have found that the form of the four worlds named Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya, beginning with the first, highest world, called Atzilut, down to this corporeal, tangible world, called Assiya, is exactly the same in every item and event.
This means that everything that eventuates and occurs in the first world is found unchanged in the next world, below it, too. It is likewise in all the worlds that follow it, down to this tangible world.
Kabbalists discovered that there is an upgraded state of creation, which is the upper level called the world of Ein Sof. According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, Ein Sof (infinity) and distances are not measured by kilometers or yards, so this measurement is not really relevant for them. Therefore, this world is called upper because the highest root is there and everything stems from it.
It is called the world of Ein Sof because we cannot attain it in its ultimate form.
The next world below it is called the world of Adam Kadmon (AK).
Adam is the prototype of the corrected state of creation, and Kadmon means primary or original. So the initial state of creation, the embryo, is called Adam Kadmon.
Then the world of Atzilut follows, stemming from the word “Etzlo” (in Him). Everything is contained in the world of Atzilut.
It includes the upper light coming from above and all the efforts and corrections that come from below. It is truly a serious spiritual object.
Atzilut is the upper world in which the Creator exists and operates on us from above downward.
Below this world are the worlds of Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya.
The world of Beria comes from the word “Bar” (emerging from the boundaries of the Creator, below His level).
Yetzira means that new, lower states are created in this world.
Assiya is the world of action.
Our world is below the world of Assiya and is sometimes perceived as its lowest level.
Question: What is the upper root and what is the branch?
Answer: Basically, the root is in the world of infinity. But it is not a root in itself yet, because it is too high. Our roots are actually in the world of Atzilut and our branches are in our world.
And in between, there are different states, combinations, and connections.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 10/6/19