There are four directions around the person. The four directions are called panim, achor, yemin, smol; face, back, right, left. In Kabbalah we learn that these four ruchot, directions around every human being, correspond to the four worlds that G-d emanated and created.
Panim, front, corresponds to the highest world, which is the world of Atzilut, "Emanation."
Achor, back, corresponds to the second world, the world of Creation. As soon as something is created ex nihilo it passes, as it were, from the front to the back in its own consciousness. In the world of Creation there is a concept of formless matter that is created ex nihilo.
Right, which is sometimes called heaven, corresponds to the world of Formation. This is not ex nihilo, but rather a world which is created from the previous world of Creation. It is form which is given to the previously formless matter that already existed. The process of giving form to something which was previously formless is called yesh miyesh, "something from something."
Left, called Earth, is the fourth world, the world of Action, Tikun. Even after something has been given form it does not yet have its final rectified state of being. At the end of the Torah's description of Creation it is written,Asher barah Elokim la'asot, "Which G-d created, to do." Even after everything is created, it still has to be done, or rectified. This depends on the service of man.
The highest world of Emanation is where all exists in a state of true nothingness, experiencing the face of G-d. If one is in the face of G-d, nothing else exists, Ain od milvado. The world of Emanation is a world where all exists in a state of pure nothingness, of self-nullification. As soon as it becomes self-conscious, as an independent reality it leaves the world of Emanation and enters the world of Creation. This is the world in which one experiences himself as being, but does not yet have a self-image. If one has a self-image he has already descended into the world of Formation. In his self-consciousness he has given himself a picture, or pattern. That pattern necessarily needs to be rectified. When one becomes conscious of that necessity and begins to act upon it, he has descended into the world of Action, or Rectification.
Other chapters in this series:
- Teneh–Revealed and Concealed Levels of Torah
- Teneh – Categories of the Jewish People Correspond to Levels of Torah
- Hakhel – To Learn, to Hear, to Merit
- Taf (Children) – Drops and Prophecy
- Nashim (Women) – Breath and Soul
- Inner Dimension of Torah and the Inner Dimension of the Heat
- Redemption in Merit of Women and Children
- Search For My Inner Essence
- Two Levels of the Inner Dimension
- Israel, Torah, and God – Inner and External Dimensions
- Four Directions and the Four Worlds
- Emanation Consciousness – No Friction
- Face, Innerness, Glory, and Atzilut (Emanation)
- Awareness of a Higher Dimension Helps to Create a Good Year