There are four layers of the one mind, the one consciousness. By descending through these four levels, you eventually get material reality from the realm of infinity. The Jewish Qabalists called these layers the four worlds. They are, truly, as four realms of existence. I will explain these four worlds, including the qabalistic names for them, as well as some correspondences to elucidate the meaning. Note that these exist in a wide-scale, as in the creation of the entire universe. Yet, simultaneously, it is possible to note this process occurring within yourself. The entire pattern, or process, of creation is going on within yourself, right now. You must simply learn to become aware of the process as it occurs.

In order from deepest level to most surface level…

1. Qabalists called this the world of atzilut, meaning ‘eminated from,’ as in eminated from the Infinite. This is also called the archetypal world. It represents the collective unconscious, the sum of all the archetypes, the shared, essential elements of experience. This is a masculine principle; it represents stillness. This is because it does not change. This is the Y of the tetragrammaton, most holy name of god in the hebrew tradition: YHWH.

This is yud, ‘Y’

2. This is called the world of b’riah, creation. This represents the soul. Alternatively, this represents the individual subconscious. This is one individual arrangement of the archetypes. This represents the feminine principle. It is the first H of the tetragrammaton.
This is heh, ‘H’

This is called yitzirah, the world of formation. It is said that in this world, concrete plans of creation are made, concrete steps to manifestation. It is also said that emotional involvement occurs at this stage. This represents the conscious mind. It is the essential premise, or assumption, behind any experience. It is the imminent potential for experience, or perception. You could also say this represents the ‘medium’ behind Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase, “The medium is the message.” This is the W of the tetragrammaton.
This is vav, originally ‘waw,’ W.

4. This is called the world of assiyah, action. This represents physical reality, material existence. It is called ‘The Kingdom.’ At this level there is apparently total independence. This is the ultimate goal, or purpose, of creation. This is the ego. It manifests as external ‘things,’ or as self-driven actions. It is the message in McLuhan’s “The medium is the message.” This is the 2nd H of YHWH.

This is the tetractys, mystical shape of Pythagoreas. It is represented using the four letters of YHWH, though. The top point represents the first world, the collective unconscious, and working your way down is working your way towards the most surface level of consciousness. Notice how the letter of each of the worlds is added onto the existing one each level down, but the existing letter remains. This is because the influence of the previous ‘letter,’ or world, or level of consciousness, continues to have its impact on each level down. And yet it moves more into the background at that level.

For things to flow smoothly, efficiently, and desirably, each level must have a trust in the level above it. This is because any given level is a limited selection of the options presented at the higher level. Ego is a selection, an identification, of the possibilities generated by the essential premise of the conscious mind. Similarly, the premise of the conscious mind is a singular manifestation of the wider pattern of elements that is the individual sub-conscious. The individual subconscious is one possible arrangement of the archetypes, the elements in the collective unconscious. By definition, then, no level can ever know more than, or even as much as, the level above it. Thus if one acts without trusting the level above, confusion inevitably follows.