The Four Worlds
According to the Kabbalah (the hidden mystical structure of the universe) the world is created as a great Tree of Existence or a tree of life.
The complexity of the “charting” of the universe has been a challenge to me as an artist. Painting this series has been a combination of using the mind, body, and spirit. I am fascinated with the similarities of The Four Worlds of the Kabbalah, other ancient spiritual systems such as Buddhism and the Chakras, and now with contemporary theories of physics. The wisdom of the ancient masters, when documenting this “unseen” structure never ceases to amaze me as it seems so relevant today. I wander through the depths of understanding and try to capture these abstract concepts through images in paint.
This great tree is composed of FOUR separate worlds connected by the Jacob’s Ladder.
1. The highest world (Azilut), the World of Emanation.
2. The World of Creation (Beriah).
3. The world of Formation (Yetzirah)
4.The World of Action (Asiyyah).
The paintings read from right to left. (see graphic diagram below)
Within the center of the structure of the Four Worlds (“the great tree”) there is a center pole, which the Kabbalah describes as levels of existence relating to the individual. These levels create the center pole and core of the sfirot system. I have chosen to represent:
1. The Keter, located at the top of the head representing the crown and origin.
2. The Daat, responsible for understanding and knowledge and found in the center of the throat and chest.
3. Beauty or Tefiret, found in the center of the body.
4. Tefiret then joins with Yesod or foundation, in the groin area.
5. The Malkut, the divine body, which is located at the bottom of the feet representing the physical world.
I have created four different interpretations of the Four Worlds of Existence. Each painting is constructed with four separate panels reading as one complete work. Each painting also features one of the levels of existence found in the center pole of the Sfirot. Four Worlds IV combines the two lower levels Yesod and Malkut.
Each painting is a separate canvas measuring 7’ x 3’, 7’ x 12’ total, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 2002 - 2005.