The four worlds are the worlds of emanation, the world of creation, the world of formation, and the world of manifestation. We learn about these worlds from Isaiah.
Everyone who is called by My Name:
For my glory; I have created him;
I have formed him;
I have made him. (Isaiah 43:7.)
The world of emanation is the world in which the will actively operates. The will can either be in harmony with the Divine will or can be disharmonious with the Divine will. The will ordains, decrees, determines, commands, or begets the archetype it chooses. The light of the will then enters the world of creation where the archetype unfolds in the intellect which receives the emanation. The intellect uses its imagination skills and its attention skills to produce and hold the willed thought-forms. The energy of the intellect then enters the world of formation where the energy activates desire and emotion that prepares the universe for the immediate and vigorous making and doing which will follow. Finally, the energy of the desiring enters the world of manifestation where the physical structure forms from action and action polarities that assist and resist each other.
The worlds of emanation and formation are worlds in which the energies are active while the worlds of creation and manifestation are passive receivers of the energies entering them. The worlds of creation and manifestation clothe the received energies while the worlds of emanation and formation transform the energies.
To produce any change requires willing, creating, desiring and doing. Our understanding of the four worlds then serve as a roadmap to remind us of all what we must do in order to manifest a change in our consciousness.