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Fair enough; some theories I have seen, actually state that the Templars found Kabbalists texts underneath the temple. Say that these teachings are what was passed down to be embedded in Freemasonic rituals.
To your knowledge, when was the beginning ages of Freemasonry? I have seen people date it to the 1600's... Personally, I believe it's much older, and traces back to antiquity, but I would like to know the masonic consensus.
I'm not going to go into a long discussion about all it of now, but I want to encourage you and anyone else interested to "broaden" your searches and reading. There are many ancient traditions that have been distilled and passed on to us. It is not always easy or apparent and it is not meant to be. The search and discovery process is a personal quest and not everyone is going to be led to the same conclusions and many won't bother to do the work to find out. Good Luck!edit on 30-1-2014 by sharkman because: (no reason given)edit on 30-1-2014 by sharkman because: (no reason given)edit on 30-1-2014 by sharkman because: (no reason given)edit on 30-1-2014 by sharkman because: Can't Spell!!edit on 30-1-2014 by sharkman because: I need an "On Staff Editor"!
Elias Ashmole (23 May 1617 – 18 May 1692) was a celebrated English antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy. Ashmole supported the royalist side during the English Civil War, and at the restoration of Charles II he was rewarded with several lucrative offices.
Ashmole was an antiquary with a strong Baconian bent for the study of nature. His library reflected his intellectual outlook, including works on English history, law, numismatics, chorography, alchemy, astrology, astronomy, and botany. Although he was one of the founding members of the Royal Society, a key institution in the development of experimental science, his interests were antiquarian and mystical as well as scientific. He was an early Freemason, although the extent of his involvement and commitment is unclear. Throughout his life he was an avid collector of curiosities and other artifacts. Many of these he acquired from the traveller, botanist, and collector John Tradescant the Younger. Ashmole donated most of his collection, his antiquarian library and priceless manuscripts to the University of Oxford to create the Ashmolean Museum.
The Ashmolean Museum (in full the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology) on Beaumont Street, Oxford, England, is the world's first university museum. Its first building was built in 1678–1683 to house the cabinet of curiosities that Elias Ashmole gave Oxford University in 1677. The museum reopened in 2009 after a major redevelopment. In November 2011 new galleries focusing on Egypt and Nubia were also unveiled.
The late 1600's is the earliest existing records of a Lodge to date. It's not hard to surmise that this Lodge and others existed prior to this, whether speculative or not, is another matter, and one know one can answer as there exists no records.