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However, if you are hinting to know my views, I do see a 'similarity' between Masonic symbolism and many older traditions such as parts of Rosecrusian philosophy, Gnostic and Orthodox Christianity, ancient Mystery cultic initiations, etc., and perhaps the Templars. Again, I doubt if there is a continuity between any of these and Freemasonry. But, I really don't know. I would lean towards thinking that these were ideas that the Enlightenment era fathers of Freemasonry incorporated into that organization. I am really not an expert on the Templars, and am not certain what, if any, ideology they had. But, there does seem to be a perpetuation of a body of mystic symbolism that reaches from Freemasonry back to at least the early days of the current era. How was this?
The advocates of the Templar hypothesis can be usefully split into two phases. The 19th-century crowd--e.g. John Yarker's Arcane Schools--tends to base their accounts on testimonies internal to the rites and initiatory traditions, whereas the 20th-century renewal of the hypothesis--for which Robinson's Born in Blood is paradigmatic--makes greater use of further historical contextualization. In Robinson's case, the 1318 English "peasant revolt" creates a new basis for considering the hypothesis. Other, less impressive, approaches are rooted in the work of the Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors and their derivatives and imitators, who are all (at greater or lesser remove) victims of a French neo-monarchist hoax.
For myself, while I admire the vigor and endurance of the Templar myth within the various Masonic rites, I see no reason to suppose any historical continuity from Templarism to Masonry. The various causes and contexts discussed in Stevenson's Origins of Freemasonry seem to be amply sufficient to account for the Masonic tradition's independent genesis.
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