Monday, 28 February 2011

From Elias Ashmole to Arthur Edward Waite: The Search for Lost Knowledge within Freemasonry - Part 1

'[William Backhouse] told me in Syllables the true matter of the philosophers stone...'
Elias Ashmole

The search for lost knowledge is a theme that resounds throughout Freemasonry, from its earliest moments - with the alchemist Elias Ashmole, who became a Freemason in Warrington in 1646, to the late Victorian period when 'occultists' and Freemasons such as Arthur Edward Waite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Frederick Bligh Bond also explored spiritualism and the supernatural.

In my first book The Genesis of Freemasonry the early influences on the foundation of Freemasonry are put forward, and the theme of the search for lost knowledge is discussed to create a new picture of the origins of Freemasonry. My second book The Transformation of Freemasonry completes the story, and continues to discuss this theme. I also discuss this in a new paper which appears in the latest edition of Philalethes: The Journal of Masonic Letters http://www.freemasonry.org/journal.php


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