It might be interesting to discuss the evidence for, and implications thereof, of continuity of tradition from Atenism into Judaism and from there into Free-Masonry, i don’t feel there’s any case i need to make myself as far as the historical evidence for the influence of Atenism on Judaism goes and will simply provide the links for this, though of course that can be up for discussion, i’d prefer to focus on the greater implications here.
So Atenism, what was it, what was it not, the paper that i linked to questions whether it was even a religion, as nobody seemed to believe in it and the whole thing fell apart after the death of Akhenaten, it was Anti-religious in that it progressively sought to end all prior religious tradition and practise, the Aten itself served as the focal Symbol, the solar disk whose brilliance could not be looked on directly, Akhenaten himself was projected as the only Divine intermediary who should be supplicated, thus the absolute centralization of religious belief projected onto his person.
There was no Theology created to explain this sudden shift in emphasis, only the emphasis on the abstract symbol and glorious leader who in iconography appeared to have both Male and Female characteristics, in effect this was simply asserting totalitarian control over the minds of one’s subjects and leaving them with no alternative tradition, not surprisingly people were glad to see the back of him when he died.
It is an unknown as to whether this was entirely the whim of Akhenaten or whether he was taking advise from poisonous source, the latter though seems the more likely when the evidence is considered that after his death his close circle of advisors seem to have left Egypt and recommenced their mind games upon the Semitic tribes of the Sinai region, regaining a basis for power.the names of Akhenatens close circle are found in the Moses narrative, it is even suggested that he was Akhenatens vizier Ramose.
It was certainly the case that Moses adopted the modus operandi of the Atenists, he created the Divine abstraction, I am what i am, so whatever, and he also made himself the only inter-mediary between the people and that Divine abstract, began to persecute all traditional belief and practise and introduced legalistic Monotheism, which bound the people by Law to his own particular interpretation.
It is now considered that there was no mass exodus from Egypt, no conquest of Canaan, rather it seems the case that an ideology had taken hold among the lower classes in Canaanite society, that internal subversion and rebellion took place and the upper levels of the Cities totally destroyed, the Temple complexes and homes of the ruling classes, while the lower levels remained untouched, that through the creation of resentments and internal division the old order had been overthrown and the legalistic Monotheism of the Hebrews introduced.
After the death of Moses there is the necessary transference of the role of Divine inter-mediary to the entire Levitical scribal-Priest class, and by greater extension to the entire tribal body of Israel such that they become the means through which the Divine is to be interpreted, and from there begins the pracitse of subverting and denouncing all neighbouring religions and cultures, while reinforcing the abolition of religious practise within their own tradition, in order to provide substitution religious festivals and rituals are largely based upon the various trials and tribulations of the people themselves, this also reinforcing their assumed Holiness and sense of purpose.
Judaism itself showed a remarkable capacity to absorb the belief of neighbouring cultures and assimilate into their own historical narrative, noteworthy in this regard adapting the entire Apocalyptic tradition of the Zoroastrians such that it largely became about the destruction and re-establishment of their own Temple Cult…not the world.
With regards to such influence on Free-Masonry, given the Jewish disdain for the religious practise of others this made them very useful allies to the Protestants when it came to creating resentment within Catholic society, they could certainly be relied upon to point out the shortcomings of others when it came to Legalistic Monotheism and the Protestants wanted to go by the manual which had become widely available, so the Jews held the key to the Protestant mindset, and so it had to be out with the old and in with the even older.
Their dealings with early influential Free-Masons were different it would seem, as Protestants of power and influence they also wanted the keys to the Kingdom as it were, the means to control society and create one’s own power base, thus they adopted for themselves the amusingly abstract G, created any number of pseudo-religious parody rituals and absurdist histories, practising the subversion of society toward their own best interests, creating the privileged Brotherhood.
It’s an attitude towards religion and others which became so popular in America, the American constitution is Legalistic Humanism, offering everyone the chance to become the Divine inter-mediary behind that abstraction, Mormonism, Scientology, Church of Satan, among the more notorious examples of the produce of this attitude, but generally it’s about undermining the faith of others and creating your own religion with oneself centre stage, running whatever scam you see fit, taking this onto the global and political stage then Hitler, Stalin, Mao et al were notorious practitioners, of Atenism.