Officers of the Lodge

Who is the Inner Guard being placed inside the door of the lodge, symbolically our main survival instincts


This is a 2 of 6 part tutorial series on the Officers of the Lodge

Each part published monthly in The Square

Lodge Officers:  The Tyler, Inner Guard, Deacons, Junior Warden, Senior Warden, Worshipful Master

The Inner Guard – Instinct

Human Beings have three main survival instincts: Self-Preservation, Sexual, and Social. Let us, for a moment, concentrate on the Social instinct.

From the parent/child relationship and a longing to care and be cared for, we (Human Beings) form an ‘instinct’ of closeness.

That instinct continues throughout our life, forming friendships whether one-on-one, or in groups.

That closeness, or sense of connection, leads to a positive feeling of reward. 

Freemasonry is founded on a code of social morality. So are human beings naturally moral?

The 13th century Christian theologian, Thomas Aquinas, says that ‘some moral law comes from divine authority, others from natural law and still others from civil authority’.

Charles Darwin stated in his book The Descent of Man:

‘I fully subscribe to the judgement of those writers who maintain that of all the differences between man and the lower animals the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important.’ 

However, Jack P. Hailman, who wrote an article in Scientific American December, 1969, subtly entitled ‘How an instinct is learned‘, says;

‘Perhaps stereotypical behaviour patterns (of animals) also require subtle forms of experience for development’

He goes on to say;

‘instincts emerge each generation through a complex cascade of physical and biological influences’.


Remember in my last piece I wrote about Betari’s Box – ‘My attitude affects my behaviour….etc.’ What subtleties during your informative years affect your behaviour? 


With these pieces of information in mind let us look at the role of the Inner Guard as explained by W. L. Wilmshurst in his book The Meaning of Masonry

Wilmshurst suggests the Inner Guard represents your inner senses; that of imagination, intuition, insight, inspiration and instinct. 

So let us look more closely at our inner senses as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary:


Imagination – The faculty or action of forming new ideas or images or concepts of external objects not present to the outer senses.

With imagination and the wisdom and experience of your ‘Spirit’ and your ‘Spiritual Consciousness, you can ask the question: ‘Will this person, idea, or concept be of benefit or harm to you?’

Intuition – The ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.

With intuition and the wisdom and experience of your Spirit as well as your Spiritual Consciousness you can ask the question: ‘Will this person, idea, or concept be of benefit or harm to you?’

Insight – The capacity to gain an accurate understanding of someone or something.

With insight and the wisdom and experience of your Spirit as well as your Spiritual Consciousness, once again ask the question of yourself: ‘Will this person, idea, or concept be of benefit or harm to you?’

Inspiration – The process of mental stimulation to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. The quality of being inspired or a person or thing that inspires.

With inspiration and the wisdom and experience of your Spirit as well as your Spiritual Consciousness, ask: ‘Will this person, idea, or concept be of benefit or harm to you?’

Instinct – A natural pattern of behaviour in response to certain stimuli – a natural or intuitive way of thinking – a natural propensity or skill of a special kind – the fact or quality of possessing in born behaviour patterns.

And finally, asking the same question of yourself – with instinct and the wisdom and experience of your Spirit, as well as your Spiritual Consciousness: ‘Will this person, idea, or concept be of benefit or harm to you?

Now we can examine and apply those inner senses to the duties of the Inner Guard. 

Duty 1 

Placed within the entrance to the Lodge 

Nature has placed within you an instinct, an intuition, an inspiration, an imagination, an insight, in order to protect you from those people, ideas and concepts that may tempt you from your path of integrity and morality. 

Duty 2

Report to the Worshipful Master (WM = Your ‘Spirit’ – your experience and wisdom) when Brethren claim admission. 

With both your outer and inner senses on alert, people that you know have a specific level of integrity and morality, and seek to be part of your sphere of friendship.

You seek permission and authority from that part of you that has experience and wisdom to authorize and welcome their entry, that is your Spirit and Spiritual Consciousness. 

Duty 3 

Admit Mason’s on proof (like-minded individuals who have proved their integrity and morality and who are on the same path as yourself) 

Having gained authority from your Spirit and Spiritual Consciousness, you warmly welcome them into your life. 

Duty 4 

Receive the Candidates in due form (Like minded individuals who have proved their integrity and morality and who are seeking the same path as yourself). 

Having gained authority from your Spirit and your Spiritual Consciousness, you warmly welcome them because they bring a fresh, new dynamic to your life. 

Duty 5 

Obey the commands of the Junior Warden (JW = Your ‘Mind’ – Your Spiritual Consciousness.) 

Your Spirit, with wisdom and experience, communicates with your Spiritual Consciousness and asks: ‘Would it be morally right to let this person, this idea, this concept, this action, into your life and be part of who you are?’ 

This is the process a Freemason must go through within himself upon meeting another person, accepting another concept or idea, or taking an action. A process to guard his integrity and his morality. 


Your Inner Guard, therefore, is governed by your Spiritual Consciousness ensuring you act or behave in a way that is socially and morally acceptable within your society and before your God. It is also having the imagination to inspire others with your actions, the actions of a good man, a Freemason. 

My attitude affects my behaviour, which affects your attitude and your behaviour – Betari Box 


The Meaning of Masonry, W. L. Wilmshurst, 1920

‘The Natural Law Tradition in Ethics’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 

Attachment Theory, National Police Public Order Training, John Bowlby, 1969

Betari’s Box Theory – National Police Public Order Training Curriculum ‘Guidance for Trainers’, 2016. 

The Descent of Man (Chap. III pp 67-102) Charles Darwin, 1871

Scientific American (Journal) December, 1969. ‘How an instinct is learned’ Jack P. Hailman

Cambridge Dictionary

Lodge of Union No. 38 (UGLE) Ritual Book. 

Article by: Stephen J. Goulding

Stephen was initiated into Freemasonry in 1978 in Tylney Lodge No. 5856 (UGLE). He was Master in 1989 & 2004.

He was Master of the Lodge of Union 38 (UGLE) in 2018. He is also a PZ in the Holy Royal Arch and PM in the Mark Degree.

Stephen served 30 years in the Metropolitan Police Service (London, England) before going into education in 2000, where he became a college lecturer and a mentor for both the college and the University of Greenwich (London, England). Now retired, he teaches Tai Chi and Qigong in the community.

Facebook: Steve Goulding-Tai Chi West Sussex–Chi at Chi


Recent Articles:

December 2020

Officers of the Lodge

Who is the Tyler being placed outside the door of the lodge, symbolically to protect our moral selves.  …read more

September 2020

The Meaning of Masonry

This is the Introduction to The Meaning of Masonry, a set of essays which discuss the esoteric side of Masonry  …read more

The Meaning of Masonry


Although the Freemasons number over six million members worldwide, they are a very secretive organization. the general public today thinks of them as a social fraternity like the Rotary Club, but that is hardly the whole truth.

By mysterious coincidence, it seems, many Masons have been major figures in modern history. many of the Founding Fathers of the United States—including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere—were Freemasons.

Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian freedom fighter, was also one, as were the composers Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and writers François Marie Arouet de Voltaire and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The Meaning of Masonry explores the beliefs behind the order, its cryptic rites and symbols, and uncovers its ultimate purpose.


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