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This image came from a photo I found and cropped of the 'Buddha' statue that Dijana & I both had the same thought about when we visited the sanctuary ... back in April 1999 ... still in the afterglow of that Acacia experience ... :)

William Ricketts Philosophy

Understanding Love

        This beautiful mountain forest scene, my home for 50 years, is now a spectacle and a basic Spirituality that invites the human race, in a world sick and going wrong, to once again dip their whole man roots into this sustaining spiritual soil and from there be moved by the higher spiritual consciousness to embody a greater life of the spirit that seems to be the continuance of a life that was lived in far off times when the primary purpose of the whole universe idea was revealed.

        Within my deep seated consciousness or Divine Centre, it seems a life containing ideas of great significance has long been lying in slumber awaiting the time of an awakening in which it would be made clear to me that only as an instrument in the hands of the highest consciousness would it become possible for me to express in this forest scene basic and fundamental principles and forms that would declare this forest scene to be direct action of the Spirit - love in which the idea of artist or sculptor does not exist except as I have already said as a conscious instrument.

        It is an awakening within the spirit and he who knows this is unable to reveal by words alone the beautiful and compelling mystery of life in the wholeness of being.

        Right here I want to quote the words of a young girl who one day passed through this sanctuary. Before leaving she opened the visitor's book and wrote the following words: "This place cannot be explained in words, it has to be felt in the heart."

        Love, the mighty wonderful power in all its vastness and where all divisions and limitations cease to exist, is a holy state of being, and this wonderful power can never be used for anything other than the truth consciousness which is the Divine. Therefore you and I are asked to respond to this forest scene, not just as a human concept, but rather to see in the whole scene an attempt to translate all back into the language of the spirit, thereby revealing the reality behind the material - Spiritual Universe - which is also revealed here through the human body.

        One wide glance over this forest scene reveals the spiritual and the material - Spiritual Universe - in their origin as one or two poises of the one Supreme Spririt.

        It is also clear to see the way spirit or love manifests itself in all the forms of this sanctuary thus Divinizing the Earth. Yet spirit or love as such is not a form. It is spirit or love that creates all forms but it is only after these forms have been created that the spirit or love becomes active evident in these forms - love giving of itself.

        To approach and understand the truth of spirit or love, one needs to live it, not just in your mind or heart but feeling it in your very body-temple.

        Although words alone seem to be an inadequate vehicle and yet are symbols of a deep seated consciousness, one still needs to enter the inner world beyond the outer world of words.

        It has come to me in the forest scene that we are not in the image of God straight out, that is not straight away, because love, although the fundamental principle of the whole universe human idea, is still in part veiled. It has also come to me in this scene that by the power of love one's feelings go to the depths of all things, opening outwards the veiled part of love and through the same innermost feelings see the role love manifests in the evolution of the universe. It is then one sees and recognises in others the same consciousness as exists in himself and at long last one understands the meaning of oneself or spirit everywhere and in everything and as the aboriginal Australians say - All life is one.

        It is through the power of love that we know in the beginning we are only a small part of the mighty image or Divine Principle flowing through us and all the universe.

        As the human evolutionary - reaching out for the higher meaning - attains the higher radiant degrees of consciousness, and still higher until we touch upon the Christ Consciousness, it is then that the body becomes suffused with a light, beauty and love, then we know this love to be the Divine Spring, the living waters flowing outwards upon all the earth into the new age.

        Now I feel you will understand how I had to, or was complelled, to live all in spirit and express myself in this forest scene before I could impart to you words that could help towards your understanding. Why I, like my Aboriginal people, should so profoundly express in my life the continuity of creation and its wonderful meaning for all life upon earth

        For hundreds of years, organised religions have been leading people away from the earth up to some far-off paradise or heaven. It is not only possible for the Spirtiual self to be released out of the world but also possible to be released in the world. My fifty years in this forest scene did not aim at a departure out of the world but rather a heavenly journey earthwards loving deeply all of Australia's wonderful and lovable fauna and flora and environments. The main preoccupation for the human is personal salvation in some far off heaven or Nirvana leaving the world to look after itself.

        But the force of my own spiritual gains means to take on the meaning of the world at its crux in order to resolve it, both at the individual and the collective level by spiritual means, and what else but that deeep seated love and the right functioning of the complex instrument we are in the outer parts could realise this vast meaning?

        Through myself as the instrument, the Divine Principle of the universe is opening up and establishing in the human range higher states of consciousness and in this way my capacity to love is increased. Just to be in tune with the universe and to find the way to express it is to feel the grandeur, dignity and nobility that would not allow you to stoop down and destroy the earth. To look upon the earth as you would your own body is to know the truth of the spirit. To feel the indwelling human potential ready and awaiting the call to evolve, understanding the love, beauty, and power in man's evolutionary reaching out for the renewal of life.

        The ascetic life-negating attitude that looks upon the earth as devoid of reality or significance has no meaning here. My aim here is not to rise out of the world consciousness into the Divine Consciousness but rather to bring the Divine Consciousness down into the ignorance of my whole man, transforming my life, body and mind and then create or express a Divine Life in the earth as this forest scene reveals to all.

A few links

June 2001 Update - William Ricketts' disarmament

William Ricketts Sanctuary

A poem I wrote about his Sanctuary

A Forest of Love from SHe WoLF

Some more photos of the sanctuary

Plus a few more ...

Another poem about William Ricketts by Dorothy Williams

Here is link to a PDF version of a brochure about the Sanctuary {Link amended Feb 2002}

... you'll need Adobe Acrobat to read it ... if not, I used a screen capture program to produce these images of it -      Image 1      Image 2      Image 3     

Another PDF file of a Parks Victoria brochure {Link also amended Feb 2002} ...

Image 1      Image 2     

More brochures in PDF format

Brother Billy {Added Feb 2002}

Some Images I took in Feb 2002

Album of Ricketts photos at Webshots


William Brown's Page has some photos & other neat stuff like the quote that 'meditation is the answer to all the questions you have ever asked' ...  

This page has many aussie photos and under 'Miscellaneous Adventures' you will find some nice ones of the sanctuary ... from Dr. Tom Foley

Virtual Tourist - keeweechic covers many activities around Melb includin the Sanctuary

More travel photos - Melbourne, Phillip Island, Ricketts etc

More attractions in the Dandenongs

The Adventures of the Voyeur Gardener

Walkabout Guide to Dandenongs

Parks Victoria

Poetry Forum

Bed & Breakfast place near the sanctuary - also lists the 'must-see attractions of the Dandenong Ranges'

Australia Through My Eyes by Lynne Pett. Includes some coverage of the Sanctuary & the Dandenongs.

Another collection of photos - it's worth waiting for these photos to load ...

Results from the Google search engine for "William Ricketts sanctuary"

More Melbourne Tourist Attractions - includes some pics of the sanctuary


Another page of touristy photos of Melbourne & Australia

Places of interest in Victoria. Comprehensive list.

Holiday Oz - includes a photo gallery

William Ricketts biography is entitled "White Fella Dreaming"


Some other (vaguely) related sites

Native Wisdom for white minds

Sacred Sites - some fabulous photos

Sacred Earth - ditto

Aussie links & places to visit

More online photo albums

Dadirri: Listening to one another

Dream Time Stories

Aboriginal Links

Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre





Back to my home page

Photo of William in front of one of his creations - from the 'Forest of Love' website ... if it disappears ... I could always grab that biography of William from the sanctuary & scan it ... I might also grab the video next time I'm down there - though I have watched it a few times in the quaint little shack inside the sanctuary - well worth a visit if you're ever in the land of Oz