VIETNAM, 2017

Sacha Dean Biyan | Dayak warrior, Borneo

DAYAK WARRIOR, BORNEO, 1996

Sacha Dean Biyan | Vedda Tribe, Sri Lanka

VEDDA TRIBE, SRI LANKA, 2015

FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2002 ON

"EARTH PILGRIM", THE ORIGINAL SACHABIYAN.COM WEBSITE

W

e easily forget that the culture in which we live, which has conditioned us and determined who we are, is the product of millennia of human thought, endeavor, conflict, and suffering. Each one of us is that culture, and whether we

realize it or not, each one of us has the whole past of all mankind rolled into our consciousness. We think the thoughts of our culture, we feel the feelings of our culture, and we experience the experiences of our culture.

 

Every culture accentuates different parts of reality so in a sense, every culture depicts a different reality — an altered truth. Unfortunately, every culture’s insistence that their interpretation of reality is the absolute truth is what gives rise to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. It creates a society in which human beings are divided, not only nationally, religiously, racially but also in themselves. Sadly, this division, which has caused man to kill and inflict suffering upon his fellow man for ages, is nothing but a self-created cultural and political shield to protect and perpetuate the ego.

 

 

 

 

By shunning other cultures, we end up masking true connections amongst human beings and all living things, and fragmenting reality without even realizing it. A single reality is subjective and myopic, and if we are immersed in it for too long, our senses become restricted by a deep-rooted frame of reference that limits our perception of the world and all our experiences. It is only through travel that we can understand the common threads that weave this tattered tapestry of life, and learn to appreciate the diverse patterns, colors and textures that make it so beautiful.

 

Unity in diversity is the essential feature of nature. The remarkable thing about life is not that it exists in such a variety of forms but that so many forms have maintained their basic shape and integrity for so long, despite the mutiny of external forces tending to disrupt them. An elementary glance at evolution indicates anatomical, physiological, and biochemical linkage. At the molecular level, genetics and biochemistry have confirmed the common chemical thread of life. The codes and the coding linkage of DNA are similar in all life systems, whether it is animal, human or plant. Thus, all living systems share the same basic blueprint.

 

In humans, cultural conditioning is like software, and beneath the software is the hardware of the brain and the central nervous system. We are all animated by nature’s intelligence; yet in the modern world, we are programmed to exist in a virtual reality, separated from nature, unable to communicate with it due to our illusion of superiority over all living things.

In indigenous cultures, nature is never considered a hostile presence; rather it is embraced as a source of life, a teacher that communicates with them through a primal language.

 

An Amazon shaman once pointed out to me, “How can nature not be conscious if our own consciousness was created by nature?” If we could understand this, we would grasp, not just as a theory, or as a speculative, entertaining thought, but as an actual fact, that we are the world and the world is us. By virtue of nature, the world is each one of us, and to know that — to be truly committed to it and to nothing else — is the only way to bring about a feeling of real responsibility towards our common destiny. ▪️

Sacha Dean Biyan | Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA, 2015

Sacha Dean Biyan | Vietnam

The Cult

of Culture

Every culture accentuates different parts of reality so in a sense, every culture depicts a different reality — an altered truth.