Edward T. Hall’s Map of Time

Quite by accident, I ran across anthropologist Edward T. Hall’s Map of Time in his book “The Dance of Life: the other dimension of time”. In it, he shows a mandala of different notions of time which tries to answer the question, “what is time”? The mandala consists of eight (or nine) different notions of time, organized as a fourfold of duals:

  • Physical / Metaphysical
  • Micro / Sync
  • Biological / Personal
  • Profane/ Sacred

In addition, there are four duals of attributes:

  • Group / Individual
  • Cultural / Physical
  • Conscious/ Unconscious
  • Low Context / High Context

So that the different times have these attributes:

  • Physical: Low Context, Conscious, Physical, Group
  • Metaphysical: Low Context, Conscious, Cultural, Group
  • Micro: High Context, Unconscious, Cultural, Individual
  • Sync: High Context, Unconscious, Physical, Individual
  • Biological: Low Context, Unconscious, Physical, Group
  • Personal: Low Context, Unconscious, Physical, Individual
  • Profane: High Context, Conscious, Cultural, Individual
  • Sacred: High Context, Conscious, Cultural, Group

And the different attributes belong to these notions of time:

  • Physical: Physical, Biological, Personal, Sync
  • Cultural: Metaphysical, Sacred, Profane, Micro
  • Group: Biological, Physical, Metaphysical, Sacred
  • Individual: Profane, Micro, Sync, Personal
  • Conscious: Physical, Metaphysical, Sacred, Profane
  • Unconscious: Micro, Sync, Personal, Biological
  • Low Context: Personal, Biological, Physical, Metaphysical
  • High Context: Sacred, Profane, Micro, Sync

The ninth notion of time is a synthesis of all eight which he calls meta-time.

Further Reading: