Hall (1984). Introduction. (The dance of life: The other dimension of time.)

Hall, E. T. (1984). Introduction. In The dance of life: The other dimension of time (pp. 3–10). Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

“The subject of this book is time as culture, how time is consciously as well as unconsciously formulated, used, and patterned in different cultures. Because time is a core system of all cultures, and because culture plays such a prominent role in the understanding of time as a cultural system, it is virtually impossible to separate time from culture at some levels.” (p 3)

“Time is treated as a language, as a primary organizer for all activities, a synthesizer and integrator, a way of handling priorities and categorizing experience, a feedback mechanism for how things are going, a measuring rod against which competence, effort, and achievement are judged as well as a special message system revealing how people really feel about each other and whether or nor they can get along.” (p 3)

“Time is a core system of cultural, social, and personal life. In fact, nothing occurs except in some kind of time frame.” (p 3)

“The English anthropologist E. R. Leach,2 holding still another view of time in relation to culture, says: ‘… we create time by creating intervals in life. Until we have done this, there is no time to be measured.'” (p 5)

“This hidden cultural grammar defines the way in which people view the world, determines their values, and establishes the basic tempo and rhythms of life. Most of us are either totally unaware or else only peripherally aware of this. I call these hidden paradigms primary level culture. Primary level culture (PLC), core culture, or basic level culture …” (p 6)

“Primary level culture has core components which pattern our thinking and which give us sets of underlying assumptions for arriving at the ‘truth.’ … For him to have understood me would have meant reorganizing his thinking. … giving up his intellectual ballast …” (p 6)

“There are at least three different levels at which culture can be seen to function: (1) the conscious, technical level in which words and specific symbols play a prominent part; (2) the screened-off, private level, which is revealed to only a select few and denied to outsiders; and (3) the underlying, out-of-awareness, implicit level of primary culture …” (p 7)

“If there ever was a body of work governed by words which epitomizes Western thinking, it is time.” (p 6)

“My thesis is that one of the many paths to enlightenment is the discovery of ourselves, and this can be achieved whenever one truly knows others who are different.” (p 8)

Selected Notes

  • 2. Howard, N. E. (1920). Territory and Bird Life. London: John Murray.
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