The revelatory insight that is needed for true change and healing following the occurrence of a serious illness. Anagnorisis is both the complement and the resolution of hamartia*, the tearing apart of the fabric of one’s existence produced by that illness. Dr. Diamond has adapted both terms from Aristotle’s commentary on Greek tragedy in his Poetics, where hamartia (ἁμαρτία) referred to the protagonist’s tragic flaw that leads to a chain of plot actions culminating in disaster, and anagnorisis (ἀναγνώρισις) referred to a central character’s sudden insight, a “change from ignorance to knowledge.”
Commentary and timeline: Diamond developed the hamartia-anagnorisis duality c. 2010, and it was a recurrent theme in writings and lectures thereafter. It comes out of his belief that disease stems ultimately from the unconscious anguish* afflicting human existence, the ultimate cause of which is that we are unable to find our mother’s love (Matrophilia*). Hamartia is an awareness of this anguish; Anagnorisis is the overcoming of it by finding the mother’s love (Cantillation*).
- “The Euripidean Challenge” (Paper)