Anagnorisis

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 is has been a recurrent theme in writings and lectures since. In an extension of his approach that illness begins in the mind (Disease Diathesis*), serious disease stems ultimately from the deep, existential anguish* afflicting the human condition: that we are unable to find our mother’s love (Matrophilia*). The awareness of this underlying anguish is hamartia: Anagnorisis is the overcoming of it by finding the mother’s love (Cantillation*).

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