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Hamartia

The tearing apart of the fabric of one’s existence produced by a serious, life-threatening illness or severe trauma. Hamartia is transcended by anagnorisis*, the revelatory insight that is needed for true change and healing. Diamond adapted both terms from Aristotle’s commentary on Greek tragedy in his Poetics, in which hamartia (ἁμαρτία) referred to the protagonist’s tragic flaw that leads ultimately to disaster, and anagnorisis (ἀναγνώρισις) to a central character’s sudden insight.

Commentary and timeline: Diamond developed the hamartia-anagnorisis duality c. 2010, and it was a recurrent theme in writings and lectures thereafter. It reflects 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.

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