Synthesis - Symptom notes - Mortification



  • A lowering in or deprivation of character or self-esteem
  • Synonyms
    • Abasement, debasement, degradation, humiliation, shame, wounded pride, embarrassment, shocked, insulted
  • Antonyms
    • Respect- to have a high opinion of one’s character: admiration, held in high esteem, honour, regard, value, worth, admiration, prestige, repute

Situation / characterization

  • Mortificare - Latin - to kill, subdue. Reminiscent of Tolkien’s ‘Mordor’, where horrific evil threatens to overthrow the rest of life on middle Earth. 
  • Be affected by gangrene/ necrosis. cf. Syphilitic miasm - destroying the tissues from within the system.
  • To be mortified - implies a mortal wound - one cannot believe how grave the situation is. 
  • Deprivation of character implies lack of character - the person is not ‘thick-skinned’ enough to take any criticism of their character so they overcompensate with a reaction of mortification.
  • The word implies life-threatening, but if the comment that caused the mortification were innocuous enough, it would be a response that is out-of-proportion to the situation.
  • Subdue the body or its needs / desires by self-denial/ discipline- “return to Heaven by mortifying the flesh”.
  • Finds its positive expression in terms of subduing the passions of the flesh in order to nurture a more spiritual awareness/ embodiment of life.


Opposite expression

Admiration and respect of one’s character would guard against feelings of mortification. But may lead to inflated opinion of oneself: boastful, egotistical… if not kept in check by admiration and respect for your fellow beings!