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Egotheism (Latin: ego — "I", Greek: theos — "god") is the deification of the self, or the belief that "you are God". Elizabeth Palmer Peabody allegedly coined the term in 1858. But compare Robert Alfred Vaughan's "ego-theism" from 1856.
It is common for people with egotheistic views to assert claims such as "we are all our own gods."
This belief is perhaps most prevalent in LaVeyan Satanism, which posits that each individual is essentially their own God, meaning they are the master of their own reality. However, Satanists rarely use the term egotheism, instead preferring "apotheosis".
In Hinduism, practitioners identify themselves with God through their atman ("soul"). It might seem to some that this is a form of egotheism, as they believe God is within themselves. However, the way the practitioner attempts to accomplish this is through a complete submission of ego, so it's doubtful if the term is appropriate.
The belief that one is infallible and therefore a god, is known as the "God complex". It exists among some cult leaders and other delusional people but does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders because the DSM explicitly excludes religion-related diagnoses.
See also (but not to be confused with)
- Those Who Are Jesus, a 2001 documentary by Steven Eastwood.
- 15 Living People Who Say They Are God, at least according to BuzzFeed.
- Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer (1886). "Egotheism, the Atheism of To-Day". Last Evening with Allston, and Other Papers. Boston: D. Lothrop. p. 240-252. https://books.google.com/books?id=PhYIAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
- Vaughan, Robert Alfred (1856). Hours with the Mystics: A Contribution to the History of Religious Opinion. 1. London: John W. Parker. p. 29. https://books.google.com/books?id=PB0oAAAAYAAJ. Retrieved 2018-09-29. "Is not the history of mysticism bright with stories of dazzling spiritual enterprise, sombre with tragedies of the soul, stored with records of the achievements and the woes of martyrdom and saintship? [...] See it, in theory, verging repeatedly on pantheism, ego-theism, nihilism."