What would you call a person who gains a sense of godlikeness, but uses their knowledge and omnipotence for what they feel is the good of others? I ask because I'm wondering what to call myself. I have decided to pursue psychiatry to have power over others but only to make them and their lives better; it is that feeling of making someone infinitely better that I crave so what am I???

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    Someone with delusions of grandeur. . . I mean you're calling yourself "god-like".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 4, 2015 at 4:28
  • You have the God complex, something you will learn about in psych and hopefully overcome. Also check bodhisattva. Apr 4, 2015 at 4:33
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    I'd call that person Someone who shouldn't become a psychiatrist. Apr 4, 2015 at 4:52
  • @Mari-LouA, that's hilariously apropos.
    – Mike
    Apr 4, 2015 at 5:16
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    If you do opt to use the expression bodhisattva but your future patients are unfamiliar with buddhism, you might have to explain the concept. I for one, have never heard this term.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 4, 2015 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


You are a bodhisattva. From the Wikipedia article about the concept:

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Sanskrit: बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva; Pali: बोधिसत्त bodhisatta) is an enlightened (bodhi) being (sattva). Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

From the Wikipedia article on Buddhahood:

The bodhisattva attains liberation and wishes to benefit as many beings as possible. A bodhisattva who has accomplished this goal is called a samyaksambuddha. A samyaksambuddha can establish the Dharma and lead disciples to enlightenment.

The term has very specific religious meanings, but it is fairly broadly known nowadays as someone who has decided to direct their enlightenment to benefit the world, rather than dissolving in nirvana, i.e. removing oneself from the world. I would say it is popularly understood as a concept rather than a religious doctrine.

However, I would not go around just calling myself a bodhisattva without irony or at least comparative qualification like "I think my personal drive is what is described in Buddhism by the concept of Bodhisattva."

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    Why not include the link and a summary? Yes, I can Google it, but why should I? EL&U is about providing "answers" not suggested links.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 4, 2015 at 4:38
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    My apologies. I am new. I thought those posing questions are responsible for their own basic research. Apr 4, 2015 at 4:45
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    You already have the great advantage of being highly self-reflective and honest with yourself. Best of luck Apr 4, 2015 at 5:10
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    @Mike OP confirmed in comments that it does fit. Also, bodhisattva is not self-sacrificial. She is bound by certain commitments, which would make helping herself a good thing, since she is dedicated to helping others. As long as this is what would be happening, there should not be a negative intention or consequence. Apr 4, 2015 at 5:30
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    The formatting of your answer made it look quite jumbled, and it was difficult to tell what was and wasn't a quote. I've taken the liberty of adding blockquotes and putting the links in more reader-friendly places. Apr 4, 2015 at 9:47

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