Is Advaita* philosophy fatalistic? Escapist? Depressing? Negative?
Perhaps, if you’re asking from the perspective of an assumed independent entity, one who claims personal responsibility and purpose and is driven by either the carrot dangling from the stick in front, or the pressure of the ‘thou shalts’ from the rear. Perhaps, if you believe in goodness and evil, right and wrong, and that it’s ‘you’ that exercises the power to choose between them.
Perhaps not, if you’ve looked deeply and discovered that the independent person you took yourself to be is (gulp) a construction built up from thoughtstuff. Perhaps not, if, having profoundly understood this, you see that beliefs aren’t something you have but what the imaginary person is.
In the world of appearances, it always depends on where you’re looking from.
Looking from the absolute impossibility of independent person-hood, to whom could it matter? Looking from the relative reality of a daily life however – the one we apparently inhabit – it matters all right. Damn right it matters.
But there’s something about the weird knowing (weird in that there’s no knower) that ‘I’ is the ball of thoughts bouncing back and forth in an infinite rally creating the illusion of separation, as well as their very source, that bestows the freedom to be fully and fantastically human.
This is life’s ultimate brain-numbing and head-shaking paradox.
*Advaita = not two. Actually, not even one. Indivisible thusness.