I would say to you that they run close in hand as far as definition. However, there is a difference in so far as apathy may be changed, whereas, indifference may be impenetrable, and the key word there is impenetrable. This is important, especially when we look at changing our present state, which is ignorance. It is true that they both require a good amount of energy to stay in their mode, each individually. However, indifference requires a wilfulness, a certain type of strength. I would say somewhat akin to an iron rod, no way through it except to melt it down.
Apathy, on the other hand, is a giving up, a laziness. Laziness is the exact opposite of love. Apathy is a self-centeredness, a laziness to step beyond one’s own self. A type of anorexia in that, there is no desire to expand, only to remain in the narrows of one’s perceptions, and one’s limited world of illness. Apathy equates to suicide in a sense, the slow killing of spirit via the hand of self-annihilation, a squelching of the very breath of life itself. Why do we do it? To start with, there is the strict belief in what I call the helpless, hopeless syndrome. It sounds something like this, “I cannot get out of my own limitation, or my world where I feel safe inside of myself, because there is only me”, you see.”
Another way to view apathy is that, an inner dialogue of something such as, “Those out there are preventing me from expanding or growing, so, I’ll continue to trot along inside my own little bubble.” Some people actually believe this to be a form of ahimsa, nonviolence, noncooperation. Again, I caution you because this stems from the illness of limited thinking. That is, by remaining apathetic, one believes that one is somehow making a difference. In what? Apathy is better understood from this point, to be non-participation, for if one does not participate in life or fight to remove the ignorance, then one gives up on freedom, on conscious choices to be made about the direction of one’s life and the very life process that they are going through. In so doing a person actually relinquishes their life to all of those around them, and the forces of the collective unconsciousness. The example that comes to mind is that of a dead fish at the edge of the shore, it can only lie there on the sand. Its only movement is when the tide washes up on the shore and the inert little body waxes and wanes with the force of the moving tide. Only it’s dead, no life breath. The apathetic person still has the vital life force flowing through its vessel. However, it fails to energize the vessel with the very essence by which it exists, still believing that they are in charge of their very limited existence. Do you follow?
Have the strength to go beyond limitation. The sky is not the limit, the limit is the sky.