Something I wrote on my blog after looking at some pictures of Nebulas...
The universe is without inherent meaning. It just exists. If humanity vanishes tomorrow, it wouldn't notice. It is completely apathetic of our presence. In relation to the cosmos, we're nothing but insignificant, crawling clumps of matter on that "pale blue dot
" we call Earth. If you zoom out further, the galaxy that contains our tiny blue dot becomes an indistinguishable speck amongst the ocean of billions of other galaxies within the universe. Zoom out yet again, and this indistinguishable speck potentially becomes an almost undetectable smidgen in comparison to the (theoretical) multiverse. It's all pretty big. And we're incomparably minuscule.
The universe doesn't care about us, but that doesn't mean we can't care about the universe and our place in it.
And that is precisely where it changes. Because we are living, sentient, aware beings - we can watch and wonder at the universe. We can live, breathe and taste it. It is all we are and have, and it, in turn, is all it has. Us humans can look at it, awe over it and offer it an infinite array of subjective meanings from each one of us. We
subconsciously bring the vast void of space and dust to life and appreciate the elusive mystery it begets. We're the eyes and mind of the cosmos; the only way it has of knowing itself. So, it is us, mere humans, tiny specks on a tiny planet, that have the privilege of instilling the universe with 'meaning'.
And I think that's awesome.