I'm no Carl Sagan, but after coming up with the thought expressed in the title of this blog post I did some Googling to find an image to share which expressed that sentiment.
So Carl Sagan and I are on the same indifferent wavelength, the difference regarding our realization of indifference perhaps being that I find this worthy of rejoicing in the gloriousness of it.
Which is a decidedly minority opinion, because most people fall into these Belief Camps, which are not mutually exclusive:
(1) Believing in a God who loves us, cares for us, watches out for us. Usually only if we follow the tenets of some religion, though.
(2) Believing in a Devil or negative force that leads us astray, punishes us, wishes bad things for us.
(3) Believing that the Universe often, or always, has a message for us.
(4) Believing that karma, fate, destiny, or some other cosmic power directs our actions in certain ways.
(5) Believing in psychic connections between us and other people, animals, angelic beings, nature, or whatever.
I understand the appeal of these sorts of beliefs, because I used to embrace most of them myself. It made me feel warm and protected to believe that I wasn't an isolated blip of consciousness in a universe that not only didn't care about me, it wasn't even aware of me -- aside from the relatively few other isolated blips of consciousness I came into contact with (friends, dog, wife, squirrels, etc.).
Now, though, I realize the downside of believing in a universe that has an interest in me, whether this be benign or hostile, as Sagan put it.
For one thing, and this really is the most important thing, that belief is almost certainly false. There is no demonstrable evidence that the universe or cosmos as a whole possesses a consciousness that could care about me, nor that it actually does. I've come to the point that I'd rather embrace reality as it is, rather than as how I would like it to be.
Such strikes me as the most courageous and honest way to live what almost certainly is my one and only life.
Also, I now see how much misguided energy and effort I used to put into trying to figure out what I was supposed to do and why this or that was happening to me. Actions and events in my life weren't just whatever they were. They also had some mysterious subtext to them, some cosmic meaning that I was sure was there, but never could quite figure out.
How does one please God? How does one please the universe? It's tough enough just to please myself, my loved ones, my friends, all the other obviously existent entities I come in contact with. Trying to please a nonexistent, but supposedly real, conscious entity like "God" or "Universe" was wearing. I didn't realize how exhausting it was at the time, but now I do.
Lastly, accepting that the universe is indifferent toward me is a pointer toward the marvelous realization that whatever meaning I find in my life is going to come from moi, not anybody or anything else. There's no need to worry about whether I'm living up to some cosmic, divine, or universal standard. The measuring stick against which I assess the meaningfulness of my life is within my own psyche, not anywhere outside.
So yes, let's rejoice in the glorious indifference of the universe.