WAS NIETZSCHE right in his assessment of the status of human intelligence within the grand cosmic scheme of things? Probably. But meanwhile, before we die as individuals or go extinct collectively, our frail intellects cannot help but being faced with this enigmatic, harsh and utterly indifferent world we find ourselves in. And we are faced with ourselves, too. Having been produced by the same rampant natural processes that shape the cosmos, we notably partake in its properties.
With the exception, perhaps, of the last one: we're not always indifferent, we do in fact sometimes care and attend - not only to ourselves as human beings, but also to the world around us. There are worlds to be won in the exercise of attentive consciousness.
But this exercise certainly does not take us down the well-trodden path of least resistance. The way of attentiveness is more like a toilsome unmarked route, leading upwards into unknown territory. But now and then it gives you provisional vistas into a truly awe-inspiring universe of rich, intricate detail - glimpses into a philosopher's world.
These are the places of value, the places where we as humans learn to be free. Free exactly because we value righteousness and justice, free because we value knowledge, and art, and technology, and nature's beauty. These enterprises may seem contingencies in the light of eternity, or sometimes even superfluous luxuries in the cold light of life's dire necessities, but they nevertheless represent the best of our capabilities.