This is just as plants rooted in dark and damp soil give birth to colourful flowers and leaves that can use light to photosynthesise. This happens because plants, the roots, the leaves and soil, all are part of a grander system. This is just as lifeless water, in a lifeless pot, when placed on fire begins to boil. If we allow ourselves to understand that the pot is just a medium, then before asking the question what makes the water boil, we need to ask what makes fire to burn. If we are in the universe then that universe must inside something else, and that might be the origin of live of our intelligence, with the universe just the place for our birth. In any case, what life suggests, what the attitude of an ever seeking and ever searching mind suggests, is that there is more to existence than what meets the eyes, there is more to all that meets the eyes than we can comprehend and understand in a lifetime.
The fact is this whole matter of inside and outside, big and small, might just be the way we perceive things, through the aperture of our five senses or limited capability. Is it not possible, seeing from a metaphysical viewpoint, that the universe and the world, including our physical existence, is instead inside the mind? Is it not possible that there is no dividing line between what we see as ourselves and the universe? The fire passes right through the pot to energise and agitate the water molecules; the pot is just the containment. The system that combines elements to give birth to various intelligent shapes and forms is containment resembling a mother’s womb.
The best way into answer such questions would be to contemplate on the fact of your own existence, without the divisive biases of inside and outside, big or small, regard all existence to be one. Try to seek the source of consciousness. It is impossible to find, if you keep your thoughts restrained to the physical dimensions. The fact is the brain your think with is unconscious, also the body you live in, your nails and hair are lifeless, the house you live in is not just as alive as yourself, but it is the best fit to what you have in the mind.