Like all Elders of the Universe, the Contemplator is one of the oldest beings in existence, his race having been among the first to become sentient following the Big Bang that started the universe; and he has achieved virtual immortality via single-minded dedication to a particular pursuit. He has spent millions of years in meditation, developing his mind and spirit, plumbing the universe's mysteries and eventually achieving near-total harmony with the cosmos. He believes the cosmos itself dictates his every action. He occasionally guides worthy lesser beings towards enlightenment.
In recent years, as "Mister Buda", he sent Captain America on a temporal journey to experience America in its totality. He later pulled Rogers from time alongside his post-World War II Captain America successors: William Naslund (the former Spirit of '76), Jeff Mace (the former Patriot), and "Steve Rogers" (Captain America of the 1950's). By doing so, the Contemplator diverged reality-8206, in which the android Adam II had conquered the world. Dying of cancer in the modern era, Mace sought to regain past glory as Captain America; the four Captains narrowly defeated Adam II, with Mace striking the final blow and accepting his mortality as the Contemplator returned them to their own times.
While the Contemplator returned to meditation, an imposter (apparently a Skrull mimicking his psychic powers) briefly joined multiple Elders against Galactus, then allied with the savage Reptyl, who devoured him. His astral self animating his partially remaining head, the imposter engineered vengeance on Reptyl and sought to conquer the Kree Empire, only to be driven mad by the alien Cotati. While investigating stories of an imposter, the true Contemplator encountered Earth heroes Quasar, Makkari and Her while summoning fellow Elder the Caregiver to save the cosmic fetus Origin from wounds inflicted by the monstrous Soul-Eater. The Contemplator then guided Quasar into the Dimension of Manifestations to investigate Eternity itself, comatose due to a Cosmic Cube-empowered Magus' assault; while there, he advised Quasar on how to overcome the abstract Anomaly, embodiment of all things like no other thing.
Seemingly allied with K'un-Lun's Steel Serpent, the Contemplator manipulated a newly revived and directionless Iron Fist in studying and reassembling the fragmented Anomaly Gem (no relation to the Anomaly), which resurrected the Serpent, who then usurped Iron Fist's power. Iron Fist ultimately defeated the Serpent, reclaimed his full power and re-achieved peace with himself - the Contemplator's goal all along. Most recently, the Contemplator visited the planet Godthab Omega, drawn there by the reality-altering Glorian, and witnessed the subsequent arrival of the Annihilation Wave.
Contemplator was in need of a unique champion to defeat the universal threat known as the Awareness, a being that devoured consciousness as just as Galactus devours worlds. So he assembled the Deadpool Corps, a team of “motor mouth mercenaries” from across the multi-verse to do his bidding. However, he was met with opposition from his fellow Elders, Grandmaster and the Champion both of which thought the Deadpool Corps was incompetent and very unstable for a task of this magnitude. Contemplator’s decision was supported by the Gardener who saw the Deadpool Corps' mental instability as an asset rather than a liability, considering that their opponent targeted the intellect of others. The Deadpool Corps would prove the Contemplator to be right, after they thwarted the Awareness’ schemes to deprive the universe of its consciousness. The Corps members were rewarded with a ring each that would allow them to call upon an Elder to assist them in their time of need. However, each ring could only be used once.
NOTE: The Contemplator impostor was exposed as a Skrull and lost an arm while trying to steal Quasar's Quantum Bands, after which he was taken into custody by another Elder, the Judicator, who prepared a cosmic law trial.