English: Sapta Chakra, from a Yoga manuscipt i...

English: Sapta Chakra, from a Yoga manuscipt in Braj Bhasa lanaguage with 118 pages. 1899. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

aliens and children likely arrive at this question:
“why do people go to church or yoga or gaze at a wall for hours?”
well, I cannot speak for others. but I made some observations of their behaviour:
somewhere around the age of 22 humans arrive at the realization that life has no meaning, at least not the way most people are spending their lifetime with trivialities.
that’s the age where you finish school, get a job, get a boss who asks you to do stuff completely unrelated to what you learned at school, get told by family you should fetch a partner of the opposite gender and create some children for society to move on, get dragged regularily by your elder collegues into bars for a drink, and so on.
all this creates the impression, life would be just a sequence of activities aimed at pleasure and procreation, interrupted by periods of dull work aimed at providing pleasure for others, or at least freeing their time from the dull work they’d have to do.
sadly few years later most forget that realization, and just keep on nourishing this system. the few who don’t forget about it, will get fired for getting distracted by such thoughts, and eventually develop a depression or other excuses for refusing to get another job. but such things are really easy to forget as soon as you aren’t on the lowest end of such a back-scratching ladder. as soon as you have someone who does help you with achieving some pleasure of your own, at that person’s cost, the thoughts, at how horrible our system really is, these thoughts will dissipate.

what happens is that people ordinarily develop many addictions. smoking, drinking, sex, drugs, entertainment, and even such things like work or sports or stamp-collecting could become a true addiction. what happens is that such activities put certain chemicals into our neuronal system and our feedback-controlled brain associates (because of repetition) the appearance of such chemicals with the activities that produced them. that’s a behavioural addiction I’m describing here! (of course there’s also the physical addiction to those chemicals, in addition.)
we end up with activities we don’t want to perform, they become boring, but at the same time we want those chemicals and know no other way of obtaining them. in reality, apart from the physical addiction, there is only one reason why we need such chemicals: we know that as soon as we die, all that earning money and building up social status, all the knowledge we accumulated, all that is gone as our body decomposes. the chemicals then are supposed to fend off this kind of knowledge. alcohol unhinges the functionality of mind, tabacco makes us more forgetful, as do drugs. media and hobbies keep our mind occupied with activities completely unrelated to such thoughts. as I said in an earlier posting, among all these things only sexual activities are what I could recommend for this goal.
now see all that a bit more abstractly. we’re doing things of which we know they are bad for us. and we do things of which we know they are bad for others we do care for. and we do all that self-destructing and society-destructing stuff for getting rid of some nagging truth, alike to cutting off an arm for stopping the infection it suffered from. not saying that’s a bad thing, without penicilline many people would lack an arm or two in exchange for still being alive. ignoring how useless all our activities are is important for maintaining the current form of how society works. however, in this posting I’m asking the question: is there any alternative form of how society could work?

as people grow older they develop a related question to the one they had in youth, the mid-life crisis question of “what have I achieved?” that’s when people realize their contribution to the world will definitely not be noticed by a majority of the billions of people living on earth, even less by the universe.
of course there are such great achievements like creating life (getting a baby) or destroying life (killing someone, hopefully evil). but even they are extremely local in the consequences. one could found a huge company, a commercial enterprise spanning the whole world, entering the lives of all the people around the world. but was that a good or a bad contribution? of course the own ideas in that enterprise seem to be a good contribution, but what about missed opportunities for eliminating the root of all evil happening in future?
needless to say, all that is just some form of superman-complex. you cannot save the world, no chance an individual could connect to the lives of all people in the world in a conscious way.
mysticism, religion, all such schools of thought contain a practice of pure contemplation. when you meditate you meditate on something. contemplation means your mind is free to do whatever its nature calls.
basically contemplation is for people who are fed up with the way how our world works.

well, to be accurate, contemplation is a mixture of lacking distractions and lacking mental activity. in other words, most physical activities are a form of contemplation if done fullheartedly. be it singing or dancing or whatever other sports. contemplation means you concentrate so intensively on what you physically do, that during long periods no thought comes up at all because you’re keeping your mental ressources free for something more relevant to happen eventually. it means you perceive everything intensively as it could become relevant for the body, but nothing triggers the usual traits of thought, as it would in an everyday situation.
people who ever experienced contemplation desire to experience it again, but in various situations during life, not just in whatever limited activity where it got experienced for the first time. the goal is to integrate it in every-day life situations. in an attempt to reach such a goal usually in current times people tend to conceptualize it into a cost-benefit scheme. people who do that end up with a definition of that “state” which excludes the lack of thoughts and would focus only on the wholeheartedness. in old times it was the other way around and most tried feverishly to eliminate all thoughts. religion or mysticism, if old enough to notice these problems, often offer solutions and methods to avoid these pitfalls.

the world would be a much better place if people would spend more time in contemplation. what youth discovers, that life is an empty meaningless construct alike to a dream, and what mid-life people discover, that no matter what we do as individuals it always is doomed to be dominated by the billions of other people around, and the old-age discovery that life was just a incessant struggling with circumstances without any real victories, especially without ever being victorious against death, all these realizations should mark the beginning of a human’s adult life. and no matter what people do, these things should never be forgotten! contemplation is for making these truths more bearable.
how could you think about them if you are lacking thoughts? of course mind still would do its work, the facts and their immediate consequences would reach our awareness, but our real suffering is to develop negative emotions from that, to indulge into fantasies about how horrible our future as a dead person will be. we lack knowledge on death or what consequences our actions really do have, and when we do lack that much information then no further thoughts are needed. in contemplation this kind of thought-barrier happens automatically.

being a workaholic is a bit like contemplation:
always on the move, always investing the full heart into the various activities.
if that results in a burn-out, in a complete lack of power to continue, then:
the workoholic obviously was  lacking the clarity of mind to
1) do things efficiently,
2) to restrict superfluous thoughts and emotions,
3) to increase thoughts and emotions if and only if that’s needed.

and the other way around, philosophers who think too much are a bit like contemplation too:
always judging, always doubting, always efficient in argumentation and work.
in whole, true mastery of coping with emotions.
those people tend to get into some sort of depression or melancholy.
their thoughts end up taking away all that’s important in life.
and the life ends with some sort of intentional or accidental suicide.
obviously they take their thoughts much too seriously.
their excess of thoughts ends up with lots of logical mistakes and idiosyncracies.
discovering those mistakes then is out of the question because too much emotions were already invested in the thoughts’ existence. these people then end up forgetting about how limited our lifetime is, how worthless our knowledge is in face of death.
life is meaningless! just face it, and do your stuff nonetheless! the ultimate goal never should consist of knowledge or wealth, not even of being remembered in a few hundred years. the true goal of humans, based on our mind’s nature, is to collect and categorize experience from among the fully chaotic world of seemingly unrelated events, point.
no thinking required! no judging and no doubting is necessary!
judging and doubting are just methods we developed for that purpose.
but they aren’t necessarily the best methods for everything!

all that and more can be discovered among the vast knowledge accumulated in various traditions of mysticism and spirituality, provided to some degree you look abstractly on their instructions…