Buddhist contribution to the unemployable

Given that AI is getting more intelligent and taking over many jobs, many people are getting laid off jobs and even if there’s continuous learning, one cannot keep up with AI in the long run and those who are less intelligent has even less of a chance to do so. White collar jobs are being taken now, but soon blue collar jobs maybe too when robots hit the mass market.

While waiting for Universal Basic income to become a reality, what dhamma teachings would you suggest to those unemployed and unemployable?

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This is basically me. :slight_smile:

Personally, I’m going through verse canon, Dhp, Thig/Thag, Snp. I’m not sure a specific part of teachings is relevant, beyond just meditation.

I think meditation is the most important part of the equation - even more extreme forms of it like Zazen, Shikantaza, etc. Being able to sit on your ass, relaxed, without any shame or ego about being “useless”. Everything else can sprout from there easily.

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How about for non-Buddhists? Like what kind of Dhamma talk topic would be relevant to them and help them see the Dhamma?

May I suggest ‘Karma and the beneficial effects of Metta’?

Karma not in the commonly misunderstood sense of ‘this is happening to me because I did xyz in a previous life’ :upside_down_face:.

But instead Karma in the sense of ‘OK, this is where I find myself - now what intentional actions can I do so as to benefit both myself and others?’ :bouquet: :slightly_smiling_face:

So what can I do when I find myself unemployed?

There is a range of options, limited only by one’s imagination! A few minutes of brainstorming with the audience will throw up a range of possibilities.

Even more important than what one can do is what one should not do. The unemployed are ripe for exploitation in many ways by various politico-criminal elements. Plus there is always the temptation to get angry and act out. Where does that lead? Jail at worst… martyrdom in the name of a cause at best! (Perhaps at this stage, one can introduce the Precepts and how by keeping them one can avoid many potentially bad situations.)

And what if one is not just unemployed, but unemployable? Perhaps even physically crippled? Perhaps stuck in bad circumstances such as a war zone or prison? With zero opportunities and a repressive environment? The only skillful thing I can think of in such circumstances is to develop Metta… there really is nothing else that will get one through to the other side! :slightly_smiling_face:


Again, I think mindfulness, immersion, (non-)kamma are the important things. We live in a fast paced, produce-obsessed society which I feel is only going to increase. Saying “It’s okay to not be chasing after things every waking minute” is a great gift to people feeling judged by the society.

Mind is the "forerunner, " meaning I situate myself in the driver’s seat, and relax to the max, as Ajahn Bhram so wisely lays it down. So, this untrained mind might be a highly intelligent AI to have as a forerunner, but as long as I keep relaxed, the medium could be a loony Kenguru for all I care. I am in the driver’s seat and I control the animal.

If I were 15 today, this so-called world would be of no interest, and I would refuse all “help” from such cruel machinery. Not in anger, just amusement over the ruling class, parents and society. No problem to fill in the gaps, it’s all cracking up now, is it that hard to grasp or see?

Armageddon could be just fun if people beforehand hadn’t put so much passion and fear into an empty word. When one rabbit cries “rabbit season” all rabbits feel for a BigBang again, and off we go in all directions simultaneously, bliss and chaos again, then there is a pattern, lock into it, passionate it, love it to death, and off we go, jippie.

Power of symbols.