Woody Allen’s work is filled with contemplations of death, the possibilities of an afterlife and the existence of God. Similar to the Buddha’s own experience, he is said to have become deeply troubled during his sheltered youth upon first learning of the inexplicability and inevitability of death.
“What! This all has to end?” he summarized this realization. Of course, the Buddha taught whatever is subject to origination is subject to cessation.
In the following quotations, Allen explores such Buddhist themes as the universality of suffering, the illusory nature of life, reincarnation, carpe diem, and of course, his own unique philosophical musings on death and the existence of god.
- How do you spot the Zen Boyscout? He’s the one starting a fire rubbing one stick together.
- Students achieving Oneness will move on to Twoness.
- Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it.
How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve it through not dying.
I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.
If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.
If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.
Great, that means I’ll have to sit through the Ice Capades again! ~Woody Allen Musing On Nietzsche’s Theory of Eternal Recurrence (in which we’re doomed to repeat the same life over and over)
And what if the worst is true? What if there’s no God, and you only go around once and that’s it. Well, you know,don’t you want to be part of the experience? You know, what the hell, it’s not all a drag. And I’m thinking to myself, “Geez, I should stop ruining my life, searching for answers I’m never going to get, and just enjoy it while it lasts.”
Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.
- Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.
- Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.
On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down.
To you I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.
- What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.
It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.