Does true love only come with age and wisdom ? Heath Ledger’s screen test

When I screen tested Heath Ledger for Four Feathers I said to him that I wanted him to perform the same scene two ways. One as a young man without the experience and chaos of life. In which love means all about taking. And the other as the same man, having gone through chaotic experiences in which he had to let go structure and understand that the power of love lay in giving and not taking. Heath was brilliant in that. In the same position, with the same girl and the same lines, his eyes changed, and you saw strength of wisdom flowing out of him. I knew I had found someone special.
I have been trying to get that screen test and not yet been successful, for Heath has often said that was the most grueling day he had experienced, but also the most rewarding.
The following video (not of Heath ) has been viraling on the net and if you have not seen it, please do. It will move you to tears and asks the question “does love only come from age and wisdom” ?

22 Responses to “Does true love only come with age and wisdom ? Heath Ledger’s screen test”

  1. ruchi says:

    WOW,
    Beautiful.
    From my own personl experience I found my love , my true love when I was 18yrs young. 20 yrs laters with all ups and downs,togetherness and seperations we are together for ever with each other with all we have to offer good , bad and ugly::))

  2. sharath says:

    Good scene. But this is similar to a sequence from Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams explains to Matt Daemon why he needs to let go of his defenses and be absolutely vulnerable to feel love.

  3. cosmos says:

    The below from JK on love really makes sense
    What is love? The word is so loaded and corrupted that I hardly like to use it. Everybody talks of love – every magazine and newspaper and every missionary talks everlastingly of love. I love my country, I love my king, I love some book, I love that mountain, I love pleasure, I love my wife, I love God. Is love an idea? If it is, it can be cultivated, nourished, cherished, pushed around, twisted in any way you like. When you say you love God what does it mean? It means that you love a projection of your own imagination, a projection of yourself clothed in certain forms of respectability according to what you think is noble and holy; so to say, `I love God’, is absolute nonsense. When you worship God you are worshipping yourself – and that is not love.
    Because we cannot solve this human thing called love we run away into abstractions. Love may be the ultimate solution to all man’s difficulties, problems and travails, so how are we going to find out what love is? By merely defining it? The church has defined it one way, society another, and there are all sorts of deviations and perversions. Adoring someone, sleeping with someone, the emotional exchange, the companionship – is that what we mean by love? That has been the norm, the pattern, and it has become so tremendously personal, sensuous, and limited that religions have declared that love is something much more than this. In what they call human love they see there is pleasure, competition, jealousy, the desire to possess, to hold, to control and to interfere with another’s thinking, and knowing the complexity of all this they say there must be another kind of love, divine, beautiful, untouched, uncorrupted.
    Throughout the world, so-called holy men have maintained that to look at a woman is something totally wrong: they say you cannot come near to God if you indulge in sex, therefore they push it aside although they are eaten up with it. But by denying sexuality they put out their eyes and cut out their tongues for they deny the whole beauty of the earth. They have starved their hearts and minds; they are dehydrated human beings; they have banished beauty because beauty is associated with woman.
    Can love be divided into the sacred and the profane, the human and the divine, or is there only love? Is love of the one and not of the many? If I say,`I love you’, does that exclude the love of the other? Is love personal or impersonal? Moral or immoral? Family or non-family? If you love mankind can you love the particular? Is love sentiment? Is love emotion? Is love pleasure and desire? All these questions indicate, don’t they, that we have ideas about love, ideas about what it should or should not be, a pattern or a code developed by the culture in which we live.
    So to go into the question of what love is we must first ideals and ideologies of what it should or should not be. To divide anything into what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life.
    Now how am I going to find out what this flame is which we call love – not how to express it to another but what it means in itself? I will first reject what the church, what society, what my parents and friends, what every person and every book has said about it because I want to find out for myself what it is. Here is an enormous problem that involves the whole of mankind, there have been a thousand ways of defining it and I myself am caught in some pattern or other according to what I like or enjoy at the moment – so shouldn’t I, in order to understand it, first free myself from my own inclinations and prejudices? I am confused, torn by my own desires, so I say to myself, `First clear up your own confusion. Perhaps you may be able to discover what love is through what it is not.’
    The government says, `Go and kill for the love of your country’. Is that love? Religion says, `Give up sex for the love of God’. Is that love? Is love desire? Don’t say no. For most of us it is – desire with pleasure, the pleasure that is derived through the senses, through sexual attachment and fulfilment. I am not against sex, but see what is involved in it. What sex gives you momentarily is the total abandonment of yourself, then you are back again with your turmoil, so you want a repetition over and over again of that state in which there is no worry, no problem, no self. You say you love your wife. In that love is involved sexual pleasure, the pleasure of having someone in the house to look after your children, to cook. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being. Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don’t like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence. So what you are really saying is, `As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don’t I begin to hate you. As long as I can rely on you to satisfy my demands, sexual and otherwise, I love you, but the moment you cease to supply what I want I don’t like you.’ So there is antagonism between you, there is separation, and when you feel separate from another there is no love. But if you can live with your wife without thought creating all these contradictory states, these endless quarrels in yourself, then perhaps – perhaps – you will know what love is. Then you are completely free and so is she, whereas if you depend on her for all your pleasure you are a slave to her. So when one loves there must be freedom, not only from the other person but from oneself.
    This belonging to another, being psychologically nourished by another, depending on another – in all this there must always be anxiety, fear, jealousy, guilt, and so long as there is fear there is no love; a mind ridden with sorrow will never know what love is; sentimentality and emotionalism have nothing whatsoever to do with love. And so love is not to do with pleasure and desire.
    Love is not the product of thought which is the past. Thought cannot possibly cultivate love. Love is not hedged about and caught in jealousy, for jealousy is of the past. Love is always active present. It is not `I will love’ or `I have loved’. If you know love you will not follow anybody. Love does not obey. When you love there is neither respect nor disrespect. Don’t you know what it means really to love somebody – to love without hate, without jealousy, without anger, without wanting to interfere with what he is doing or thinking, without condemning, without comparing – don’t you know what it means? Where there is love is there comparison? When you love someone with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your body, with your entire being, is there comparison? When you totally abandon yourself to that love there is not the other.
    Does love have responsibility and duty, and will it use those words? When you do something out of duty is there any love in it? In duty there is no love. The structure of duty in which the human being is caught is destroying him. So long as you are compelled to do something because it is your duty you don’t love what you are doing. When there is love there is no duty and no responsibility.
    Most parents unfortunately think they are responsible for their children and their sense of responsibility takes the form of telling them what they should do and what they should not do, what they should become and what they should not become. The parents want their children to have a secure position in society. What they call responsibility is part of that respectability they worship; and it seems to me that where there is respectability there is no order; they are concerned only with becoming a perfect bourgeois. When they prepare their children to fit into society they are perpetuating war, conflict and brutality. Do you call that care and love? Really to care is to care as you would for a tree or a plant, watering it, studying its needs, the best soil for it, looking after it with gentleness and tenderness – but when you prepare your childrren to fit into society you are preparing them to be killed. If you loved your children you would have no war. When you lose someone you love you shed tears – are your tears for yourself or for the one who is dead? Are you crying for yourself or for another? Have you ever cried for another? Have you ever cried for your son who is killed on the battlefield? You have cried, but do those tears come out of self-pity or have you cried because a human being has been killed? If you cry out of self-pity your tears have no meaning because you are concerned about yourself. If you are crying because you are bereft of one in whom you have invested a great deal of affection, it was not really affection. When you cry for your brother who dies cry for him. It is very easy to cry for yourself because he is gone. Apparently you are crying because your heart is touched, but it is not touched for him, it is only touched by self- pity and self-pity makes you hard, encloses you, makes you dull and stupid.
    When you cry for yourself, is it love – crying because you are lonely, because you have been left, because you are no longer powerful – complaining of your lot, your environmment – always you in tears? If you understand this, which means to come in contact with it as directly as you would touch a tree or a pillar or a hand, then you will see that sorrow is self-created, sorrow is created by thought, sorrow is the outcome of time. I had my brother three years ago, now he is dead, now I am lonely, aching, there is no one to whom I can look for comfort or companionship, and it brings tears to my eyes. You can see all this happening inside yourself if you watch it. You can see it fully, completely, in one glance, not take analytical time over it. You can see in a moment the whole structure and nature of this shoddy little thing called `me’, my tears, my family, my nation, my belief, my religion – all that ugliness, it is all inside you. When you see it with your heart, not with your mind, when you see it from the very bottom of your heart, then you have the key that will end sorrow. Sorrow and love cannot go together, but in the Christian world they have idealized suffering, put it on a cross and worshipped it, implying that you can never escape from suffering except through that one particular door, and this is the whole structure of an exploiting religious society.
    So when you ask what love is, you may be too frightened to see the answer. It may mean complete upheaval; it may break up the family; you may discover that you do not love your wife or husband or children – do you? – you may have to shatter the house you have built, you may never go back to the temple.
    But if you still want to find out, you will see that fear is not love, dependence is not love, jealousy is not love, possessiveness and domination are not love, responsibility and duty are not love, self-pity is not love, the agony of not being loved is not love, love is not the opposite of hate any more than humility is the opposite of vanity. So if you can eliminate all these, not by forcing them but by washing them away as the rain washes the dust of many days from a leaf, then perhaps you will come upon this strange flower which man always hungers after. If you have not got love – not just in little drops but in abundance if you are not filled with it – the world will go to disaster. You know intellectually that the unity of mankind is essential and that love is the only way, but who is going to teach you how to love? Will any authority, any method, any system, tell you how to love? If anyone tells you, it is not love. Can you say, `I will practise love. I will sit down day after day and think about it. I will practise being kind and gentle and force myself to pay attention to others?’
    Do you mean to say that you can discipline yourself to love, exercise the will to love? When you exercise discipline and will to love, love goes out of the window. By practising some method or system of loving you may become extraordinarily clever or more kindly or get into a state of non-violence, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.
    In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning. And you cannot have love if there is no beauty. Beauty is not something you see – not a beautiful tree, a beautiful picture, a beautiful building or a beautiful woman. There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is. Without love and that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your own heart and mind. But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order. If you know how to love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems. So we reach the point: can the mind come upon love without discipline, without thought, without enforcement, without any book, any teacher or leader – come upon it as one comes upon a lovely sunset? It seems to me that one thing is absolutely necessary and that is passion without motive – passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust. A man who does not know what passion is will never know love because love can come into being only when there is total self-abandonment. A mind that is seeking is not a passionate mind and to come upon love without seeking it is the only way to find it – to come upon it unknowingly and not as the result of any effort or experience. Such a love, you will find, is not of time; such a love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many. Like a flower that has perfume you can smell it or pass it by. That flower is for everybody and for the one who takes trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it with delight. Whether one is very near in the garden, or very far away, it is the same to the flower because it is full of that perfume and therefore it is sharing with everybody.
    Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought. It is only the innocent mind which knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in the world which is not innocent. To find this extraordinary thing which man has sought endlessly through sacrifice, through worship, through relationship, through sex, through every form of pleasure and pain, is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end. Then love has no opposite, then love has no conflict. You may ask, `If I find such a love, what happens to my wife, my children, my family? They must have security.’ When you put such a question you have never been outside the field of thought, the field of consciousness. When once you have been outside that field you will never ask such a question because then you will know what love is in which there is no thought and therefore no time. You may read this mesmerized and enchanted, but actually to go beyond thought and time – which means going beyond sorrow – is to be aware that there is a different dimension called love. But you don’t know how to come to this extraordinary fount – so what do you do? If you don’t know what to do, you do nothing, don’t you? Absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no centre at all. Then there is love.

  4. Horst Vollmann says:

    Shekhar, I am a strong believer in the notion that love which is rooted in giving and not taking comes from age and wisdom. In the years when we often mistook lust for love, when attraction was based on the lower chakras and mostly testosterone driven, our understanding of true love was distorted by these elemental truisms. I dare say that the concept of love in the twilight years of our lives is an entirely different one than what we perceived it to be while we were in the throes of hormonal rages. Back in those years our understanding of love had more to do with possessiveness and the desire to take what we felt was rightfully ours. A sense of opportunism was always lurking underneath the surface of a charming demeanor. Giving was often a haughty gesture of magnanimity that had its roots in our immature arrogance. Many of us were the apostles of chauvinism and today we tend to deny that we ever were its practitioners.
    In my own life I have gone through the transformation from the superficial emotions of crushes to the true connectedness with another human being, based on tolerance, respect for the inevitable differences and the deep longing to be with that person. The love this woman in the video describes, demonstrates in this one funny moment the essence of what closeness and affection in a lifelong relationship is all about. Her sense of loss could not have been conveyed any more poignantly.
    Kind regards.
    Horst

  5. kavitha says:

    your eyes
    a window to his soul
    his eyes
    a window to hers
    rays of the souls
    shine through
    unspoken windows of wisdom
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Love is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate Truth at the heart of creation — Tagore

  6. cinda says:

    ommm…thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

  7. nice blog..nice clip..I still say ‘True Love Do Not Exists’ and I am firm on it..will put in this way..either ‘You are Love’ or ‘You Exists’
    this does not not mean the commonly called ‘love’ I have denied..or I am running away from it.or I have not accepted it.let that imagination of love be as it is..I think like other imaginations this imagiantion is also required.
    I think in cosmos’s comment, last few lines talk about ’emptyness’..not love..I suppose. I do not mean emptyness is zeroism or ‘Vriti Shunyata’..and I agree that whatever the chao is described in the comment is present in everybody life. this chao is because everybody is ‘Baddha’..whether everybody agrees or not is not important..
    thanks and take care..subodh

  8. “true” love has meant different things to me depending on my age, circumstances and life experiences.. different at different times in my life. Today, in my middle age, true love is a consistant love. I like to call it, consistant love, not true love.

  9. Later says:

    Hello Shekhar,
    just chance brought me to your website, and i must say I am delighted!
    i was not aware that people immensely successful can be so evolved, spiritual and also maintain a website that enables them and the audiences to have a dialogue across different vistas and themes.
    I had the immense pleasure of chatting with you on phone for about 1/2 an hour or more almost a lifetime ago. I had got your contact information from a mutual friend whose reference I had then provided. I had called you and wanted to request you for consideration to my sister for auditioning in a film you were then directing (1989). We had a nice long conversation which has stayed with me since. You had asked that we meet, but unfortunately I was not able to as I was in Mumbai and was leaving that/following day.
    I too have evolved in many ways though I am not sure how because this email in some ways belies that fact! (just kidding). I am at cross roads in my life and it seems you are also facing some cross roads in life. If so, I wonder if you would like to be friends?
    Please let me know and i will be happy to write/call you at your number which is still in my diary: 6204941?
    Regards and best wishes

  10. Abha S says:

    Hello Shekhar,
    sheer chance brought me to your website, and I must say I am delighted at going through it!
    one does not come across many people as immensely successful who are also evolved, spiritual and maintain a website that allows a dialogue across different vistas and themes.
    I had the immense pleasure of chatting with you on phone for about 1/2 an hour or more once after having got your contact information from a mutual friend whose reference I had then provided. I had called you and recommended my sibling for an auditioning in a film you were then directing (1989). We had a nice long conversation which has stayed with me since.
    I would be delighted to reconnect. Please let me know your thoughts.
    Regards and best wishes

  11. Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, it’s great to read your stories and see some similar experiences from the past decade!

  12. brahmastra says:

    That has to be one of the worst eulogies in the history of mankind..yuck. Such needy people. Find love within, then you don’t have to rely on such crap.

  13. Divine Humanist says:

    Just becoz JK says “love is such”, so that “love is thus”? Ponder..
    People like JK and Osho have been Easy thinking Manipulative diplomats, who have deranged people with enchanting theories..to suit to the needs of people who are on loose..
    BUT..Think on This..
    “Power without Love, is reckless, Abusive,Derogative and Destructive..Love without Power (Strength,Discipline,True care) is Sentimental,Anaemic,Superficial,Derogative n Destructive..aswell..
    Ponder and APPLY these to Life situations and Observe..Do a Case Study..
    If U need Justifications to “love” by reckless licence, then JK, Osho and modern “gurus” will give you ie Bestiality,which has no Discipline, No Responsibilty,Accountability, nor Family Values..
    What people who follow such kurus say and justify is , if u are Meditative and also Non-attached, Then Sex can be between any ..is that so? Its similar to Bestial kingdom..The animals when they have bestial love n sexual drive, they indulge in it..and they go their ways afterwords without any commitment..non -aatachments..no bondage..?raw philosophies..given coloured diplomacy to justify..there are no efforts to be noble nor dignified in a family life?? what do u think??if thats the case,throw off all moral codes n live..??
    now
    JK and Osho and similar people and followers are merely Bestial in their approach, without bringing in Accountability and Responsibility and Discipline..but very diplomatically they say and preach it and practice it and they scorn morality as if its something abnormal..
    They preach an easy life..easy way , a Broadway to Life and Love..Its The Extremism that is discoursed..On the other hand there are Rigid teachers, who make Love and Sex seem sins and way to hell..BOTH These kinds of Views and justifications and Doctrines are without Discernments..The Revelation is
    JK and Osho are Extremists, so are rigid, legalistic religious fundamentalists..
    Now
    To The Married Ones..
    Have Tolerance and Care in Your in Relation in Love..Its SYNERGY and SYMBIOSIS between a Man n Woman in Wedlock..Constructive Compromises be there..Be Fully Caring In all The Four Dimensions of Life..viz Physical, Mental(Emotional,Cognitive n Intellectual), Spiritual and Societal Dimensions..
    Note on Sexual Issues in Married Life:
    Sex is Critically Vital between a Husband and Wife..Anomaly caused by Sexual Issues,is one of the core cause of Split and Division, which becomes The Cause of Dissatisfcation and Distant Minds n Bodies..
    Sex needs to be SPONTANEOUS ..Sexual Acts be having Innovations in Foreplay, Deeper and Involving Intercourse in Love of Eros..Let there be Core and Apt Understanding in The Needs of The Partner in Sex and Be Caringly adhering to them…If this is done..Then most troubles caused due to this aspect of married life together can be avoided..Stop listening to so called “great people” like JK and Osho and all modern Oshos and shishyas and rigid religious fundamentalists..Stop Searching n Start Living..Have Life’s Abundance in every Dimension..
    –let there be love..contd..

  14. Divine Humanist says:

    Awaiting posts..

  15. Her voice puts the words on wings. Thank you for sharing.
    And I hope you get that screen test – so we all can sink our hearts into it. I know we will.
    Sandra

  16. Happy Birthday, Heath.
    I’m so glad he lived the life he wanted while he was here. We are the richer for that. And he had the life he wanted. Can we say the same?

  17. sunita says:

    the actress in the video is Jo Kukathas and i know her to be a powerful actress, capable of communicating well beyond words. i’m glad this simple message has resonated with so many..

  18. Rajesh Shetty says:

    Right now it’s 12.05 am Denver time and today April 6th is Heath Ledger’s Birthday. I hope you with write few lines for Heath. It’s really strange how someone you know just on screen can have such a deep impact on you, which even your own loved ones you have been with for years don’t. I can never understand why I miss Heath Ledger so much….

  19. manish says:

    shekharji,
    love cannot be tought or develop. It is a basic need of every human being. It is raw and wild. It does not be cultivated. Sexuality is not love or sentimentality is not love. Emontal emptiness and hanging or hoding someone is definatly not love. So what love is. Let it be unanswered. When their is love we do not think about it. we are just be with it unanswered.

  20. Prachee says:

    Hello Shekarji,

    I came across your site circumstantially and saw the video. Till date I have gone through many things which describe love, have seen so many videos too, but this one was the really touching, exploring the true meaning of love by stressing upon the main coz of disagreements and dissensions i.e imperfection of our partner. its shows the perfect way of love …. love a person with his imperfections. I was stirred but at the same time I felt thwarted by most to the comments which shows their negation for true love.

    i firmly believe in love and feel that it is the base of all the relations and it gives all of us the unique identity of human. to share with all my friends who don’t believe in true love i have experienced and seen what people call as true love very closely…its the case of my own parents. they lived for each other, they existed for each other, they were the among very few perfect couples who set examples for others by their actions. their life was full of adversities and grimnesses right from the day they tied a knot with each other, but they made their life peaceful and heavenlike with their love, trust and understanding for each other and proved the magic of Synergy and Symboisis in married life and happily lived for each other for 23 years. and even now I see my father living only for my mother, deeply engrossed in her memories. He is totally dilapidated and is merely physically present for last 11years, since I lost my mother in a road accident 11 years before. I used to frequently get disturbed by his way of living life full of suffering, but at the end of the day I really admire the love, the attachment and the affection they had for each other.

    Sometimes I even pray to God to let him meet my mother coz I can’t see his sufferings.

    I understand it was something very personal to share here, but after going through all the comments, among which most my of friends show their resistance to except the presence of true love I felt like sharing my experience for the same and I am sure that there must be so many other couples across the globe lost in the world of deep love and affection for each other.

    Loads of Regards,

  21. Sharan Salian says:

    Sir, right now I am very delighted as well as excited that I came across this post and want to be very honest with you and want a reply for this as you are a frequent twitter user and also with your blogs.

    I am just a guy aged 21 and this thing of Heath Ledger always fascinates me, feelings are way beyond picture presentation. I mean yes they should connect you but they shouldn’t also. They shouldn’t because at the very moment of life we have this neverending chaos that the character may also have. But how he pulled it out that particular feeling is what I’m always looking for.

    Sadly, today he is not with us. I want to write so much and know so much about everything but what we don’t have is enough time.

    Thank you.

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