Time Misspent

“Time Misspent” by Sir Aubrey de Vere (Hunt and Lee, comps. The Book of the Sonnet, 1867)

There is no remedy for time misspent;
No healing for the waste of idleness,
Whose very languor is a punishment
Heavier than active souls can feel or guess.
O hours of indolence and discontent,
Not now to be redeemed! ye sting not less,
Because I know this span of life was lent
For lofty duties, not for selfishness.
Not to be whiled away in aimless dreams,
But to improve ourselves, and serve mankind,
Life and its choicest faculties were given.
Man should be ever better than he seems;
And shape his acts, and discipline his mind,
To walk, adorning earth, with hope of heaven.

The inner urge to adorn the earth is intrinsic to man’s being. This urge, which is spawned by the spirit of love, uprushes through the hearts and minds of men. As it passes through, it is transmuted into life expression through thoughts, words, and deeds.

These thoughts, words, and deeds either give rise to good or ill, depending upon the contents of the heart and mind. When the heart is pure and the mind is hinged on truth, that which surges forth is whole, holy and wholesome. When, on the other and, the heart is troubled and befouled and the mind is an alloy of truth and falsehood, that which is created is what might be called evil, or ill.

Note well: the original stimulus is the same. Love is the only creative power. That said, love must be transformed, that is, stepped down from one level of creation to the next; love does not travel directly from “heaven” to “earth” or put otherwise, from the invisible to the visible. It must pass through the transformer, that is, the heart and mind of mankind, to be of value on earth.

There is only one power, the power of love. It is the process by which that power is transformed into life expression that determines its ultimate utility. Used correctly, it produces good in the world. Used incorrectly, it is the source of all of mans ills.

Why is mankind so desperate to catalog and categorize even the minutiae of creation? He sees knowledge as power and believes that only through the accumulation of all knowledge will he be able to control all nature, and by extension, his destiny.

It must be seen that this self-centered state from which few people ever emerge is deleterious. It creates a condition in which man is deluded into believing that he is independently driven to create, that the urge to adorn the earth begins and ends in him. His arrogance leads him to deny the point of connection he represents in the large chain of creation which is forged in the fires of love. As a consequence, he sets out to impose himself on the world around him. He longs for control and security, and sees his salvation in knowledge and the domination of nature, rather than recognizing that his sense of fulfillment and safety come from the extension of love’s dominion into the earth.

We are born to adorn the earth, not as free agents, but ironically, by virtue of our free will. The liberty of free will, however, does not derive from license. The freedom, control and peace of mind we seek comes not as we force our independent will upon the earth around us, but as we do so with “hope of heaven.”

It is for this reason that we must not waste the precious moments we have in idleness. We must constantly seek to improve ourselves –  by continuously letting our hearts be made pure and by constantly reconciling our minds with truth – so that our lives and expression might adorn the earth with that which is whole, holy and wholesome.

5 thoughts on “Time Misspent

  1. Carol

    Thank you Gregg for this beautiful meditation! Whole, holy, wholesome characterized the Master’s expression the short time he ministered on earth. He has been described as “a most completed man.” That would characterize someone who is aligned with the truth. To let our minds and hearts be transformed, by keeping our orientation to the truth, is the order of the day. Thanks for the continual pressure to move forward!


  2. Steve

    Time well spent is a vital consideration. There are times that arise that urge us to especially reconcile to the truth. It may seem we need to “stop on a dime,” to do so. The inertia of momentum that our lives may have been directed towards may seem to be too powerful to change. Acknowledging the immovable nature of the truth in a depth of heart gives us the space and the awareness of time needed to pivot and adjust accordingly for our connected placement and function in adorning the earth.


  3. Ernest

    The process that you so beautifully share is the process of becoming more valuable isn’t it Gregg. And (thankfully) that is a lifetime process made up of our thoughts and actions; our wonderful experiences and the mistakes that we make; our learning how to genuinely love because we understand and realize the unlimited capacities and opportunites that we have, and learning to accept love as well. And I have discovered that as one matures and develops wisdom in regards to genuine living and loving that this love is both offered and accepted unconditionally.


  4. David R

    I appreciate this generous meditation on the very core of what it means to live. Life entails contribution, blessing, enhancement, the birthing of heavenly things in cycles of pulsation, and the most tragic thing is to see so many lives wasted and squandered. that said, there is just one life any of us can oversee directly in that regard! A poignant consideration.


  5. Lady Leo

    Magnificent , Gregg!!! Your thoughts are not idealism or dreaming but the essence of time well spent. Through each person’s life something that furthers the “hope of Heaven” on Earth is seeking to be born. At this point it seems our free will is most valuable as it is dedicated to purifying the content of our own heart. This is how we will understand what is ours to do. Thank you from my heart.


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