Macrostructural Patterns by Robert Fritz

Our Lives Have Repeatable Patterns!


” One of the first major discoveries I made in the early 80s was that people’s lives have repeatable patterns. The day I discovered this came from a phone conversation I was having with a friend. I hadn’t talked with him for about 5 months, and at that time he was just getting into a new relationship. I asked him how it was going. “It’s over,” he said. I was quite surprised because that last time I talked with him, he was head-over-heels. “What happened?” I asked.

I happen to be sitting at my desk, and I was doodling on one of those legal yellow pads. So as he talked, I wrote down the events he was describing. As I looked at the sequence of events, I noticed the form. After years of training in form and structure from music, I recognized the logic of the structural form of his story. One thing led to another with a type of precise logic. The story was love gone astray. Not a nice story for him. But the form was truly wonderful from a structural point of view
Because the form made so much sense, I extracted the form from the story, describe it in general terms, and studied it for a moment or two. “Think of another time you set out for something you wanted, had it for a while, but in the end, didn’t have what you started out for,” I asked my friend. He thought of one. I said, “Don’t tell me the story. Instead, let me ask you some questions about it. Did you..?” I described each step in the story. After I asked did this happen, and then did this happen, etc. he said, “Yes.” He had taken every step in that story as he had in the first. Every step.

I asked for more stories, and, sure enough, he had done every step in all of them in the same sequence. It didn’t matter where in his life the story took place. It could have been in his teens, or in his thirties. It didn’t matter over what period of time either. Some stories were a matter of weeks, some a matter of years. Later, I was to find out that the same pattern can happen over decades or hours. Yet it is the very same pattern. And it didn’t matter if the stories were about relationship or work or projects or vacations or travel. The details were always different, but the moves were always the same.

This was such an astounding insight that for the next few weeks I did all the patterns I could with whoever was willing. Each person had his or her own unique pattern. But each followed his or her patterns in lockstep. I found two types of patterns, oscillating and advancing. Advancing patterns is how the person accomplished real and sustainable success, the type you can build upon. In the oscillating pattern, there were successful accomplishments of goals, but then would come a predictable reversal, and the success did not last.

I also found a difference between adults who saw their patterns and teens. The adults were often confronted with a feeling of doom. One person put it this way, “I’m not pissed off that I’ve been doing this my whole life. I’m pissed off that I’m doing it right now!

For the teens, it was a different story. They were almost happy to see that there was something going on that made sense to them. Up to that point, life seemed a little haphazard and crazy. They were not bothered that success was followed by a reversal, because that is what they had come to expect. For them, the good news was that the pattern was caused by the structure they were in.

Almost always, the first question people have is how to change the pattern if it is oscillating. Of course, this is natural. But we often want to change things before we understand what causes the current situation. It is important to understand marcostructural patterns from a structural point of view. This is not psychology. And it is not “bad karma” either. There is a specific structural dynamic that makes the difference between an oscillating and advancing pattern.

All oscillating patterns have two competing tension resolution systems. The resolution of one of the systems exacerbates tension on the competing system. One system is desire of an outcome in relationship to the current reality, in other words, structural tension. But the other system is a concept that includes the idea that you can’t have what you want. Perhaps the concept is that you are not good enough, or unworthy, or worthless. It could be many other concepts that contradict the idea of you having what you want.
The traditional approach is about changing one belief for another. If you think you are unworthy, try to convince yourself you are worthy. These approaches always backfire. Your subconscious mind reinforces your “unworthy” belief by your affirmations to the contrary. Who, but a person who thinks he or she is unworthy would have to try to take on a belief that they are worthy?

There is the belief business and the creating business. People in the belief business try to have people adopt various beliefs. They think it is important what you happen to believe. People in the creating business know it doesn’t matter what you believe but how well you create.
Here is the same event: having what you want. In an oscillating structure, that is the point of most tension in the system. It is the least sustainable. The imbalance of tension will seek to create equilibrium in which the competing tension resolutions systems are the same. BUT, in an advancing structure, having what you want is the point of true resolution. There is nothing pulling that event in another direction. This is a technical explanation of the difference between the two vastly different structures.

And, the key to real and lasting change is to get out of the belief business. That is NOT to say change your beliefs. Many of them will not or cannot be changed. Rather, it is to understand that what you happen to believe is irrelevant in the creative process. This is the opposite of what you have been told your whole life. So, from that perspective, this is radical stuff, especially for those in the belief business. For most people who create, it is par for the course.

The structure of oscillating patterns have two competing tension resolution systems, the one that we don’t need, that gets in the way of mastering our own creative process as applied to our lives, is the concept one. If we cut that out, no longer have it in the structure, we are left with one single tension resolution system in which the event of having what we want is resolved, and becomes the platform for future accomplishments “.

All of this is explored in the workshop, CHOICES, June 10 – 12, 2016 London led by Robert and Rosalind Fritz. 

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