We humans have this tendency to form habits, whether good for us, or not, into Patterns that range from the semi-conscious through to unconscious. We take for granted the unconscious healthy habits and curse the unhealthy ones – yet go to great lengths to fight it, with little success. But the fight is real if you operate only on the surface.
Like other types of shadow-work and self-sabotage uncovering processes, Patterning helps bring up what’s really going on with our not so functional habits. Patterning particularly focuses on the overarching shadow story in our life, seeing it more a behavioural outcome of an unconscious structure in our consciousness, when we don’t get the things we are actively aiming for.
This Pattern forms like a Modus Operandi (MO) with a unique signature, much like a serial killer in relation to their particular method of crime. The MO and signature characteristics is a vital aspect to understanding a criminal’s behaviour, and to catch them out before it happens again.
Symbolically, this is rather fascinating (literally, a little creepy!). If in fact, you consider that your Pattern is the method used by your unconscious to ‘kill’ the thing you were aiming for through a twisted chain of events. And in a twisted way, exploring the workings of serial killers may provide some clues to our darker shadow selves so that we can create more joy in our lives.
In criminology, a Modus Operandi (MO) is a range of peculiar behaviours performed by the serial criminal, with the semi-conscious desire to complete the crime, escape and get away with it. This may change slightly over time to improve efficiencies.
Then, there are the signature characteristics. Also known as the “calling card”, these collection of actions are unique to the offender – usually beyond what is necessary to perform the criminal act in itself. Signature characteristics are not considered to change and they also reflect the nature of the offender. The core features remain constant throughout time.
These things combined help police distinguish and hopefully, catch the criminal. It is actually the only crime scene assessment technique accepted in court testimony and decisions for appeals – so powerfully important are the psychological aspects.
Jack the Ripper – and his Signature
Think of it like the famous Jack the Ripper murders. Of the 11 murders that happened in Whitechapel, London between 1888 and 1891, 6 had horrifying and peculiar similarities. Common traits were: white women who were prostitutes, poor, initially killed outdoors and after death were mutilated in their bodily cavities, including often the genital area. Several latter victims were left in provocative poses on purpose but unlikely that there was any actual sexual activity.
Police could come to the conclusion that it was unlikely that the remaining 5 were from the same murderer, due to the clear lack of those particular signature characteristics and combination.
In fact, a study reviewing the Jack the Ripper murders, investigated a homicide database in Washington to determine if the same traits could be found in the 3,359 murders between 1981 and 1995. Using combinations of the signature characteristics:
· Only 10 involved prostitutes left in unusual body positions
· Only 6 involved females and mutilation
· Only 2 involved unusual body position that were also mutilated
· No cases found involving prostitutes, left in unusual body positions and were also mutilated
With each combination showing to be <0.5% of all the murders, this highlights a particular uniqueness of Jack the Ripper.
Unfortunately, they never caught Jack the Ripper – and his myth remains to feed many conspiracy theories, a century in the future. Whether there was a deeper motive or just a crazed murderer with a grotesque fantasy, we will never know.
However, another serial killer alive and well in jail was interviewed recently. His characteristics were similar yet different. Women, often prostitutes or his mistresses, sex was involved, with the victim killed while he was in a fit of rage and then later dumped near a waterway. For some strange reason, he would return to mutilate the body is some way. This was how the police were able to catch him.
He said that he just didn’t cotton on that the police would catch him that day, even though he knew very well that they were looking for him. He even exchanged words casually with police on a couple of occasions (such as on a park bench!), telling them that he hoped they would catch the killer. But he was blind to particular signatures of his own killing patterns and habits.
But how does this relate to Patterning?
(in other words, how on earth is this useful to our everyday life? I promise it is less grotesque from now on…)
Well, to just be clear, your modus operandi does not have to be a serial offence.
But we do each have our own MO. Based on childhood conditions, concreted effectively and made more efficient over time – all humans have a tendency to create patterns and habits. So much so that we become blind to them ourselves.
From solutions formed to unwanted childhood conditions, the 18 to 26 steps we take is formed, performed over and over again to unconsciously sabotage the goals we want (big or small). In our conscious waking self, we want our goal – from our shadow’s perspective, to kill our goal.
Unlike other shadow work, which might look at evolving shadow and self-sabotage behaviour at different stages of your life – Patterning uses a premise of a single underlying foundational way of operating in life through the shadow’s point of view.
Each Pattern is unique and distinctly different, each person’s method of the ‘kill’ is different – it has its own signature too, if you like.
And the true crux of the Pattern is the unconscious structural dynamics – the deep psychological need that requires fulfilment, even in the event of losing out on the thing you really want – be it a relationship, a car, a job or a drink from the shops.
Here is where the pain is – and here is where the deep creative power is locked away waiting to be released. Imagine what amazing creativity could be unleashed, if not held up by that need for self-sabotage.
If, for example, you believe the following 2 premises:
· That we are powerful creators of our realities, and
· That energy can neither be created or destroyed (but it can be transformed)
Then, I would come to the conclusion that to enhance your power to create, is to transmute and transform the creative energy locked in the shadow consciousness.
How powerful, then, would it be to release that trapped energy in old stories and beliefs – into creative endeavours such as abundantly enjoying life and fulfilling your beautiful mission/s for this lifetime?
Patterns can be looked at logically, magically or even mythologically. But in the end, the reason for Patterning is the same: true freedom from your perceptions and the returning of your creative power.
That is not to say that the Pattern doesn’t continue to rear its head unannounced – but it helps to have a heads up. You will go mad trying to catch your Pattern out, so you can only sit back and wait until it hits next. But this time, you are far less likely to buy into the story and illusion. This is true freedom – this is reclaiming your power.
Using the Light
I reflect on my own Pattern. Like the serial criminal, before – without a Pattern or signature (called scope & focus in Pattern terminology), I would be running blind while it operated from the shadows. And trust me, I was totally blind – no matter how much personal development – I didn’t see my Pattern coming and without going through the process, I wouldn’t have believed what I was told.
With the light of awareness, shining a light onto the shadow of my Pattern, I have access points and clear signals to navigate with. I now have choices.
But this is of my shadow.
And what of the soul?
It is believed that the soul has no Pattern – it is not stuck in an outdated solution and mode of perception. Therefore, it has no MO. Instead, it changes to fit the circumstance – ever present with the things that are really needed to complete its goal, rather than a resolution of childhood wounding long past. Because the ways to get a car, versus the ways to become a parent, versus the ways to get a drink from the shop – all require very different methods and actions.
And that is probably the key to Patterning. The awareness of the Pattern shows that this is not the only way to create. It surfaces new possibilities, it surfaces diversity of experience. It surfaces your power to be connected to life, in life, and creating with life.
You are far greater than your Pattern – but it is only through going through the shadow that you can come close to truly realising this. That potential is always there, but for some unfortunate reason, we humans instinctively avoid that at all costs.
The ability to sit with tension and weave it purposely in favour our hearts is where magic truly lies. And it happens most powerfully from within. This requires integration of all parts of yourself, as the soul does not reject the shadow within, only ego does. And through this rejection and resistance, the shadow stays alive and well, fulfilling its mad and twisted MO – and leaving in its wake a path of failed relationships, unfulfilled goals and pain & suffering.