Twenty one years after its first publication, Chocolate has reached maturity. It is gratifying to hear of successful cases from all over the world. Chocolate is now well known for its hedgehog ‘delusion’. It is truly amazing to see how a proving of a plant will bring out an appropriate animal analogy. In the world of simple substance all kingdoms are intertwined.
It was only when Chocolate was four years old and ready to leave my stable that I finally understood the strange, rare and remarkable hedgehog proving from Sylvie. The mother hedgehog will nurse her babies lovingly for three weeks, after which she abruptly curls up into a ball and presents her thorny side, sending them into the world to fend for their selves. It is this stark dichotomy between the loving, nursing, soft aspect of mothers and the need to kick the kids out so as to be free again that is so characteristic of Chocolate. This is often expressed in cases as Never Been Well Since weaning from breast feeding or becoming pregnant. Once the kids are mature enough to leave home their main enemy becomes man, especially Homeo urbanis, and this aspect is well represented in Chocolate’s aversion to the city and desire to escape to the country.
The demarcation line between the soft face of mum and the sharp thorns of mother is located at the hairline, a sensitive point in this remedy. In many such cases Sepia was previously given but, whereas the aversion to children in Sepia is a result of an ‘empty all gone’ sensation, the Chocolate dislike of children is, by contrast, an aversion to carrying the baby once it can fend for itself. With each new proving our prescriptions become more accurate and our differential diagnosis finer.
Since publishing this proving I have received dozens of chocolate hedgehog pictures from all over the world, that further demonstrate the strange association between this small mammal and the remedy.
I have also received several complaints from chocolate lovers who were upset to learn that their beloved chocolate contains cockroach remnants (but thankfully not more than 4%). Chocolate also contains magnesium and phosphorus, and this reflects in the neglected child theme.
Yet there is much more to this remedy than hedgehogs and parent-child relationships. It is time for us to re-read this entire proving, to get a wider understanding of its true totality. The workaholic, restless and busy nature; the isolation and estrangement; the increased confidence and lack of inhibition; the sarcasm and need to tell the straight truth; the emotional numbness and selfishness; the fear of being attacked – all these are common aspects of the very Homeo urbanis some Chocolate patients find so threatening. Chocolate splits our acquired cultural and human layer from our instinctive animal self, human from mammal. And while the mammal can leave its mother once it is able to find food, the modern human must now be nursed till age 21 and beyond. Here is a quote from the proving:
Thoughts about the ‘veneer of civilization’ that inhibits how we really feel and keeps us from displaying what we’re like beneath the surface. It seems a legitimate layer, but so is the layer beneath it, and I feel amused and happy to meet it. This feeling continued for a few days, a very graphic picture of a veneer – a layer of learned social behaviour lifting and detaching from a basis that is thick, dark, solid, instinctual animal.
As to conducting two provings in one group at the same time, I will never do it again. The crossover and mixed energies tend to result in too much confusion.
Jeremy Sherr 2014