A little ways into Eon, now, where Patricia is just getting into the Stone, and is resistant to and indignant about the information presented her. I didn't get that kind of thing then (late 80s), and I more so don't get it, now. [spoiler] Like, okay, it was built by humans centuries ago...why would that be affrontive? Basically, what I'm wondering is: were people like this then, but not now?...are people just like this?...is it that they've grown up? I'm 35, and I just don't identify with that, nor with being overwhelmed. I'd be, like, ecstatic, regardless of what I found.
From: Greg Bear
Patricia is gradually facing some amazing possibilities--and she will be experiencing something that could justify life's work and theories--and at the very least, goes beyond anything she's experienced in her life so far. For her, it's growing into a kind of religious moment. And it's real--not like watching a movie--not special effects! The impact would be huge on anybody, I suspect, which is why the exploration teams have a name for it--when everything you know is turned inside out and upside down, you experience getting Stoned.
From: David Markwick
I think that it's impossible to predict how you would react to something like Thistledown *in reality*, it's easy to say "I'd be totally ecstatic", and it may be that initially you would be, but I think the heavy reality of so much apparent mass looming would (sorry for the pun) weigh heavily on your psych.
For a ground based ape to be so far removed from planet Earth with it's entirely comfortable gravity to being "under" so much rock and architecture with all the discomfort of a changed gravitational environment will generate such a low-level sense of danger and urgency in the primordial part of the brain.
I can't quite remember, but I think it was Douglas Adams who postulated an otherwise imperceptible emotion of being very very far far away from where you're supposed to be, one that only becomes apparent when you're at astronomical distances from home. Obviously he's (was) a humorous writer but I think it's a nice notion.
From: Greg Bear
Very nice notion. Adams was a fine science fiction writer--even better because he made his excellent ideas funny.
From: Patrick Pierce
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Maybe there are some physiological changes that occur when you come onto the stone, that intensify as you get to the seventh chamber. Lets face it, as Patricia says, they aren't even dealing with matter in the 7th chamber corridor. (Hm. A chamber that goes on forever, that sounds like a very sophisticated version of the internet in a way.)
Perhaps coming into contact with a new dimensionality, as well as your paradigms on what "reality" is would get anyone stoned I believe, especially someone as brilliant as Vasquez. Quelastima!