Luther reports that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will soon go on a retreat in which he will spend four days alone and in the dark. That, as Luther notes, is a scenario with hallucinatory potential. Indeed, Luther reminded readers of my 2021 National Review article in which I detailed the experience of a session in a sensory-deprivation tank, which brought its own hallucinations.
Rodgers apparently hopes that the experience will give him clarity about his athletic future. In my own session, I, too, attempted to focus on my athletic pursuits. Recalling a passage from one of the books on sensory-deprivation I read before my session, in which a runner claimed to drop a significant amount of time off his marathon PR, I “tried picturing myself as a sub-2:30 marathoner.” (I’m currently at 2:34 as my P.B.) Alas, “I felt no magical effects from imagining the image” and cannot report, in the time since then, that I have “become an Olympic-qualifying marathoner.”
I’m still at it, however; there may be hope for me yet. Regardless, I hope that fellow athlete and seeker of strange experiences Aaron Rodgers gets out of his isolated silence what he hopes for.