79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2000
There's no denying it. Blessing in Disguise is a true blessing. Many books have been written about the near-death experience (NDE), but this is the first book to thoroughly address the darker side of the experience. Whether it has been the result of conscious or unconscious suppression, the fear of being ridiculed, or the individual's expectations, many fewer negative NDEs have been reported. Dr. Rommer has coined the name, less-than-positive (LPD), for these experiences. LPDs frequently occurred in people who had either attempted suicide, had had hateful, harmful, or unpleasant feelings, or had been brought up with the religious expectations that if they did not live up to expectations they would be doomed to an eternity in Hell. The "blessing in disguise" is that the vast majority of these individuals - just like their counterparts who have had the usual-type NDE - come back changed for the better. They are usually, kinder, more loving and caring, spiritual, have a reduced fear of death, and come away believing in a surviving soul, a positive afterlife, and a caring, non-judgmental Supreme Being. Most of them - if they have not had them before - develop psi abilities. Those who had parapsychological abilities before, almost always report increased psi abilities after the LTP. Dr. Rommer doesn't limit her book to cases of LTPs. She also gives outstanding coverage of the usual NDE and the probable reasons why either an NDE or LTP occurs. This is a book written in a down-to-earth style with many clearly reported case studies. As I tried to do in my book, Searching for Eternity, Dr. Rommer uses a scientific approach to explain the LTP and the NDE. And she succeeds admirably. Finally, Dr. Rommer pleads with her medical colleagues to try to understand the NDE and LTP and not ridicule or ignore their patients who have experienced them or tell them that it was merely a hallucination. No one knows for sure whether a NDE or LTP is a real voyage of the soul or some poorly understood brain mechanism. The jury might be out, but with the evidence from authors such as Barbara Rommer, it is beginning to appear that we are not doomed to "ashes to ashes and dust to dust," but can awaken to a brilliant and blissful afterlife. Nevertheless, we must learn our lessons well. It is not enough to accept one particular religion's viewpoint about salvation. We must live a good, moral, caring, kind and considerate life if we expect a joyous afterlife. Blessing in Disguise is highly recommended. Rush out and get it.
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
There are hundreds of books on the subject of Near Death Experience (or NDE). Most of them are filled with positive experiences such as meeting loved ones, angels, and beautiful landscapes. I bought this book because it covered the darker aspects of NDE, which Rommer calls LTP (or Less Than Positive) experiences. One statement made in the book stands out very clearly. If you expect hellfire and brimstone, that's what you're going to get.There were a wide variety of individual accounts, some of them typical of the NDE. But she also covers those who have misinterpreted their experiences as bad. Such as those who had relived all the horrible aspects of their lives before being resucitated. Those she labeled Type II LTPs. The type IIIs, I found disturbing. Many of these people suffered from depression and/or drug abuse of varying degrees, or they were brought up to believe that their soul would go to Hell for all the sins they committed during their lifetime. Some of these people had attempted suicide, either overtly or covertly. Every account was distinctly different from the next, but every one of these people were given the same message. They could face up to their misgivings or misperceptions and change their own destinies. Many of them have.Blessing in Disguise is the most informative book I've read on Near Death Experiences. It isn't clinical or watered-down, like some of the books by Moody and Ring. Another good book is "Beyond the Darkness, My Near-Death Journey to the Edge of Hell and Back," by Angie Fenimore.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
There have been a number of good books on the near-death experience over the past 25 years, but this one must certainly rank among the very best. It is different from most in that the focus is on what Dr. Rommer calls "less-than-positive" (LTP) NDEs. Most of the NDE books detail the blissful or "heavenly" type experience. Accounts of the LTP experience have not been as readily available, apparently because people who have had them have been reluctant to tell others about their "hellish" experiences. However, Dr. Rommer has managed to interview a number of such LTP experiencers. She finds that such experiences, while often frightening, are usually transforming and therefore "blessings in disguise." A large percentage of LTP experiencers "awaken" to their past transgressions and to the need to straighten out their lives by embarking on a spiritual path.
There are numerous interesting accounts by experiencers. While the focus is on the LTP, there are enough positive experiences to offer the reader some bliss to go along with the unpleasant and more than balance the negative. There are some very interesting philosophies related by some experiencers. Dr. Rommer approaches the subject with scientific objectivity, but fortunately, for the reader, she lacks the willful blindness and intellectual arrogance of the avowed skeptic.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2001
Barbara Rommer's book is quite extraordinary. Aside from the usual cases of heavenly abodes, angels, and cities of light, she dares to reveal more about those who have unpleasant or hellish near-death episodes. And she talks indepth about the people who experience this and their fears about what they went through. Near-death experiences are not religious experiences, nor do they reflect religious doctrines, per se. They are moments of "otherworldly" awareness that happen most often on the edge of death and to both children and adults. When we speak of near-death experiences, we're really talking about a complex dynamic that is not easily understood or explained. But true it is in the sense that this phenomenon happens to about 1/3 of those adults who face death, nearly die, or who are clinically dead but later revive or are resuscitated. With children, the figure is closer to 70%. Average length of time without vital signs is from 5 to 20 minutes. Not only are near-death experiences important because of the venue in which they occur, but because of the pattern of psychological and physiological aftereffects that tends to increase with time. Also, in many of these episodes, information is revealed or witnessed that could not have been known by the experiencer beforehand. The medical reality of near-death states can no longer be denied. That's why physicians, like Dr. Rommer, are finally speaking out. That Dr. Rommer focuses on the unpleasant aspects is critically important to our understanding of these states. I only wish that her publisher would have allowed her to carry more of her actual research findings and methodology in this book. Rather, they wanted to keep the text simple for the average reader. I think this is a mistake. "Average" readers are more intelligent than publishers think and are quite capable of evaluating and understanding good research. I have been speaking out about unpleasant near-death experiences since my beginnings in the field of near-death studies, and mostly to deaf ears. Now, finally, hellish and/or unpleasant experiences are receiving the attention and study they deserve, and without judgment or rancor. I congratulate Barbara Rommer for her courage in speaking out. And I hope she does more. If we only hear what we want to hear about this important phenomenon, we are robbing ourselves of a vast treasure-trove of material that very well could describe not only an "afterlife" - but the rich complexities of human consciousness and of our ability to change and grow, to transform.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2000
In her book, Dr. Barbara Rommer shares with readers Another Side of the Near - Death Experience, i.e. the "less-than-Positive" experiences. This thought provoking book speaks through the words of the experiences themselves to those often frightening or unsettling experiences that have taken them on their journeys to the brink of death. Often for them, we find in the pages of this book their experiences, through unpleasant, become the entrance to positive and meaningful changes in their lives.
The ten chapters in this book take the reader from a revisit with peaceful near-death experiences to some conclusions, which is titled "A Plea to the Medical Community". In between, we find well-documented chapters, which deal with, and overview of Less Than Positive Experiences. While Dr. Rommer, like many of us, cannot absolutely say that there is an afterlife, she is able to present anecdotal evidence of the probability of the continuity of life beyond bodily death.
In the book, Dr. Rommer has interviewed over 300 patients and shares their experiences in their own words. As explained in the book, she has experienced first hand how often her patients, who fear the dying process, are really fearful of what happens after dying and therefore sometime fail to live life to the fullest. Therefore she, in this book, fulfills her goal "to allay people's fears by reporting the experiences of those who had died and been resuscitated".
In this book you will not only find the convictions of experiences shared in openness and with honesty, but you will also find the convictions of the author openly shared regarding her life's journey of her own soul's spiritual transformation. I found the book extremely informative of her research and extremely thought provoking on the question most people ask about life and death. It makes you stop and think about each and every day we live and how we must strive to make the very most of every moment. Worth reading and re-reading.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I happen to know Dr. Barbara Rommer. I was also one of the many people whom she interviewed for this book. This book delves into the near death experience in a way no other book has ever done. It covers the near death experience that was less than perfect. It explains the less than perfect NDE's in a way that anyone can understand. If you have ever heard Dr. Rommer speak about her book as I have several times you would absolutley want to read this book. I am actually one of the subjects listed in the book. If you fear death, read this book. Dr Rommer has been featured on many television programs such as Montel Williams. Many of you will be surprised to know that Dr. Rommer died a few weeks ago in February 2004. Thank God that the legacy of this book continues.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2000
This book offers a new perspective to the NDE and it is filled with interviews that add to its' impact. It is an easy read and done in a research style. It will make you rethink the ultimate question of what happens after death.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2001
I have read this book,have heard Dr Rommer speak on two occasions and have seen her on A&E. It is a wonderful insightful book. I myself have had a NDE and find the cases sited to ring true to my experience. As shown in most of the reviews,(except for 2 obviously written by the same person), and in my experiences selling this book. (I work for a major bookstore and this is one of our bestsellers), most everyone feels the same as I, including several well known experts in this field. If you have an interest in NDE's this book is a must read.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2000
This book is great. Negative NDEs serve the same purpose as positive ones, to teach purpose and meaning in life. The author certainly knows her subject and radiates love and compassion for her patients. Those who really understand what NDEs are about will love this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is an excellent intro to NDEs that are Less Than Positive (LTP) for the experiencer. For years I had wondered if anyone ever had a negative experience, possibly seeing or visiting Hell, being visited by dark entities, or perhaps just getting lost if no Being of Light shows up. What the book reveals thru a series of regressions is that (1) we are our own judge and jury, (2) we are multidimensional existing in multiple realms concurrently, (3) learning to love and acquiring knowledge are very important, and (4)attempting suicide is an invitation to an LTP experience -- throwing God's gift (of life) back in His face is not smiled upon by any Higher Being over there.
A word of caution to those readers who have a very fundamentalist religious background -- NDE findings will challenge your conditioned beliefs. By the same token, atheists and agnostics will have quite a bit of info to chew on as well since their type of soul (denying the existence of God) will find them literally in a grey area where your state of mind governs what you get: you believe in nothing, that's what you get. And yet, most NDErs come back into their bodies with a changed outlook on life and death making it usually a positive transformational experience.
This book is a valuable balance to the works of Moody and Ring: all is not sweetness and light over there -- yet it depends on you and your state of mind when you cross over. I gave it only 4 stars because I was looking for a much more detail on the LTP aspect than I found, but my initial search for info on what happens to people who attempt suicide was more than adequately answered. Dr. Rommer has a winner here.