This is the story of the spirit of a 20 year old British soldier (James Legget) who died in the battle of the
Somme in ww1. Legget - faced with insurmountable technical difficulties - contacts Turoff, a psychic surgeon living in the UK, to ask his help in communicating the story to us.
At first Legget is not aware that he has died, merely that his pain - and his wound - have gone.
He finds that he is tethered by a cord-like structure attached to a dark lump on the ground. It's not until two of his comrades appear and, ignoring his entreaties for help, carry off the lump - dragging him with them - that he begins to suspect that something is wrong.
To his surprise, he finds that death has not severed his connection with the military. There are astral officers, and astral barracks where he and many others are taken to recover from the trauma of their recent decease. Soon his spirit guide - an oriental called Chan - makes his appearance and introduces him to the wonders of astral living, including battles with dark entities who are (were) instrumental in encouraging the inhumanities inflicted in two world wars upon so many on the physical plane.
Legget learns that commuting is easier on the astral plane - "where man thinketh so is he" you might say. He's also shown two ways of cleansing the Aura . At one point he attends a lecture, given by an astral philosopher, which throws new light on the subject of reincarnation and which he, Legget, remembers verbatim.
This book is the best expose of life on the astral plane I've read - in that it paints an optimistic picture of what one can reasonably expect to experience after death, and shows that work, leisure and learning can be enjoyed on other planes than the physical.
My thanks to Steven Turoff for making time in his busy schedule to bring this remarkable and important story before the general public.
PS Apparently, there are seven astral planes (ref Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce), the Steps of the review title being sub planes of one of these, the clue to which one - the Ray of his astral body - may be found in the colour of Legget's new suit. I wonder if all good books of this genre have a Ray clue within them.
From the Back Cover
'I died in the Battle of the Somme...' These were the astonishing first words spoken to clairvoyant and healer Stephen Turoff by the soul of James Legett, a young soldier who was killed in the First World War. For two years, the world famous psychic surgeon communicated with the soldier's soul, and in the process wrote down his remarkable story; not the tale of Legett's tragically short life on the physical plane, but of his death on a battlefield in France and his soul's subsequent journey into the afterlife.
Although he works with many discarnate spirits in his clinic, the dyslexic Turoff was initially reluctant to undertake the task of writing a book. But he was persuaded by the boisterous and genial soul of the dead man. Their literary collaboration involved an unusual method: Legett presented spiritual pictures to Turoff, who with clairvoyant perception interpreted them into words. The result is this enlightening testimony of life beyond the illusion of death, filled with insight, spiritual wisdom and delightful humour. It is written to show that we are all eternal; there is no death... only change.
Exerpt from "Seven Steps To Eternity"
by Stephen Turoff
"I DIED IN THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME"
These were the first dramatic words James Legget communicated. He continued to explain his passing at the age of twenty.
It was August 1914. I was just eighteen years old when the war broke out. Like most youths, I was eager to join the army and was lucky enough to be accepted, or so I thought at the time. Little did I realize I would not be coming back.
In November of that year, leaving a home where I had been lovingly cared for, I went into the camp at Caterham. This I found rather hard because I missed the comforts of home. That autumn was to be one of the wettest I had ever experienced. We were bedded down in rough army tents with only an oilcloth sheet and a couple of blankets.
The wooden huts which were being erected for the winter were only in the early stages of construction. We were kept under canvas, sleeping on the ground, until quite late in the autumn.
New orders were posted telling us we were to move into the Chelsea barracks. This cheerful news gave us something to celebrate because it meant that we were to be billeted under proper cover. Having finished our basic training, the regiment was posted overseas where we put our training into action.
In the coming year I had many lucky escapes but lost numerous close friends on the battlefield before fate was to strike the final blow. By 1916 my time was fast running out. I was brought forward to the trenches. The Huns were shelling our lines and no-man's-land in front of them. We waited for the attack we knew would follow the barrage. There was fierce hand-to-hand fighting, but we beat them back with little loss on our side. The word went down the line that we were to counter-attack before the Huns could regroup.
As darkness approached, the battleground was silent, apart from a few exploding shells which lit up the night sky. I made sure to keep my head down because the Hun snipers didn't need much light to hit their target. Suddenly the whistle was blown, and the cry went up, 'Up and at 'em lads!'
We were full of the fighting spirit created by the unique comradeship only found in this kind of situation. This was the moment we had been waiting for. Bayonets fixed we surged over the parapet. It was no surprise to the Huns we were coming because they chucked everything at us except the kitchen sink.
"after some time it seemed as kind of mist
came over him"
As we advanced across no-man's-land, I was hit in the chest by a piece of shell. I lay on the ground in agony for hours. Dawn crept over the land, and I felt continuous waves of men stumbling over me as they went forward.
After a time I fainted from loss of blood. I came to later as the sun was setting. There was an uncanny mist that covered everything. I prayed a shell would hit me and put me out of my agony because the excruciating pain was too much to bear. Again I fainted. When I recovered I felt dazed but experienced little pain and no longer felt weak and tired. I put my hand to my chest to determine how much damage had been done by the shrapnel. To my amazement there was not a tear in my tunic. I hauled myself up with great difficulty because I was in complete darkness. Although they sounded distant, I heard the guns and clamour around me. After a while I became used to the darkness, which resembled a thick mist, and saw amidst it dark shadows flitting to and fro. Other shadows lay still. I decided to move on; I didn't want to get caught or to be cut off from the rest of the lads.
What happened next is difficult to explain. It was like a dream in which you try to move and are unable to. Something prevented me from moving more than one or two feet. I felt around and discovered a cord had attached itself to me in some mysterious way. I caught hold of it and tugged, but could not loosen it. I ran my hands down until I came to the place where it ended as an indistinguishable dark shape. This puzzled me a great deal and made me feel uneasy, even scared. I sat down to think things over.
Head in hands, I frantically tried to decide what to do next. Suddenly I heard voices close by and, on recognizing a friend, I called out to him; but no answer. As I pulled myself to my feet I shouted, 'I'm here!' The voices grew louder and two shadowy forms moved nearer.
'Look out!' I cried as they walked straight through me. They knelt down near the shadowy heap to which I was attached, and one seemed to be doing something to it. I was puzzled and thought I must be delirious, but at least they had found me. I suddenly heard one of the shadows cry out, 'He's gone, poor fellow, we'd better get him back.' I wondered about whom they were talking. They both bent down and to my amazement they picked up the shadowy heap to which I was attached. As they moved off I was pulled with them by this mysterious cord. I was screaming at them to stop, 'For Christ's sake, what are you doing? I can see you, I can hear you, why don't you answer me?' But this was to no avail.
Then the words of one of the shadows came flooding back: 'He's gone poor fellow.' I kept saying to myself, 'But I can't be dead, I can hear and see; maybe not very well, but I can see.' I hoped and prayed they were mistaken. They stopped by a low building and still held the shape to which I was attached.
A new voice spoke, 'Don't bring him here, he's been dead for a time. Put him round the back with the rest for burial.' I vaguely remember hearing the words of the burial service, then silence. The shadows turned to go, and for the last time I heard my friend's voice, 'He was a decent sort.'
The voices gradually faded into the mist and I heard no more. I slowly ran my hands over my body and face. I still had a body, but yet they must have buried something. By now the realization that I might actually be dead slowly began to dawn on me. I was terribly confused and afraid. I wondered what on earth would happen next. If I were dead, where was heaven? I began to cry uncontrollably and uttered, 'Dear God, please help me. I know I never went to church, but I always tried to be good.'
Strangely, my fear turned to anger. My whole body began to pulsate. I wanted desperately to be free from this cord and my anger gave me the strength to do something about it. I took hold of it and pulled. I can't easily describe how I felt next. There was a lightness in my body and mind. I felt clear for the first time since I'd been hit. I was now free!
I looked about myself and gazed across to where the cries of war were coming from. I could see many shapes running, falling. Some got up, others just lay there. I noted one in particular. As I watched, I saw a fine mist pour out of it and mould itself into the figure of a man who hovered above the dark shape. With astonishment, I assumed this must have happened to me. I then saw a completed figure which had a fine silver cord extending from it that joined the shadow below. I continued watching. The man began to stir and struggle. Obviously he was unable to understand what was happening, much as I had been. I thought, 'Poor sod, perhaps I can at least help him in some way or other.'
It didn't take long to reach him. As I approached, I heard his crying as he struggled. I shouted, 'Don't panic! I'll help you.' At the same time I was thinking, 'God knows how as you're much bigger than me.' He saw me and began to scream, 'Help me, mate, what's happened to me?' 'Well,' I said, 'I think we're dead!'
'Don't be a daft bastard,' he shouted. 'How can I be? I'm talking to you! How can I be dead? Everyone knows that when you're dead, you're dead.'
'Well, mate,' I said, 'just stop to think. Can you move from where you are?' Suddenly a look of horror crept across his face. 'No,' came his reply, 'I can't. Something's holding me. I think it's some type of line.'
I put my arms around his chest. 'Pull, come on!' I shouted. With one almighty heave, he broke free from the dark shadow lying on the ground. He came away from his dark shape much quicker than I had from mine. I don't know how or why, but he did. He was free, and so was I. Thus began our journey into the new life.
'My name is James, but my friends call me Jim,' I said to him. He responded, 'Well old pal, I'm Bill, Bill Barnes. But my friends call me The Bear.' One look at him and I understood why. But in spite of his size, I saw the fear on his face and the bewilderment in his eyes.
'Let's talk,' he said. We walked on a bit as I explained how I'd come to this place and how I'd watched his arrival. 'It's ridiculous. I can't be dead!' said Bill. 'I've got a wife and three kids. What will they do without me?' 'I don't know,' I said, 'I just don't know. There must be an answer to all this.' We carried on walking.
'The way I see it, we can't be the only ones to have died. There must be others. By the way, have you noticed that it's neither light nor dark here, just misty? I don't know if it's day or night, or what time it is. Let alone what's happening.'
The ground underneath our feet was hard. The sounds of war diminished steadily behind us. We made our way through the mist. I stopped and turned to Bill, 'I think we're lost and I don't know which way to go.' But Bill wasn't listening, he was looking in another direction. 'What's up?' I asked.
'There's a light coming towards us,' Bill replied. 'Perhaps it's help.' Slowly the light grew in size, and I heard voices within it. 'Can you hear that Bill?' I whispered. 'Yes, I can. There are people behind the light. Look, there are several people here. Perhaps they can help.'
I called out, 'Hello, there! Can you see us?' 'Yes,' came the reply. An officer stepped forward with another gentleman who was dressed unlike anyone I had ever seen. 'Hello, sir,' I said. 'Could you tell us what has happened and where we are?' The officer replied, 'All will be explained later. First we have to move on from here.'
We followed the captain and the strange man who carried a light. As we walked, we stopped occasionally to gather others who were in the same situation as ourselves. As we walked further the mist cleared, and the earth became softer underfoot. The scenery began to change; trees came into view. There was no sun, but it was warm. As we continued I noticed rough, browny-green patches of grass and some partly demolished buildings which I assumed were remnants of the war.
We approached a large Nissen hut where a group of young soldiers waited nervously at the entrance. I turned toward Bill to ask what he thought of this. But, as he was smiling, I instead asked, 'What's so funny?' He answered, 'I'm just thinking. Is this where they dish out the wings and harp? If so, they'd better be pretty big for me!'
'Don't kid yourself, soldier!' a voice answered. We turned to see the captain standing there. He continued, 'You may have a pretty good idea of what's happened to you, but let me make it quite clear. All of us are dead, well, dead to the physical world anyway. I've been here quite a time helping people like yourselves adjust to a new home. I know you've got a lot of questions which I assure you will be answered. Now I want you all to go into the building, where you'll find seats. Just sit back and relax.' The captain moved off with the gentleman carrying the light.
We entered a large, noisy hall with hundreds of chairs, mostly filled with men but a few with women. Some people talked, others laughed or cried. Some just stared silently ahead. There was a rostrum at the front of the hall. I turned to Bill and said, 'I hope we get answers here to our questions.'
Suddenly music filtered through the air, and a hush came over the hall. I can't describe the sound, but its effect was one of peace and calm. I looked across to Bill and saw the fear fade from his face. A peace came over everyone in the hall. After ten or twenty minutes the music stopped.
The voice of a tall officer rang out from the rostrum, 'Good-day ladies and gentlemen. My name is Marsh, and I want to explain where you are. You have noticed by now that something has happened to you. You have experienced a change of location, and also now realize this place is very real.
'You are in the intermediate stage between heaven and earth called the astral plane, but don't cloud your minds too much for the moment because it is a place of rest and adjustment. It will be like going back to school. You have much to learn here. This plane will have been a shock for many of you because you have seen that life is continuous. What you call death is simply a change of location.
'The hall you're in is one of many established within the lower astral plane to help those who die in battle. Here you are assisted in accepting this transitional stage of your new life. You may be wondering about the enemy. If this is happening to me, what of him? Well, God does not discriminate. You will come to understand later that all are his children.
'When you leave you will be split into groups and taken to billets. There will be someone assigned to your group who will talk to you about yourselves. You will then learn how to use your willpower, because it is the will of the individual that becomes potent in this life. I want you to look on the back of your chairs where there is a number which you must remember in leaving the hall. I will be addressing you again at a later date, but for now I will say
youtube-intro on this book |
web-format w.some picture
this book as GOOGLE-online-book on link here- it means you can read in
online here - and you will learn a lot by doing so- because it is a true
pdf-made from this above
About the Author
Stephen Turoff, born in 1947, is one of the most widely respected healers working today. As a 'psychic surgeon', he receives dozens of patients each day at his centre in Chelmsford, the Danbury Healing Clinic. He also travels extensively, working in Israel, Germany, Spain and other countries around Europe. He lives with his wife in Essex, England.
link to danish extract from the book