Seven Steps To Eternity
‘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.
~From the Back Cover
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.
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 some-thing 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 (=camp/quarters). 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 good-bye.’
We made our way to an exit. I looked around to see where Bill was and caught sight of him just behind me. ‘Alright Bill?’ I asked. ‘Sure, Jim. What number have you got?’ enquired Bill. ‘Would you believe 1901?’ I replied. ‘It adds up to my age. First we’re given a number on entering the army. Now that we’re dead, we’re bloody well given another.’
I was interrupted by a shout, ‘All those with numbers between 1900 and 1950, please follow me.’ I looked up to discover that the voice belonged to a sergeant. I commented to Bill, ‘We can’t even get away from them here.’ ‘You’re right,’ said Bill, ‘but I think we had better follow him.’ We made our way across some fields and approached a large hut.
‘Well, lads,’ said the sergeant, ‘you’ll be billeted here for now. Inside you will find beds so make yourselves comfortable. I will be back soon.’ On entering I saw beds on either side of the room and made for one of them while Bill took the one next to me. I turned to Bill and said, ‘I think I’ll lie down.’
I got on the bed and began to relax while thoughts of the last few hours passed through my mind which led me to think further back. I wonder if my Mum knows I’m dead. She will be heartbroken when she hears. She didn’t want me to join the army, but I would not listen. Oh! Mum, I’m so sorry. If only I had listened, I would not be here now and unable to tell you that I am alive, yet dead. I felt myself sinking into some sort of depression when I heard the sergeant’s voice. It was as if he’d been reading my thoughts.
‘Right lads,’ he said, ‘may I have your attention? You have a lot to learn, and the quicker we get started the better. The first thing you’re going to miss is those you love. This will take some time to get over, but with our help and your self-control, you will master these emotions. I’m going to leave you now so that you can rest, but I will be back in a few hours.’ With that the sergeant left.
I was very tired so I lay back on the bed and drifted off to sleep. I woke to the sergeant’s voice. ‘Wakey, wakey, rise and shine. Come on, you lot, get yourselves up.’ I felt refreshed and calm after the sleep. When I got up I realized I was still wearing the same clothes I had on when I arrived, but strangely neither I nor they had any smell.
Bill called out to me, ‘Are you all right, Jim?’ I looked across to him, ‘Yes, mate. I’m all right, but I wonder what they have in store for us next. How are you coping?’ ‘Not too bad,’ he replied. ‘It took me a little time to get to sleep, but I feel very good considering I’m dead.’
I remember saying out loud that he was a bit of a joker. Just then the sergeant called us to order, ‘Let’s have you outside now, in lines of twos. It doesn’t do to keep the teacher waiting.’ ‘Well, here we go again,’ I thought to myself as we marched.
I couldn’t help noticing the look of apprehension on every face as we approached a churchlike building. We went inside and took our seats. In front of us were an altar, table and two chairs. We did not have to wait long before the captain announced himself, ‘Good-day gentlemen. Just in case you have forgotten my name, it’s Marsh, Captain Marsh. I will not be addressing you myself but will hand you over to someone, who has been in this world a lot longer than I, someone who has evolved to the higher planes of the astral world. What you are about to witness will come as a shock to you, but it is quite natural over here.’
All eyes centred on the captain and everyone wondered what would come next. Suddenly a whirling mist appeared from nowhere. It began to shape itself into the form of a man and shimmered from head to foot as it solidified. In front of us stood a man where only a moment ago was empty space. I looked around for everyone’s reaction. I think they were as amazed as I was. ‘Gordon Bennet, what next?’ I thought.
‘Gentlemen,’ said the captain, ‘I now hand you over to the teacher.’
‘Obviously, I have your attention,’ said the teacher. ‘I can’t think of a better way of getting that than an impressive entrance. First, I want to speak to you about your new environment. You are on the fourth of seven astral planes. Each plane differs from the others by the manifestation, density, and velocity of its basic essence. Your physical body varies in a way that determines your spiritual growth, which is what your soul is always seeking. Many of you literally starve your souls and, for example, allow your minds to become entirely engrossed and dominated by materialism.
‘The soul is always called on to look up, not back. It must carry hope and love at the helm of your life. This is not always easy. Even with effort you do not always live up to these ideals, yet to make an effort is always a step in the right direction.
‘My dear friends, you have died in war, and your conscious minds have created hatred for the enemy as they have for you. But you are your thoughts, and these thoughts of hatred hold back your development. Your own worst enemy is you, not the soldiers you faced across the battlefield. It is in the battlefield of life where you must build your character in preparation for your next stage.
‘As it is, you have been thrown into this world before your time – like an apple that is plucked before it ripens. For many of you the experience of an untimely passing is just this – a bitter taste. So it is our wish to help the ripening of your individuality for your soul’s development. Look no further than yourselves because many of the answers lie within.
‘Now I would like you to concentrate on what I say. You have been told there are seven planes. Likewise you have seven bodies. One of these was the physical body, which you discarded when you left the earth plane. Here on the fourth astral plane, your astral body is learning to vibrate in accordance with the vibrations here; these are finer and faster than those on the earth plane. This explains why things here are as tangible and real as on earth. We aim to help you adjust and harmonize with the vibrations of your new environment.
‘You are on the second stage of your conscious life, and as the third and fourth planes are only slightly finer than the earth plane, it is our endeavour that you move on to the fifth plane. This will occur when you refine your mental and emotional vibrations. I come from the seventh plane where matter vibrates faster and is more refined than here. You may wonder how I am able to visit your plane.
‘The answer is simple. I have learned to wind down my vibrations in order to work on the lower planes. By using my power of thought, I can wind down enough to materialize here and talk with you. Well, this is quite enough for your first lecture. You will recall these words when you begin to rethink your first lesson. There is no need to take notes here. May the Great Spirit bless you until we meet again.’
With these words the teacher began to dematerialize in front of us. When he had gone, I thought about his strange explanations. Many seemed to be out of a storybook. I had so much to learn and felt I understood so little. The captain stood up and asked if there were any more questions, and a few hands went up.
The captain pointed to one young man, who stood up and said, ‘My name is George Taylor. Is there a God, sir?’ The captain replied, ‘Yes, George. There is a God, and we will explain later about the God force which is within all things.’
He then pointed to someone sitting at the back who stood up and said, ‘My name is Tom Richardson. Will I be able to see my wife and talk to her, sir?’ I immediately felt a concern within this soul. ‘Tom,’ said the captain, ‘you have been told you will be allocated a special guide who will teach you how to communicate with all your loved ones.’
Tom remained standing and cried, ‘Well, that’s not good enough. I want to see her now.’ His head sank low into his hands, and he cried like a child. ‘That’s enough, soldier,’ said the captain. ‘Control yourself.’ I sensed a strong will in the captain’s voice but one tempered with understanding and sympathy. Tom lifted his head, ‘I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know what came over me.’
The captain said, ‘I understand how you feel. We all go through this at some time or another. But I can assure you, you will be all right. I left behind two children, the eldest only five. But I am able to communicate with them and my wife using a spiritually aware person on earth called a medium.
‘Your guides will include this information in your practical lessons in order to help you through occasional stages of remorse which most of you will experience. I think we had better stop now, gentlemen. If you would like to stand and move outside, you will find your sergeant waiting for you.’ Continue reading below…
Thanks to Rune Oversby for the following pdf:
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