Prof. Stefano D'Anna's Official Web Site

Alem Interview


You have en interesting life story! Could you tell your story for our readers?
The interesting side of my life, which has made it suitable for writing a novel about it, is that has nothing extraordinary. It is the life of a common man, with the difficulties and insatisfactions of anybody’s else. Almost the emblem of  a defeated humanity, the perfect representative of millions and millions of men who think and feel negatively. What is interesting is his encounter with a remarkable man who in the Book is named the Dreamer and the story of his journey back to the essence in search of his lost integrity.

The School for God is published in Turkey too! In your novel “The School for Gods“ you transformed your own personal path into a narration. Can you describe the turning points in your life that gave rise to the idea of writing this novel?
The School for Gods is now an international success, translated in 12 languages, and the Turkish edition since 5 years ranks first in the bestseller list. This Book could never have come to be had I not encountered the Dreamer and His teaching. The Dreamer asked me to write the Book and gave me the Title. I started collecting notes from the very first day of my encounter with the Dreamer and I continued virtually without interruptions throughout the 20 years of my apprenticeship. Even when the notes started to aggregate in the form of a book it took me years to complete it. The book is a philosophy novel based on my biography. It has been difficult and painful to write it as it called for great sincerity on my part. In a way this long gestation was unavoidable and necessary as the ideas and the principles of the Dreamer needed time to show their effect in my own life. In it I play the double role of the scientist-observer and of the guinea pig, the observed.

The protagonist in your book is meeting a strong teaching figure called “The Dreamer” who is introducing him to the art of dreaming – can you describe this quality of dreaming? And how is it possible to invite this sort of dreaming into everyday-life?  Does everyone have access to his own “Dreamer”?
We all have a chance to meet the Dreamer, to be in touch with the most sincere, the most real part of ourselves. We do not need to be extraordinary to meet Him. We just need to be ourselves. This most of the time happens when we really touch the limit, we reach the point we cannot go on anymore. «When a man is hopelessly disappointed by his life… when he realizes its incompleteness, and his impotence; when existence grips him in a vice so he cannot breathe, only then will the School appear.»

In Turkey your book has had a huge success, with more than 100,000 copies sold. Throughout the world, it has been translated in 12 languages, including Chinese.  What explains that also people belonging to such different cultures, who have perhaps rarely been in touch with a sort of literature that stimulates self-study and self-development are attracted by your work?
For a number of reasons: a) for the Dreamer, who is a complete new literary character, real, vibrant and at the same time unseizable. He is modern and timeless, he is wise but doesn’t belong to any religion or philosophy. His love is merciless. He is the living promise that one day we can all become the Dreamer, masters of our own destiny. b) for the protagonist who is an ordinary man. The readers identify with the guinea pig, and sympathize with the protagonist for all the troubles and endless efforts he goes through to apply the words of the Dreamer to his own life. c) The Book is also a map, an escape plan. The readers take spontaneously side with a man who takes to flight, a man who is dreaming his freedom. He is giving reality to a dream that belongs to all of us: transforming our life in a portable paradise.

When did you realise you wanted to get into a career in education business? Tell us how you got started in this business.
I never thought of creating a university, a School of Economics, of a planetary breath. A school of Being. The Dreamer asked me to, and I did though I had no idea of how to do it and I was scared to death to the mere idea of such an endeavour. I’ve dreamed of a revolution. I’ve dreamed of a School which ‘remembers’ that the ‘dream’ is the most concrete thing that exists. I’ve dreamed of a new generation of leaders…

Can you give the the secret (or rules) of being successfull in business?
I can tell you what is a certain way to fail: to stop believing in yourself.

What the human being have to do for a good future? 
I have written a 400 page Book to try to anser this question. What I can say in extreme synthesis is that the greatest danger for the future of our civilization is man’s conflictual thinking, its fragmented psychology. We have created a laboratory, unique in the world, in Florence, where special students, selected from a number of countries, including Turkey, can study and prepare themselves to be the leaders of the future, the healed cells of a new humanity finally free from negative emotions and fear, which are the very source of any planetary evils.

Why our beautiful dreams do not realize? Are we doing something wrong? 
Yes, the wrong thing that we do is that we do not know what we really dream. Simply because we do not know ourselves. A man only apparently aspires to good health, prosperity and well-being. If we could observe and know our inner self, we would realize that we do not nurture beautiful dreams but too frequently our falure and misfortunes. More than dreaming in reality humanity has nightmares. Under this conditions, we can say that what is more dangerous about dreams is that they come always true.