Prof. Stefano D'Anna's Official Web Site

Somnio Ergo Sum: I Dream therefore I Exist

One day Chuang-Tzu, the Wise One, fell asleep and dreamed to be a butterfly. Waking up he asked himself: who am I? Am I Chuang-Tzu who has dreamed to be a butterfly or a butterfly who is now dreaming to be Chuang-Tzu?

We are closely tailed by computers and intelligent machines. Deep down, man is made of amino acids and computers are made of silicon. The difference is not insuperable. We can feel down our neck the breath of beings endowed with artificial intelligence, most advanced products of robotics and cutting-edge cybernetics. They will soon be able to take over, substitute us and do anything we do, far better than we do, and may be one day, very soon, they will be so close to humans to be even able to laugh, but a machine will never be able to dream.

Like the bone which forms the chin, or mental protuberance, is the only bone which is solely human – and not shared with any primate or monkey, – so dreaming is the true feature of man, his most distinctive activity. The sole that really identify a human being.

I Am that I Am
Ehyeh asher ehyeh – which in English can be translated “I am that I Am – is the response that God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for His name (Exodus 3:14). And added: “this is my name forever”. It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. My strong belief is that Moses, because of the emotion for such an encounter, didn’t get His name precisely. If a god ever had to introduce himself, he should have said: “I am the one who dreams”. Anybody can think, but only a creator can dream. Hence,“Cogito Ergo Sum” – I think therefore I exist – the most famed statement of western philosophy coined by René Descartes, the man who is synonymous with the birth of modern thinking -should be changed into: Somnio Ergo Sum – I Dream therefore I exist. I Dream = I Am. I am my dream.A man without a dream is a fragment lost in the universe.”

The world is as we Dream it
If Hollywood is the planetary dream-machine, the jewel box of all human fantasies, I would like to ask you if you have ever seen one single science-fiction movie imagining a happy ending of the human venture? Any movie trying to depict the future inevitably ends up representing it in an apocalyptic fashion, a sort of horror movie, a prophecy of disasterfed by our negative imagination. This is the litmus test that mass cannot dream. It can nurture nightmares. All dreams come true, nightmares too, unfortunately.

Dreaming upside down
The real Planet’s problem – from which all others spring from – is the lack of luminous utopians, true dreamers, and conversely an overpopulation of peevish, jealous, gloom and doom humanity – harbinger of a fragmented psychology – whose sense of reason is armed. This humanity cannot envisage an equitable, untroubled society, with a prosperous economy. As a matter of fact their biased creativity – a sort of miraculous upside down – projects a conflicting society where the predominant motivating factor in Politics as in Business is Money; where leaders gain their power at the expense of humanity; where politicians with criminal minds and corporate gangsters, men and entire nations are in the service of the economies of disaster: from arms manufacturing to environmental pollution, from pharmaceutical production to organized crime; where decisions are not made in the rut of a beautiful dream for the future of mankind, but biased by Fear. Consequently, we have delivered to our children a world in worse condition that the one we have inherited, and that is the epitome of betrayal. The world is as we dream it. Famine, illiteracy, wars, conflicts, diseases, human rights abuses, pollution, overpopulation, injustice are only the projection of our negative utopias. This is why death has become the planet’s leading industry, the architrave that sustains the wealth of nations – and why most of humanity is on the payroll of death. We need a mental revolution, a new way of thinking – a new religion. We need to change.

Are you ready to be a timeless leader?
Change never comes from a system of beliefs, a philosophy, a revolution, or a political party. Throughout our history, change has solely come through the personal effort of one committed man, a resolute individual, able to think in terms of infinity and not in days or a bunch of years; an individual who cannot be corrupted by short term benefits. I have a test for you. Are you ready to find out if you have the potentiality to be a timeless leader? Read this sentence and answer yes or no to the question you will find at the end of it. One day mankind will be able to eradicate poverty, create jobs for everyone on the planet, make friends out of mortal enemies, create a world with no pollution, justice for everyone and heal every ill in the world – including replacing negative human emotions. It probably will not happen in my time, and, possibly not within 100 years.  But would it not be a great aim to Dream of such a world 1000 years from now? Are you ready to commit yourself now toward such a distant future?

The Future Leaders for the World Program
The world needs these men. They are the salt of the Earth, and the healthy cells of humanity. Mass education, ordinary schools and universities cannot produce them. They have to be forged one-by-one. Together with my friend George Koukis we have set our heart on creating a Scholarship Program selecting and preparing the independent thinkers, the revolutionary minds, the luminous rebels that the world needs, men and women of integrity. Any other alternative, or a continuation of the current practices will yield disastrous results.The first edition of “Future Leaders for the World” will accept 50 students only, winners of a George Koukis Foundation’s scholarship, and is organized in Italy, Como Lake, from August 1st through October 3rd.

Dream have to be Paid in Advance
Whenever I had seen or read about a vision becoming reality, there had always been a price to pay. People have dreams, but only those who are willing to pay can see them becoming realThe world is full of bad players who are unwilling to pay. People always complain that their dreams never come true, but what they cannot see is that the payment for turning them into reality has to be made in advance – always. Hence, a leader has to believe before seeing, and never vice versa. I recognise that in my life, I have always paid in advance. For any new endeavour, for any business adventure, for any success, for any dream which came true, I have always been asked its invisible price before hand – often many years before hand. A great example of this law can be taken out of the Greek mythology. It is about the dream of a King, Agamemnon, who set his heart on conquering Troy, a most powerful town whose mighty walls – according to a legend – had been built by Poseidon himself, the god of waters and the sea, and therefore impregnable.

The Price is always right 
Pursuing his great dream of conquest, he gathered the largest army, a fleet of thousands of ships, and mustered the greatest Greek heroes to participate in the Trojan War. But days and weeks, and then months went by without the possibility for the Greek fleet to leave for lack of winds. The soothsayer, Calchas, called to advice about what to do, after some hesitation had to give the terrible solution. Agamemnon, if he wanted to leave for his great venture, had to sacrifice Iphigenia. He had three children but he was asked to sacrifice not just one of them, but his most loved daughter, Iphigenia. He did it, and only then did his fleet get the favourable winds and sea conditions to undertake the great venture to which he aspired. At first glance the price may appear too high, and unacceptably onerous, but a real dreamer knows the value of his dream, and intuitively and immediately recognizes that the price is always right, and he is willing to pay it in advance, without hesitation.

The Dream is the most real thing there is. Myths, creative thinking, dreaming will always be preceding any true change, just like the blue print comes before the physical construction. In the entire story of our civilization, in the actual building of our future, a man believing in the dream to fly will forever come before the Wright Brothers. And the wings of Icaro, apparently so fragile, will throb and roll millennia before the roar of the engines of the Concorde.