INTRODUCTION BY Fr. STEFANO TARDANI
Saturday, March 25, 2023 – ” Bonus Pastor” – Rome
Solemnity of the Annunciation
Greetings, all of you, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Professionals, dear Friends and Family members, gathered here for the presentation of the IRIS-3 Foundation at its inception.
Today, it is more and more evident from the scientific point of view, that life has in it self its own mystery, which unfolds with a definite order to maintain itself, as it obeys its beginning from which it derives.
The research of this Institute is precisely for that root, that is, the source of knowing, present in the person, there where matter and spirit, conjoined, give life to the human being. And it is precisely the reality of the spirit that gives man his inalienable dignity, his highest values, the greatness of his freedom, thought and self-awareness. It is the spiritual soul, created by God, the pneuma, the spirit, quite different from the psychic soul, psiché or mind that is much spoken about today.
It is in fact the presence of the human spirit, the image of God who wanted it so, that operates, generates and keeps alive in matter its good throughout its development. It is a subtle and powerful thread that today risks the denial and suppression, the alienation of human life and eternal life.
Benedict XVI on January 19, 2012, to the bishops of the United States on an ad limina visit, uttered these words, probably in one of his great and last social-oriented speeches:
“To the extent that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God. When a culture attempts to suppress the dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey, as the late Pope John Paul II so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person and the nature of society.”
What, then, prompted the creation of this interdisciplinary and international Scientific Research Institute on the reality of the spirit present in the human being?
I would like to highlight here a fact that we witness, which is easily verifiable.
Each discipline has its own scope and method. But the more in each of them grows its own development of refinement, the more the various disciplines distance themselves from each other, and then unite in technological applications, bringing in their complementarity an organic and efficient vision of both human and technical progress.
Thus we see the common point of the various human and scientific disciplines in their purposes and functionalities in the service of human life.
But the critical point of what is happening is that with each discipline’s increasing specialization and generative power and its breaking up into other further specializations, the purpose of the whole, that is, of progress for the good of man and humanity, is increasingly difficult to maintain: it is about that tension that we all feel today that we have to maintain human life on the planet with appropriate forms and means, so that life does not degenerate and become insane, destroying itself.
Beyond the use of scientific and financial knowledge and resources, we need to regain that fine thread of the good of life, entrusted by God to the spirit of man.
But what method and means can be used in the research for the existence of the spiritual dimension in human beings? This is the question being asked by many among researchers and skeptics.
Some wonder how it is possible to “measure,” so to speak, what is not materially measurable. On this point many have halted, not advancing further in the search for other possibilities.
I think that this delicate problem can be addressed by approaching scientific research in another way: through comparative differential measurement.
This is because the spirit in the human being is capable not only of self-awareness but also of revelation, self-revelation, showing itself, just like matter and energy.
The difficulty of “measuring” the spirit, however, lies in the fact that it is the spirit itself that “measures” reality, and therefore does not allow itself to be “measured” by instruments.
But being self-revelation, it can point us to its presence and action as self-consciousness, freedom and the good from which it comes. In other words, one cannot “measure” the spirit as it were, but one can measure the variation of matter and energy under the action of the spirit itself.
This is the purpose of IRIS-3 that I had been planning for some time now, after many years of my work experience in the spiritual and human field, and noting the capabilities of the human spirit, as I have indicated in my two publications.
It is evident, that the historical path of knowledge went from detecting mere matter to the study of its states and processes. But then, in an unexpected way, with Galilean investigation and method, it moved to the proven study of the various forms of energy that cannot be seen but can be measured.
In order not to lose the invisible thread of the good of life, it is now time to discover and better study the 3rd dimension, that of the human spirit, the spiritual soul, in Hebrew the ruah, in Greek pneuma, the gift of God the Creator to every human being.
The IRIS-3 interdisciplinary and International Research Institute wants to penetrate in a scientific way where the two methods of investigation, the material scientific and the humanistic, in man touch and converge for the sake of life through the spiritual soul.
Certainly, for those who would like to know more, we are open to collaboration.
This is a great and difficult project that we are about to undertake with God’s help, and with the help of collaborations and means of those who would like to support this step forward in the evolution of discovering how the human being, the image of God, works and how the path of humanity can proceed.
By uniting efforts, such research will be able to produce a variety of extraordinary gifts in all fields, not only of knowledge, of the knowable in all disciplines, but also of human living and discerning the true good of our future.
Thank you all for your valuable participation.