THE TEMPLETON PRIZE honours individuals whose exemplary achievements advance Sir John Templeton’s philanthropic vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it. This year (2021) the award went to Doctor Jane Goodall, 87, for her work in the world of science and conservation.
What Does Dr. Jane Goodall Believe? A ‘Spiritual Power in Every Living Thing’
“When I was in Gombe, I felt very, very close to a great spiritual power,” she says. “I felt this spiritual power in every living thing. We call it our soul. Well if we have a soul, then that spark of energy is in chimpanzees, they have souls. And the trees, they have a soul, too. They’ve got a spark of that divine energy.”
Dr. Goodall’s formative years spent in the Tanzanian rain forest, a rich sanctuary of life, became a classroom to better understand how life on Earth and even human society functions in every corner of the planet. It taught her that life is a continuum, and that every creature, no matter how small, possesses a certain value, and even intelligence.
“The most important part of being in the rainforest,” she told us, “is the understanding of the interconnection, that every little species has a role to play. I like to think of this tapestry of life in the forest. If this little species is removed, then a thread is removed from the tapestry.”
In the film below (9 mins), Doctor Goodall talks about her life and work in the forest and what inspired her.