Lecture encourages finding beauty in life

Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy Elaine Padilla dives deep into the connection between the subconscious mind with life experiences and environment in part of the La Verne Academy faculty lecture series in the Quay Davis Executive Boardroom on Tuesday. / photo by Drake Ingram
Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy Elaine Padilla dives deep into the connection between the subconscious mind with life experiences and environment in part of the La Verne Academy faculty lecture series in the Quay Davis Executive Boardroom on Tuesday. / photo by Drake Ingram

Yulissa Chavez
Staff Writer

Elaine Padilla, associate professor of philosophy, religion and Latinx studies, discussed diving into the subconscious mind through art and nature during  her lecture “Nature’s Unconscious and the Art of Becoming Human.”

The presentation, for the University’s faculty lecture series, was held in the Quay Davis Executive Boardroom and via Zoom Tuesday before about 15 students, faculty and staff. 

Padilla’s presentation explained how details we overlook in our lives, such as nature, are subconsciously absorbed by our minds and may affect our emotions and actions. 

“Trees, as symbols of a collective unconscious, can be images that signify both feelings of alienation in societies and individuals, and various expressions of longing for and harmonies of beneficial coexistence,” Padilla said.

Through discussing art and nature, Padilla made connections to how our life instincts and dreams are experiences that help us creatively experiment with our unconsciousness. 

Padilla challenged the audience to reflect on their everyday life and what is being taken in subconsciously in the mind through our surroundings. 

“The advertisements that we look at, the shows that we watch, the people that are about us are constantly telling our consciousness how to think, what to think,” Padilla said. 

This presented a new outlook on the normality that we accept in society and where that label stems from. Padilla said what we consume, without realizing it, shapes who we are and how we perceive things.

“Our minds subconsciously retain information from either social conditioning or any type of culture or society’s idea of what is normal and we subconsciously attain to that normality even though we would be suppressing what we truly desire,” said Priscilla Hernandez, a  junior art major who attended the lecture said.

“Beauty, not only in art, is all around us,” said junior liberal arts major Liliana Hernandez, who added that the presentation “changed my perspective of looking at how architecture and nature itself is just beautiful –  and to appreciate that.” 

Yulissa Chavez can be reached at yulissa.chavez@laverne.edu.

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