During the rainy season, we cannot see the moon because it is covered by the clouds. The clouds, however, are radiant with the glow of the moon’s rays. Similarly, in our material existence we cannot directly perceive the soul, because our consciousness is covered by the cloud-like false ego, the false identification with the material world and the material body.
The Bhagavad-Gita describes that the energy of the soul is consciousness. When this consciousness is manifested through the screen of the false ego, it appears as dull material consciousness in which there is no direct vision of the soul or God.
We think that material consciousness is full of hope and happiness. This is comparable to thinking that the luminous clouds are lighting up the night sky. Actually, the clouds are dark and they hamper the moonshine; they appear luminous only because they are filtering the brilliant rays of the moon.
Similarly, at times material consciousness appears pleasurable or enlightened because it is filtering the original bliss and enlightened consciousness coming directly from the soul. The false ego hampers and obstructs the real spiritual consciousness, which is fully enlightened and peaceful.
– Radhanath Swami