This is from a set of writings I read recently.
Imagine that our body is a bucket, and our soul is the water inside the bucket.
If a handful of dirt is thrown into the water, the water becomes murky just as our soul becomes murky. If the dirt is left to settle at the bottom of the bucket, the water appears clean on the surface, but the slightest disturbance will stir up the dirt sitting quietly below the surface. The water will again become murky. How murky the water becomes will depend on how great the disturbance.
The only way for the water to truly become clean again, is to remove the dirt. Initially, removing the dirt is a painstaking but relatively easy task. Even after we have removed most of the dirt, the water is not truly clean until we have patiently sifted out all of the remaining particles of dirt. Before the water is truly clean we even have to remove the smallest particles of dirt, which are difficult to see.
Regardless of whether the water is clean or dirty, if we remove the bucket the water still exists, but the water is no longer contained within the bucket.
To me the experience of our Ego is the effect we experience as the disturbance of the dirt in the bucket. The water and the dirt are always separate but in combination when in the 'bucket' appears to be a cloudy dirty solution - that is part of the illusion.
The dirt is what we cling to that is not who we truly are which is our soul. The dirt is in part the emotional energy we have not fully released and experienced and the beliefs that go with them. The experience of the dirt and the cloudiness is the experience our soul is seeking. To know itself by 'appearing' to not be 'itself'. Both gathering and removing the dirt are part of the journey of experience. Our soul grows as a result of this experience but it still ultimately always clear - it is always the clear water - with it's ultimate clarity and purity just hidden by by the dirt.
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