All living entities are souls, which means they are minute, conscious particles of God. The question then becomes, what should we be conscious of? In the material world all living entities - cats, dogs, humans etc. - are conscious of their body and its needs.
The human life-form, however, is a unique possibility for the soul to regain its original consciousness, ie. to be conscious of Krishna. There is much talk these days of knowing who we really are. A person in foster care will seek out his real parents to know who he really is. It’s a general urge in humans to find our their origin.
The origin of the soul is Krishna, so to be conscious of Krishna can be likened to a person knowing his real parents. It’s our natural state of consciousness. If we are not conscious of Krishna, we are not conscious of our origin. We are like people not knowing their parents.
When we think we are the material body, we are like people sitting in their cars, thinking they are the car.
All living entities are souls. In fact, in all living entities only the soul is alive, the body is merely a vehicle made of dead matter. It makes as little sense for a soul to identify itself with its body, as it does for a man sitting inside a Toyota, to think he is a Toyota.
Everyone knows it’s a person sitting inside the car, and that the car is a machine made of dead matter. In the same way the soul is sitting inside a body, whatever it may be. That, however, is a lesser known fact.
In fact, by far most people identify with their body and its culture, rather than understanding, they are the self inside the body.
The Sanskrit word ahankara (false ego) actually means - I am the doer, but the word ‘ahamkar’ could be taken to mean - I am a car
Modern society is like a society of cars.
—look, there goes Mr. Mercedes.
—hello, Mr. Toyota, how are you?
—had a rough day Mrs. Volkswagen?
—hey Volvo, seen Tata lately?
—awww, sorry you’re so small Mr. Maruti
—look at me, I’m an Audi.
Now, that would be a crazy society, right? - like a Disney production. But that’s the reality of the modern consumer culture. We all think we are the car.
Everyone knows it’s a human inside the car. Nobody calls as person sitting in an Opel for Mr. Opel.
Of course, we all have to call each-other something, I know that, but you get the point, right?
To say, hey buddy (pun intended), is like saying, hey Fiat, to a person in a Fiat.
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. —Bg 18.61
Srila Prabhupada explains:
Arjuna was not the supreme knower, and his decision to fight or not to fight was confined to his limited discretion. Lord Krsna instructed that the individual is not all in all. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, or He Himself, Krsna, as the localized Supersoul, sits in the heart directing the living being. After changing bodies, the living entity forgets his past deeds, but the Supersoul, as the knower of the past, present and future, remains the witness of all his activities.
Therefore all the activities of living entities are directed by this Supersoul. The living entity gets what he deserves and is carried by the material body, which is created in the material energy under the direction of the Supersoul. As soon as a living entity is placed in a particular type of body, he has to work under the spell of that bodily situation.
A person seated in a high-speed motorcar goes faster than one seated in a slower car, though the living entities, the drivers, may be the same. Similarly, by the order of the Supreme Soul, material nature fashions a particular type of body to a particular type of living entity so that he may work according to his past desires.
The living entity is not independent. One should not think himself independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The individual is always under the Lord's control. Therefore one's duty is to surrender, and that is the injunction of the next verse.