Ātmā is jñāna-mātra / cin-mātrā (which means that the most essential quality of the “soul” is that it is the “substance of congition” – consciousness).
Ātmā is consciousness, but what is consciousness (cit)? It is inseparably related to reality (sat) and bliss (ānanda), for it is the ultimate substrate of reality-sat (it is the condition in which reality exists), and is the “wick” on which the flame of ānanda shines (bliss is a state experienced by consciousness – so consciousness is the substrate for bliss, too).
So, the ātmā (aka jīva) has, as its inherent potential (dharma) the capacity to experience,participate in, and amplify reality (sat) and bliss (ānanda). This is it’s potential. It is not svatantra (independently capable) in fulfilling that potential. It has to cooperate with another śakti to realize its potential.
Some conscious individuals are not naturally oriented towards the true source of bliss, Bhagavān. (They are “bahir-mukha”, “looking away”). Because I am counted amongst them, I have not yet experienced what reality (sat) truly is, but I do experience a reflection of it, due to my cooperation with Bhagavān’s māyā-śakti. Similarly, I have not yet experienced what happiness (ānanda) truly is, but I experience a reflection of it via māyā-śakti.
Because I experience reflections of sat and ānanda, I know that such things exist. And because my dharma is to be in contact with sat and ānanda my whole existence hungers for them and is nothing but a quest for them. But because I am cooperating only with māyā-śakti, not bhakti-śakti I cannot really find the full, original versions of sat (reality) and ānanda (happiness). But as I gradually might transfer the focus of my consciousness from māyā to bhakti, I may gradually come to experience the infinite, true, absolutely substantial forms of divine sat and ānanda.
It has been said by those who exist in bhakti that the sat and ānanda experienced there makes the reflections seem non-exitent.