The conveyor belts are made of fragile cloth that frays easily, especially the longer they run. At any moment the cloth may separate, sending the shell and its inner being plummeting out of sight. Eventually, all belts fail.
However, there is a golden lifeline running above each belt. It would be useless to the soft souls trapped inside the hard shell of human nature, but once upon a time a Man came down that line and punched a hole in the top of each shell. Now the soft souls can see the lifeline, if they choose to look up. And if they choose, they can reach up through this hole to grab on to the lifeline.
Some do reach out and take hold of it. The stronger their grasp, the more they are welded to the line, and the more they take on its density, color and worth. When the belt below them breaks and their shell drops, their golden inner being is yanked free, secure on the rope. There, they are carried up out of the chasm.
Some in their shells are alert enough to see this, and will reach up to drape a hand over the line. But they’re pretty comfortable where they are; they don’t really want to exert themselves to stand up and hold on. So when their shell drops, down they go, too.
Others grow uncomfortable in their shells, which may develop leaks, ridges or spikes that force them to stand. In this condition, some will knock their own shells off into the chasm. Others, flailing about, will latch onto the line to try to pull themselves up from the pain. When their shell drops, it is a great relief to be carried away free of it.
Some soft souls, especially at the beginning, are too small or weak to reach the line themselves, so the Man will reach into their shells and take them Himself. He has the discretion to do that. But we who have been traveling on this belt for some years can’t lie back in complacency; it may give out at any moment. We have to grab that line while we can.