from the moment we are trying to understand our feelings we are lost! In an instant a feeling leaves us. Immaterial matters should be felt, don’t try to understand them. You won’t succeed. Thinking and feeling do not work at the same time. Our thoughts are driving our feelings away.
Happiness cannot be understood, only felt. We cannot get hold of it. Just compare it with falling in love: you cannot fall in love on somebody on your command. This special feeling comes out of the blue. Unpredictable. Afterward we try to understand this feeling and from the moment we think we can control it, the feeling disappears.
Of course we are trying to understand what happiness is. And as a start we are writing books about happiness and the ways to become happy. This is a way to regain control. When we feel good we want to be able to recall this feeling the moment we want it. We have all sorts of tricks to try to possess it. We are giving good feelings names. We call it happiness, freedom, warmth, love. Unfortunately we cannot evoke a good feeling. We have to wait and hope that it will return. We have to let it go, we have to accept that we are incapable of controlling these wonderful sensations.
What we can do is trying to get rid of our negative emotions (see nihonvision method). I think this is the best way to prepare yourself and make room for all good feelings. But at the end we still should accept that good feelings do not obey our wishes or commands.
You can conclude that happiness or freedom cannot be evoked as we are trying to do. A career does not make you happy, a relationship won’t work that way, neither traveling around the world, nor a religion.
It may give you a good feeling, but you will never understand why. You will construct an explanation, but this won’t be valid each time. Tomorrow you may feel bad when you think about your career or your relationship.
You have to let it go. You have to accept that good feelings come accidentally. It is not in our hands. We are only able to build images of happiness and glory and fame and freedom and love in our heads. That is all. And it does not help us at all. Feelings have their own rules.