Q - For maximum happiness in THIS life, can I go on enjoying whatever I possibly can?

Question:
If I don't believe in next life and if my aim is just to enjoy this life to the maximum, isn't the best way to increase happiness (& to reduce suffering) is to go on enjoying sensual things? I know, whatever arises, ceases (all is impermanent) but when it ceases, I can replace it with some other sensual object and keep replacing it till I die in order to enjoy this life to the maximum. Isn't it? Why did Buddha say that it is dukkha in this life too!?


Answer:
Can we enjoy something, without feeling bad about losing it? No! right?

If we try to relish/enjoy the pleasant feeling (generated by coming in contact with the object), craving/clinging develops subsequently. Because of this clinging, we are bound to feel displeasure of losing it.


This is why happiness from sensual pleasures is dangerous like a snake - It can turn back and bite us anytime.  




The amount of displeasure when we lose the object is proportionate to the amount of clinging (more we relish the pleasurable feeling, more is the clinging) we had when we had the object. So, we try to suppress the displeasure by pursuing another object which is more pleasurable than the previous one, and the stimulus required to feel pleasurable or to supress displeasure goes on incrementing. This makes us very vulnerable as we get displeased easily and pleased with much effort.

This is why happiness from sensual pleasures is dangerous like fire - when we put ghee (i.e. sense pleasure) into the fire (i.e. craving), the fire initially subsides for a short while (i.e. temporarily subsiding of suffering) and then flares up more than before (i.e. increased craving for sense pleasure). And it gets harder to subside as it grows more and more; in speed and in intensity.

Unconditioned happiness which can be found here and now (without conditions) is much better to experience. When we have even the slightest taste of it, our confidence that unconditioned happiness is worth pursuing over conditioned happiness, increases. The experience of freedom from sensual pleasures is far better than freedom of sensual pleasures.