Two people are enjoying a sunset and eating a meal.
One person believes the pleasure comes from watching the beautiful view and the taste of the food.
The other person, being a student of a spiritual path, connects the pleasurable feelings to an inner choice to remember love and denies the source of the enjoyment is an external event.
On some spiritual paths connecting good feelings to a sunset would result in a problem for the spiritual seeker: happiness would depend on an external event. Seeking outside yourself means you don’t remember your inner life.
The problem is that good feelings really seem to be connected to external events. This world is set up that way by the ego. To keep a spiritual seeker attached to the world the ego tries to make connecting feelings to an external event something that is acceptable.
The ego may try the tactic of not making the sunset or the food into a big deal. If the feeling are not a big thing then it does not really matter what their source is. If you feel the same looking at the rain or watching a sunset, feeling hungry or eating wonderful food then what does it matter what the cause of the feeling is? Seeming to have a consistent experience will be very attractive to some spiritual seekers. But the problem for the ego is that this strategy leads to low grade unhappiness. As the desire for real inspiration and an authentic spiritual experience grows, this ego strategy is uncovered for what it really is.
One seemingly authentic path is to assume that pleasure, happiness and joy are only ever the result of a genuine inner choice for love. Maybe good feelings only ever arise, in any situation because a decision was made to connect with love? Pleasure lets you know you have already made an unconscious or conscious inner decision to be happy.
When you feel good and you know it is not because of anything external then your natural focus is on deeply feeling the good experience. Deeply feeling joy in one situation may help open up and allow joy to be experienced in more and more situations. Of course the sneaky ego can find a way to come along for the ride and make the path into a search for more and more pleasure.
There is difference between pleasure seeking and feeling pleasure as a way of reinforcing an inner connection to love.
Most people who pleasure seek are doing so believing that the cause of their pleasure is an external event and so they are turning away from inner choice for love that gave rise to their good feelings in the first place.
Maybe pleasure and joy is always from a divine or a higher source and the only mistake is to connect it to the sunset or the taste of food?
Connecting the cause of good feelings to a external event is indeed an error and one that the ego readily reinforces. Trying to correct this error by diminishing the importance of feelings may be an invitation to the ego to join you on your journey.