You must not try to overly intellectualize such subjective states which are better left to experiencing them which constitutes the proof of the pudding.<quoted text>
Yes, but who's to say that any of these lofty pursuits are actually "higher," better, or more noble than the simple pursuit of pleasure?
On other hand, take a causal look at the well-known media-hyped pleasure-seekers everywhere who live on sensual excesses and deep within you'll discover they find their lives hollow and a one big addictive round of sense pleasures. Most of them come to ruin in some way or the other sooner or later or sink to the level of the degraded human types. They are not worthy role models and exert a negative influence on us.
The thumb rule is - detachment, discipline, focus, regulation of one's personal resources and a genuine sense of reverence for the truly great human types who've risen above their baser instincts and who point out the way to the practice/wisdom of the deeper laws of connectedness and to genuine peace/genuine happiness that no external adversity can take away from us.
An ounce of practice is worth more than encyclopedias of precept.