The ultimate happiness which Buddha taught is not like strong pleasure:
“Brahmin, I was firmly energetic and had clarity of mindfulness; my body was tranquil and my mind unified.
Fully secluded from the five senses, secluded from unwholesome mental qualities, I entered and remained in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and happiness born of seclusion, accompanied by movement of the mind.
Through the stilling of the movement of the mind, I entered and remained in the second jhāna, which has internal confidence and unification of mind and consists of rapture and happiness born of samādhi.
Through the fading away of rapture, I remained even-minded, mindful and clearly comprehending, experiencing happiness directly, and I entered and remained in the third jhāna of which the noble one declare, ʻhe is even-minded, mindful, and abides in happiness.ʼ
Through the abandoning of happiness and suffering and the earlier ending of joy and displeasure, I entered and remained in the fourth jhāna, which has neither suffering nor happiness and consists of purity of mindfulness and even-mindedness.
- The Book of the Discipline (Vinayapiṭaka), ch.1: "The origin of the Vinaya" (Bu-Pj.1.1.5 MS.14)
So if this ultimate happiness is not as strong as sensual pleasures, then why it is so good? Maybe it is not so good? If it is neither suffering nor happiness, then isn't it just too bland?
Is it worth the efforts? Maybe it's better to enjoy strong sensual pleasures, even if they alternate with suffering?
Many people say so when they hear about Buddhism. Maybe they are right?
Through the practice of meditation and investigation of our feelings, we can spot something interesting: our heart in its depth does not actually like so much those strong pleasures. Because they are virtually always mixed with a grain of suffering. We don't feel totally easy when we experience them.
So Buddhism says that the worldly pleasures we chase are actually not happiness, but a form of "the suffering of impermanence". On the surface it seems pleasant, but there's always some uneasiness deeply inside.
We chase such experiences only because we try to escape our usual condition of dissatisfaction.
So even when we enjoy worldly pleasures, uneasiness remain. We might see it particularly clearly watching those who lead a dissolute life. If a person drinks a lot, has a lot of sex here and there, gambles in casinos, tries drugs, rides fast etc., does that person look happy?
We can feel pretty easily that despite the lifestyle full of sensory pleasures, so devoted to chasing them, such person must be very unhappy.
Happy people just wouldn't need such way of life.
On the other hand, imagine a person who lives in very simple conditions, satisfied with minimal things like little food and shelter, very calm, would such person seem unhappy?
We might feel intuitively who is happier, even though our restless mind associates pleasure with throwing money, big cars, nightclubs, expensive wines, random sex etc. rather than with simple life.
So the happiness pointed by Buddha is said "being beyond happiness and unhappiness, and that's why it is called real happiness".
It's beyond that worldly image of happiness - with incessant chasing, inner constraints, tensions, vexations, never completely satisfying.
The ultimate happiness is being satisfied. The chase is dropped. Vexations ceased. Tensions relaxed. The uneasiness is completely relieved.
It's feeling free, very natural, unencumbered, alive.
In harmony of all things, with fresh, clean senses.
Compassionate and responsive.
Wise and not limited.
That's why real happiness is superior not only because of being constant and free from impermanent conditions, but it's superior also because deeply in our heart we like it more.
When we experience it, we realize that we like being free, natural and easy more than we would like strong pleasures combined with those inner tensions of samsaric encumbrance.