Life itself is pure joy, but it’s not without its glitches and although feelings do arise because of them, clinging to the feelings is what blocks one from experiencing the pure joy of living.
Feelings are like being at a train station and standing on the platform waiting for a train; clinging to the feelings is likened to when one gets on the train. So when a feeling arises regardless of what it is, it’s not controlling until there’s an action associated with it. Feelings that arise are there and shouldn’t be ignored regardless if the label applied is good, bad, or indifferent, but they don’t really equate to much until there’s clinging to them, this is what gives them the energy to come alive. Depending on how much energy is directed towards the arisen feeling determines the affect it has on one’s life.
Take the feeling of anger as an example, something occurs that makes anger arise, at this precise moment it has a minimal level of energy and a minimal affect on one’s life and the life of others. If one could sit with this and let the anger pass through, this would be the end of it. But unfortunately not many have the discipline necessary to do this so when on the platform at the train station and the train arrives, one gets on. To me this pretty much sums it up for any feeling; there’s the feeling, than the clinging to it and hence, the action and associated affect whatever that may be.
I know many frown upon looking at feelings in this way because it’s thought that they’re a necessity to live, but that’s only because there’s not a clear understanding of what a feeling truly is and how they affect life. Feelings are the strings and the puppet master is the clinging. If this isn’t investigated, it won’t be understood and one’s feelings will remain as the controlling energy of one’s life. And good, bad, or indifferent the feelings will be blocked from passing through so one will have to take the train to whatever destination their conditioning has set and unfortunately it won’t be one where the pure joy of living is experienced.