Bruckner suggests that with nothing standing between ourselves and happiness, other than our willingness to grasp it, there is a moral compulsion weighing on us to be happy – and it's precisely this social pressure that makes so many people unhappy. "We should wonder why depression has become a disease. It is a disease of a society that is looking desperately for happiness, which we cannot catch. And so people collapse into themselves."
There's a Zen story about a Roshi who, in discussing satori, points out to his students that if you place your hands together gently, you can raise water to your lips to drink. But if you clutch the water, it simply spills onto the ground.