I see joy as a feeling. I see contentment as a feeling. I see awe and wonder as feelings. I am with Aristotle on this. I see happiness as a path, the path of human flourishing, eudaimonia, or whatever you want to call it. Happiness means to me the pursuit of virtue, the cultivation of the garden of the soul, experiencing self-actualization, and so on. Happiness is the tapestry that connects the threads of joy, contentment, and wonder, as well as the moments of sadness, frustration, and contempt into pattern I can step back and appreciate.
“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”