When Sidharta Gautama sat down to contemplate the the essence of being alive it was in a very different environment than today.
The Buddha presented a solution for his time 2500
years ago. Even though he fully understood the dhamma (the ways of
nature and mans role in it) he could not have foreseen urbanization and
how new living conditions slowly changes man genetically and
biologically, and in the long run socially and psychologically.
The buddhist method of dealing with dukkha (lifes suffering) is outdated and lots of Sidhartas teaching has been twisted into teism (worshipping). The Buddhist method asks us to create a mental state in which the Buddhist philosophy becomes true. As in any religion: see the world our way, and we promise you the world (and our teachings) will make sense.
Buddhism has many benefits for our mental wellbeing. It is sad to see so many spiritual seekers lose faith in Buddhism when they are confronted with joyless teachings that seem to claim that life as something that has to be escaped, it is suffering and nothing has muh of a meaning.
Altogether it is a different man
that meets the dhamma (the Buddhist teaching) today.