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Let me preface this by stating I have great reverence for the Buddha and believe he was exactly what he said he was, the Tathagata, which is why I want to know what the man actually taught.
When you study the history of Buddhism, you find a very sordid history of schisms, power struggles, political agendas, sectarian in fighting, just like every organized religion, with many ancient schools of Buddhism wiped off the face of the earth by Muslim invaders in India.
The divisions began to split the sangha almost immediately after the Buddha died. This idea that all the monks got together and orally fixed the original teachings of the Buddha in perfect form and passed it on unaltered for 2,500 years strains credibility. In fact, the discoveries of scholars investigating the Pali Canon have brought a massive reassessment of what the original Buddha actually taught, in the same sense scholars studying the the Gospels of the New Testament shed a new light into what Jesus actually taught and how the Gospels were composed.
What these scholars observe when they go into the Pali texts are clear indications that there are multiple layers of suttas that were added over time and a high degree of editing has occurred by monks with a particular agenda.
They are like a ruins of an ancient temple overgrown by jungle and one must approach the suttas like an archaeologist, stripping away the jungle overgrowth to get to the real truth of the matter.
When you read the suttas you come across all sorts of illogical contradictions, changes in linguistic styles and composition, bizarre references to multilevel realms (31 of this, 27 of that etc.) filled with fantastical beasts and beings that seem right out of Tolkien, ridiculous and clearly fictional tales of Buddha's past lives etc. You also find strikingly anti-family attitudes, mean spirited judgments of hapless "worldlings", advice not to have "dear" ones or love anybody, that it is in fact a stain on your soul and will lead you to hell if you...gasp...have sex or raise a family, and shocking misogynist tendencies that are ascribed to the Buddha.
How could the incarnation of love and compassion have such delusional hateful views!
In summary, many scholars have concluded the original teachings of the Buddha were in fact life affirming, pro-family, pro love, hopeful, focused on becoming and growth, on reuniting with loved ones after death, on finding the way to immortality and true happiness, on awakening desire in human beings to constantly grow and become more and better. Most importantly it was a rebellion against the priestly class of Brahmanism with it's caste system, animal sacrifice and empty rituals that had robbed the Vedic tradition of all spiritual vitality and he directed his gospel (good news) it to the everyday lay person so that they could find a direct experience with spirit/soul.
It is sad that Buddha's rebellion was coopted by a new exclusive priestly class who distorted the teaching to fit their own agenda, namely, winning converts, taking down sectarian rivals, entrenching their power and superiority over the laity, debasing "becoming" and turning it into the ultimate sin, debasing soul and spirit, embracing nihilism and pessimism and turning life into a big dung heap, ignoring the concerns of the world, debasing family life etc.
Here is a great article the lays it all out and a couple of great books by 2 giants in Pali scholarship which further deep dive into the subject matter. May you find the true path to awakening and yes, the Buddha wants you to love you dear ones dearly: