@op what you mention as pure elements of Buddhism are in fact the foundation of all religions. but they have been run over so much that its rituals ethics metaphysics and eschatology which people bother about as popular tea time conversation solely (w.r.t. religion). Not that these don't matter they play a big role in keeping the collective head of the society cool but real substance of every religion is forgotten underneath all that pop talk.
The real deal is the personal experience and like Happyman said "There's no way to describe the result, the same way you cannot describe the colour yellow to somebody who hasn't seen it. " and when you realize this, how much can you really blame people for forgetting the substance ever? After all poptalk must go on.
This is a personal/human experience and seekers will keep inheriting/discovering this on and on irrespective of religious teachings getting muddled or even existing.