Jean, you are right. My post was a bit malicious. I hope I didn't offend you.
I read something in your first post and after reading your other posts and rereading the first, I read something different.
I agree that we need to be humble and ackowledge our blindness, our biasses, etc.
On the other hand, however, we should not hide behind such an ackowledgement either. (And that is what I thought you might be doing in your first post, but now it see you are not.) This sort of hiding may be one of the factors in the culture of martial mediocrity (but that's a different thread.)
It seems to me that a bit too often the philosophical and spiritual side of aikido leads us away from the martial and physical side of aikido.
[short rant starting here]
Let's talk philosophy and spirituality after ten years of training, when you're aikido is matured, when you have a decent amount of martial skill and ability. But don't feed me some line you read in a book by some 8th dan, don't try to tell me how one year of aikido two times a week has changed your life, just shut up and train and come back when you actually do some aikido!
And that means I should shut up as well. Damn!
[/rant done, thanks, I feel much better now]
To illustrate my point: many people like the idea that gradings are not important, but does anyone below the rank of perhaps shodan has the necessary experience with grading to truly belive this, to have experienced this beyond liking it as an idea?
Not that they don't have the right to an opinion, but still ...
(And I guess that brings me to about where you stand, Jean.