Re: Poll: Does the philosophy of aikido need to be explicitly discussed during class for the training to be "aikido"?
Yann did a good job describing aikido.
To answer your 'what is my source' question, my position is a bit more tenuous. I get the universal truths from my own heart. A universal truth can be "be nice to uke - it's his turn next".
So, when OSensei writes a poem describing the 'flying bridge' in the 'cross-shape' and says it is compassion - i take him to mean that truth transcends rational discussion - and if you are gentle with uke - you can throw him much more easily!
My position may be nastiest ego you ever heard. But maybe not.