Re: Towards a unified A´kido ?
One's rank is irrelevant, what matters is what one knows.
As for unifing Aikido, the first step would be to define what Aikido is... Just read any thread here and you'll notice that no one has any idea what such "grand definition" would even look like. Hence, no unification is possible. I'd even agrue that unification would be a bad thing(TM). What works for some, does not necessary work for others hence having many styles is a benefits. <zen> One mountain, many paths, yadda yadda yadda...</zen>
Just keep training with an open mind and you'll learn a lot. You'll develop YOUR aikido. At the end of the day, your aikido is all that matters.