I don't really have much to add to this thread right now apart from to say, IMHO this has been the most relevant and important discussion about aikido that I have seen on this site so far. I would like to thank all of the contributors to this discussion for their input. We live in a time of immense importance. For the first time in human history technology is facilitating global connection of 'ordinary people' such as us. We are all engaged in an art that we agree can be seen as a model for conflict resolution and as Erick so neatly put it:
O-Sensei's genius was to recognize that men will only go so far out of anger, greed or lust of power, but will go vastly further beyond that in a spirit of loving protection, stopping, if at all, only in their own deaths.
Cultivating that spirit in a technical art that brings even our enemy within that loving protection in a concrete way is leap of imagination or inspiration that generations will yet thank O-Sensei for developing and transmitting, if we but maintain it and the spirit in which in originated.
We must in our own small way keep on the path, we must by our teaching pass on to others what we have gained. I believe Aikido is unique in the realm of 'martial arts' call it what you will, for the reason given in Ericks quote above.
Aikido - 'The way of the peaceful warrior', a reasonable title for an art that has such modern relevance.
I wish you all a good easter - however you choose to spend it.