Re: Dobson and Arikawa Sensei
George, I agree that there should be a way to really transmit some form of foundation over the generations, but I also believe that for most people it doesn't matter. They simply don't train nearly enough (frequently and timewise) and/or take enough responsibility for their own training to have a chance to reach those levels of "mastery". Even if some of them do; without the talent they might become good but not brilliant.
An interesting point, as you wrote, is that most aikido people today simply have no idea of what mastery in aikido is. Just out of the sheer number exponents today vs. the number of people at these elevated levels living today. To some level I can understand Arikawa's view: He couldn't care less if people didn't understand him or put the time/energy in to make a different. It was those who did get it and had the skill that would make a different. And nothing he would say would change that.