If it takes a certain amount of "rewiring" from regular old jujutsu to start building aiki, how likely is it that Ueshiba learned all of his aiki from Takeda in the Ayabe period?
Mark, one of the problems in the Takeda discussion is something I run into a lot with Asians who do martial arts. The assumption is that they start at the same level as westerners, so, for example, they're totally ignorant until someone shows them how to start training, and so on. In reality, Asian martial-arts practitioners have often been exposed (at least academically) to a lot of background chatter, discussions, ki-demonstrations, and so on from a number of sources.... so they're not going into the discussion totally blind/ignorant like a lot of westerners who simply have/had no idea about the topic.
So what I'm suggesting is that it's much harder to definitively pinpoint where Ueshiba got all of his information. Besides Takeda being a source, I'll bet Ueshiba was well aware of the general topic and knew where to find other experts he might consult, and so on. If you compare that situation with the average westerner who has only become aware of the topic and general-idea of the skills in the last couple of years, it's not really an appropriate comparison to think of Ueshiba to have been "turned on to ki skills" in the same sudden way. I doubt that it was like that at all.
My 2 cents.