Like I said, if aikido in general does not live up to its own declared martial potential and it fails as a path of spiritual enlightenment and character development (based on the leading teachers I've seen), then what is aikido curently for?
I'm sorry if I'm being too blunt but this is just my opinion.
These are the thoughts your comments provoked. They are not intended to insult anyone, or Aikido. Rather, just thoughts milled into comments FWIW.
The wounds of Aikido will never heal, the politics, the denial, the fantasy, the need to find something spiritually and profound, the esoteric and exotic experience, the never ending story of its validity, and the list goes on. Aikido is a hobby, and those who choose it do so for their reasons. Like all hobbies, it is for enjoyment, to enhancement or enrichment, an escape from the daily grind. Like all martial arts, are a hobby that so many people do for those reasons. Aikido isn't a profession, you don't make money from your skill. There is no fighting venue for it, and if there was it would be popular, as it lacks that Rome blood thirsty Gladiator entertainment quality we (not everyone) love so much in MMA.
What is the purpose of Aikido it seems obvious, it is a hobby that it is to enrich, enhance, add our daily routine. It is the same purpose people go fishing, shop, build model trains, join gardening clubs, learn to sing, just to name a few of the other millions of things people do for enjoyment.
"Reflection" is being honest about Aikido and his opinion. I wonder if he is just as honest and blunt with himself and his other art as he is with Aikido?