But if Mike-Ark-Dan is taken as the end-game, you miss it.
I think a lot of us still get things confused. There are two very separate things going on ... power and what to do with it (or how to use it). Mr. Salzman is correct in that cultivation of power is not the end game but is a means to the end of the higher goals of aikido (other arts too).
Having the power to make people do what you want (the founders definition of aiki via Adm. Takeshita diary) is a heavy burden and I'm sure the founder was all too aware (my presumption) of the dangers of power intoxication. This may be a heresy but I believe the founders own personal demons are what led him to immerse himself in the esoterica of shinto, kotodama, etc to obtain some measure of control over the demons so they would not use the power for evil.
What do the rest of us do to quell our inner demons once we come to find we have some exceptional power and can influence or outright control people and prevent that spiral into madness that history reveals time and again?
Power kept a secret grows but can become cancerous. Power shared does not diminish but further empowers.Knowledge truly is power and knowledge shared makes us all more powerful and can lead to greater affects for all. We can make nuclear bombs or we can make power plants - all using the same knowledge. It is simply a matter of the choice on how to use the power. What are you working on?