In essence, the character ki means:
* spirit, mind, soul, heart
* bent, interest
* mood, feeling
* temper, disposition, nature
* care, attention
* air, atmosphere
* energy, essence, air, indications
* touch, dash, shade, trace
* spark, flash
Here are some contexts in which the word "ki" and some of its derivations are used in everyday Japanese.
Japanese Phrase Kanji Literal Translation Definition
Gen ki "source/foundation of ki." one's health
Byou ki "ill ki." to be sick
Ten ki "heavenly ki." the weather
Ki ga tatsu "the ki stands upright." to get angry
Ki wo tsukeru "to put on (or to have) ki" to be careful; to be attentive
Ki ga kiku "the ki is used a lot" to be empathetic
Ki ga susumanai "the ki does not go forward." to not want to do something
Ki ga sumu "the ki is finished or used up." to feel fulfilled
Ki ga tsuku "to have "ki" put onto you." to notice
Ki ga tsuyoi "the ki is strong." to be headstrong
Ki ga yowai "the ki is weak." to be like a coward
Ki ga tooku naru "the ki goes far away." to become lightheaded
Ki ga nai "to have no ki" to have no interest in something
Ki ga nukeru "the ki becomes missing." to lose hope
Ki ga mijikai "the ki is short." to be short tempered
Ki ni sawaru "something touches the ki." to find something irritating
Ki ni naru "to become ki" to have something nagging or on one's mind
Ki wo kubaru "to pass out ki (to people)" to attend to other people's wishes"
And I would add,O'sensei wanted us to practice in an atmosphere of joy then your Aikido could be funki.
This is from the quoted threat. So have you enough definitions of ki?
Hope you don't mind me coming back to this point.
I like your view. For all those arguing about words and meanings may I say this; With all words there is a BASIC concept. One which leads to all the future variations. I don't see all these intellectual attackers giving a basic concept or meaning for Ki.
One person who decided to take responsibility for this aspect of Aikido was Tohei Sensei. He defined it, gave a rendition of it's use and origins as a word et al. His interview was in english so theres no excuse for those who say yeah but language......
This can be found in Aikijournal-interview with Koichi Tohei (4).
He said it means spirit of the universe. I think this works quite well with your examples of words encompassing the word ki, in fact there are hundreds of them.
Ki is thus spirit according to it's basic concept. Therefore that which comes from, is innate to spirit is Ki.
Kindness is of the spirit and thus ki is kindness. In fact all energies of spirit are Ki so love is also ki, compassion also.
Studying the effect of kindness, an example I gave at the beginning of this thread, showed me the power of kindness rather than just the meaning of the word. Studying the effect of love and what it does a person can learn that it is all embrasive, welcoming, all inclusive, supportive, wow! Thats powerrful isn't it?
Now applying this to Aikido leads to new views and recognitions of what O'Sensei meant. For example love is all embrasive, wecoming, all inclusive, supportive, so what principle did that lead me to in Aikido? Well firstly it helped me with the act of blending with the opponent but then led to a principle of 'be with'
Many talk about connection, I have put this in the form of a principle calle be with. This improved my Aikido tenfold. Suddenly I knew what O'Sensei meant by there is no opponent and similar statements. Thus I say as a golden rule of my Aikido that there is no against in Aikido.
When techniques are not working or I'm stuck I recognise I'M not being with and have gone into opposition and thus separated and gone against and caused my own problem.
Just thought I'd tell you my view, validate your view, and expand on the topic of the thread.