Hi Mark. Well said. My Aikido is indeed mostly influenced by Ki Aikido principles and I have found by doing as you say I come across realizations as to what O'Sensei meant when he said certain things.
This has always been my experience, I relate it to the buddhist story of the lotus.
Thus I have what he said always in mind as targets of understanding. 'They come, I meet, I turn, they follow.' That for instance now makes perfect sense, so much in one sentence.
Then there are principles he mentioned which to me equal true 'power' and yet are hardly ever mentioned except as being 'out there' and yet they are very real and essential to his Aikido. For example the principle of non-resistance. This alone rules out competition for it transcends it. From this I have found non-oppositional makes sense, as does non-aggression and also leads to the principle of non-disturbance.
These can all be applied and taught and practiced especially from the viewpoint of energy and motion.
The key to me is it must be practiced from the viewpoint and purpose of harmonizing with and being with. Thus there is no against, there is only the path to true power and that power is harmony.
for me the principle of non-resistance or no- contention is one of the holy grail type principles of aikido to embody and attain. It is not easy even when you have spent your time practicing in one of the 'softer' styles with an exceptional teacher. Once you become even reasonably adept at being relaxed and co-ordinated, it is fairly easy to start stopping nage's exercise, as they try to use strength they clash with your co-ordination. Going beyond this to being completely non resistant is a challenge, but one worth seeking. I have found once this is accepted there is nothing to fight, harmony of energy and motion can be achieved.
You are correct it is a transcendent state.