No offense, but I think that's way off. All rose colored glasses aside, he could be immensely egotistical.
Remember the quotation that Dan cited - he specifically said that his power did not come from religion. Also, remember that he specifically discouraged people from studying his religion.
As for taking it to a "higher" level - that kind of thinking is ultimately, I think, misleading, and perpetuates a misunderstanding of where his Aiki came from.
For example, check out this translation of a scroll hanging in one of the most conservative Daito-ryu dojo around - one that I can guarantee was not influenced in any way by Ueshiba:
It is rather telling that he also expanded to the larger picture as was typical with the work under discussion in Asia. We can see that from Sagawa and in the closing comments of Takeda in his newspaper interview on Aikido Journal. For those who are not members, AJ remains the best $30 you can spend for information on Aikido. Imagine where people would be in the art if they actually studied its past.
The root of the problem for so many n the soft arts
; Daito ryu Aikido, taiji etc., is their misunderstanding of the word "power." It's why they run away from it. They are stuck in the same understanding they walked in the door with; that power is force to topple someone or something. The mystery
for so many of these
people, is turned into the wonder
for those who let go of their strength to walk into real power, once they have discovered in yo. And that has nothing to do with the type of power so many are discussing. Here we are in 2011, and still so many Aikido-ka do not know what soft power truly is. For those in hot pursuit of in yo ho, what makes power in them is aiki in them.
Then and only then, can it be adequately expressed outside
It wasn't only Ueshiba who "used" his understanding of in/yo to fuel his religion, I believe he was used by
Deguchi, at every opportunity. It seems at every turn, from getting him a bigger house, to always talking to him and about him regarding his power (not his own mind you) that in itself makes yet another case for Ueshiba's own later admontions to his deshi about in yo ho.
Like Deguchi, many modern adepts have obviously never really embraced in/yo ho, they have no real concept of it in use, and therefore no real power to affect the universe, much less the kid attacking them in the dojo. Their understanding is focusing on the yin side of yang and not expressing the balance he always discussed. Their idea of soft is...vacant, evading, or leading. This is a well known problem in Asian students and Westerners alike, it's yang or all yin. In dealing with the energy of an attacker; their attempts to resolve duality are all external
Thus their achievement of a balanced state is outside of them and not inside.
It was the blending of the two that made manifest Ueshiba's ability and why he said it perfected his religion and not the other way round. Hence In yo ho, comes before and is combined with spiritual
power. Apparently he considered that spiritual power as
budo, is not an acceptable substitute for