One more idea for you Matthew. As I talk about and state about the spiritual side I'll put this perspective into it.
Spiritually you can learn to keep and remain in calmness, stillness, peacefulness, loving and with harmony. Now, this includes staying stable as such whilst observing and accepting and understanding the continuous state of flux, of continuous change in the physical universe.
This is Aikido in action from my view. The opponent being that state of flux you as a calm self harmonize with and handle and bring back to a state of peace.
So these spiritual realities don't take you away from physical but rather put you in better communication with and thus happier.
I'm curious how you would reconcile this, from Gaku Homma, undeniably one of the last of the uchi-deshi ...
In the last few years of his life, the Founder sometimes fell prey to spontaneous bursts of anger, and everyone was fearful of his outbursts. Eventually high ranking shihan or shidoin quit coming to visit the Founder at Iwama all together. Fearful of his wrath, if a shihan did venture to Iwama to visit they would ask the late Morihiro Saito Shihan, who lived on the premises, about the Founder's mood and state of being before asking for an audience. If he was not in good sorts, they would leave quietly without seeing him, stopping only for a moment at the dojo altar to leave a gift of sake and a donation on their way out.
In those last years, even at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, when I would arrive with the Founder as his otomo (attendant), the staff would ask me first how the Founder was feeling that day. If I told them the Founder was not in a good mood, shihan and administrators alike would disappear. Everyone was afraid of the Founder's bad temper when he was in these moods. It was a sad experience I had many times in the last years with the Founder.