Nicholas, I really liked your list. I thought it was clear and on target. I was a little confused as to exactly what this one meant, however. Can you elaborate on it?
Mary, I will try: What I mean is that it seems evident to me that Morihei Ueshiba was strongly, if not decisively, motivated by religious motives, occasionally culminating in important mystic (for lack of a better word) experiences - one with the universe and the like. At least in his later years, they seem to have been his primary motivation, and they definitely seem to have been a major turning point and legitimation in his own narrative about his art.
Now I often find that people who are exclusively interested in the martial in the first place will argue that that motivation of his, and the corresponding practices, are somewhat not relevant for his fighting skills and his art.
Almost regardless of what he himself said about it (there are a couple of contradictory standard quotes that can be inserted here), I think it is incorrect, in the attempt to reconstruct the product of the life of the man, to just parcel out the things one likes and is interested in (often: his fighting skills), and leave out the ones that one is less comfortable with (e.g. his mysticism). As if a person's life could be split up like that.
BTW, reformulating this makes me notice that this is of course the mirror image of the often rightly criticised thought pattern "oh, I have done meditation, blissful stuff - I guess I know what O-Sensei meant, I have felt one with the universe, let's forget about the martial side." So thanks. It applies both ways.
Or, shorter: with the same dedicated practice that is needed make "fist in face" possible, "one with the universe" can also be made possible. It's not that one is the hallmark of realism and the other one only for saints of times passed.
Hm. Hope I made myself clearer...