Re: Masakatsu Agatsu
It all depends on what is considered the true self. In the West the self is a rational spirit. While in most eastern philosophy rationality is only considered a function of the true self. Western thinking is all too often too much involved with winning and conquering - the Roman approach to life. At times this makes it for westerners more difficult to understand disciplines like Yoga, Zen, Aikido, etc
The basic idea in Shinto and Aikido is that we already have an original, true self. But as we go through our daily lives things happen to us that prevent us to see our true self. We collect "dust". And as time goes by we mistake the dust for the true self. By performing misogi (and Aikido is misogi) we overcome this made-up self and find our real true self and we find it fully in tact.
Thinking about the meaning of Masakatsu Agatsu, to me it is also important not to over-emphasize the martial aspect (winning, fighting, testing, contests, war) as this feeds the Ara Mitama - which O Sensei considered as not the correct way to go as this holds back the development of the other mitama and prevents musubi..