This thread is popcorntastic.
Great comments Keith. Thanks.
I would say that in my own experience many people I've met in Aikido were really genuinely not interested in developing power. Quite a few liked to talk about gentleness and compassion but were pretty addicted to developing power over others (through strength, politics, social structures, waza...). Some were actively seeking to develop power. I've come to the realization that everyone comes to the their arts looking for different things, and yes, sometimes the reasons we cite are other than we hold in our true hearts.
To David, it's really nice to hear you making the points you are these days. I look back on many of our attempts at conversation in the past and think we would have a better chance of talking about the same things today. Back then, it felt a lot like the conversation you're having with Chris H now. You are both using similar words but talking about different things. Drives you cray!
Chris H, just a clarification. No one (that I'm aware of) is making the claim that Aiki *is the same thing* as internal power. One can have internal power and not use/manifest aiki. Whether or not one can manifest aiki without internal power is a tricky conversation. With my current understanding/definition of aiki, I'd say, "no" but then there are degrees of aiki, just as there are degrees of internal power, so it's a pretty gray question.