How can one practice Aikido and not achieve a harmonious balance between your two "approaches", since they both grow naturally from the practice of a single art?
I understand that you practice Ki-Aikido? (Or an offshoot of it?)
In the Ki-Aikido that is taught in Germany and follows Yoshigasaki dōshu (his nomenclature) the waza are explicetly designed to not harm the attacker
. (For example kote gaeshi was transformed into kote oroshi, other techniques underwent a comparable process aswell.) In the Ki-Aikido of Yoshigasaki dōshu this goes so far that there is even no kuzushi, because breaking balance could cause bad feelings.
In this way of practice the peacefullnes, whatever that means in detail, is direct part of what you practice and do, it is part of the waza itself.
In the (aikikai) aikidō I did for more then ten years with french teachers, waza were and are explitely designed to harm the attacker
. The techniques clearly had and have hat potential and it was part of the teaching.
During my very first seminar, nearly 20 years ago now, I learned that everything starts with atemi to the larynx of uke by tori. And that the waza develop from uke's reaction to tori's atemi. Same with other situations: tori does atemi, intending to knock out uke. If this works, no more aikidō technique is needed.
In this way of practice the peacefulness, whatever that means in detail, is not part of the waza itself but has to be added by tori due to his personal development. ( I want to make clear that all teachers I worked with until now where very spiritual, peacefull and humble persons.)
So different ways of practice, different ways of understanding one's practice.
A lot of things that you or Mary seem to find self-evident when practicing AIKIDO have never been a part or an issue of my practice.
What grows naturally from practice seems to differ depending to the understanding of one's practice.