So a very wise and able man spoke nonsense? I see you don't know what I'm talking about. No Problem.
A spiritual perspective makes what he said sound very sensible.
Just a note to add perspective....I had casual conversations with two senior American instructors back in the 80's who spend some direct time with Ueshiba Morihei during the 60's when they were training in Japan.... and one of comments made (as an aside) was that none of the younger uchi deshi there at the time had any concerns with these gentlemen spending talking time alone O Sensei because none of them could really understand what he was saying anyway. The impression I got was the uchi deshi were more concerned with mat time....