Nobody will be able to understand O Sensei's personality completely.
It seems to me, that according to preference the focus is either on the one ore on the other aspect.
People trying to explore what O Sensei did and to strike new paths seem to have another understanding now, but it's also like looking through coloured spectacles.
Some of his mythical discourses can be seen under the aspect of physical training instructions, but does this mean that all of his religous statements could be reduced to one aspect?
If he would have been that practically, he could have explained what he did in other words.
He preferred to talk in mythical discourses and aphorisms.
Terry Dobson wrote that he was praying the whole night, when he accomapanied him when travelling.
He was not practicing with weapons in this night, he was praying to the kami.
What this praying meant to him, we will not understand in its entirety.
Not only did he apparently prefer to talk in a metaphorical way, but also didn't he obviously have any reason to change a teaching/learning paradigm that had served him so well.
Apart from that, I doubt that he would have been able to explain this in a way more akin to modern science or even in plain words. If it were that easy, why do the modern proponents of Aiki do stress that this stuff still has to be felt before words can begin to make sense? Why do they say, that even moving pictures can only be helpful after one has a grip on what to look for?
And who knows? Perhaps those nightly prayers that Terry Dobson mentioned served a double purpose, a spiritual and a practical one?