Except that he says specifically and repeatedly that this is one of the goals of Aikido, which easily qualifies for your "shortcut to nirvana or union with God.".
I'm not sure how you get around that.
He didn't say anything about an "ultimate, divinely ordained path" - and neither did I.
Oh wait, I know this one!
The way around this is to interpret his words as merely describing a training methodology which can be used to develop physical skills as found in some Chinese martial arts!
You might notice that none of Ueshiba's students actually seem to be transmitting a training methodology like this. But that will work out excellently, when further on down the line, you find yourself frustrated and disenchanted with the Aikido organizations created by those students.
The only problem is that you then have to start looking pretty seriously at Ueshiba himself, and you start to realize he highly regarded people who were instrumental in large-scale murder and very very dirty politics, and was largely okay with the idea that the Japanese should bring Asia into a warm, protective place just under the heel of its boot.
(And other stuff, like certain indignities perpetrated on shoji screens...or was that Deguchi???)