Aiki: an attempt at definition.
being in the zone.
being by myself, but not alone.
where things slow down
where taking time to mark what's in-here and out-there seems superfluous (and stops the technique!)
what makes misogi worthwhile
being able to forgive oneself and others (this makes aiki attainable)
taking the initiative to assert non-violence (this, derived from the Nishio approach. I think Gandhi and King would have cringed to have their non-violence labelled "passive.")
whatever it is, it must (or should be) more than just harmonizing with "the way things are" or the status quo. Otherwise, blending with any group no matter how racist, righteous, powerful, seductive, artful or bloodthirsty would be an expression of aiki.
Therefore, I would think that a component of a more exact definition would have to be it is more than what "I" or "WE" may perceive it to be-at some particular time.
So, how to define?
So, how are "the way things are"--Really!?
It seems to me that O'Sensei attempted to point to what could make a definition possible, in theory anyway, and that is a goal, a destination, an end: Love.
It seems to me that some "end" or goal must be, in theory at least, be definable if not in creedal form then in the quality of the activities, the results of training, the quality of relationships.
Can an adequate definition of "aiki" be without definitions and distinctions of values? I hope not. Otherwise, when we talk about "being one with the 'universe'", or the "cosmos" can mean anything--and nothing.
Whatever aiki is, I would hope that holding life sacred does not mean treating all goal, all ends, all values as holding equal value because the perception of these heuristics are absolutely--Relative.