Ted Ehara wrote:
A possible English translation for ki is thought, intent or will. If you want to raise your arm, you think it and it is your thought that raises your arm. The mind moves the body. The mind uses ki to move the body.
I think you're perhaps leaving out a stage. The general statement is along the lines of "heart leads mind, mind leads Ki, Ki leads strength". For instance, imagine you're standing like Tohei does with the forearm in front of chest, ready for your partner to test your stance. Your "heart" refers to your desires, in the sense that you "want" a path or whatever to be in your forearm; the desire for that path triggers the mind to act; the mind makes the Ki go to the forearm; when your partner pushes your arm he feels your "strength" (more or less "kokyu"), which is the manifestation of your Ki. Of course, you'll notice that the idea of a separate "want" or "heart" is a little different than the western view in that we think of our "desires" as also being a part of the "mind".
K. Kaku goes on to summarize his interview with K. Ueshiba in The Mysterious Power of Ki:Because of political differences, some people believe that K. Ueshiba and K. Tohei are ideologically separate. But here you have K. Ueshiba discussing ki as thought, the mind and body as one and being in harmony with the universe. An emphasis on breathing is also stated. This similarity of views could reflect their mutual understanding of the founder.
This is the part of your post that I'm having trouble figuring out. My personal opinion is that there is no ideological difference between what Kohei, Shioda, Ueshiba (M or K) believed... they just had slightly different ways of saying things or expressing the functional aspects of Aikido. I.e., there are no real differences, as far as I see, other than a few incidental details.
I'm on a trip, using a notebook computer with a tiny keyboard, so pardon if my words and thoughts appear a bit terse. It's laziness.