Graham, thanks for answering my questions. I do appreciate and respect you for that.
Then you ask how does the physical practice of Aikido help us in alleviating suffering. My answer is Physical practice doesn't. Aikido is not a physical practice to me, it is a spiritual practice, a practice of applying spiritual principles in order to finally see just how real and concrete they actually are. Then we can look at life from a new view which actually gives better solutions.
I think this sums up our differences, and really based on this paragraph alone, tells me that you and I are on two different planes.
Aikido for me is physical and real as is any form of budo. The intent and courage to cause harm must be present and real if necessary. For me, it is important to be able, at least mentally to be able to stand up and STOP violence. The more skill we have, the more we can influence the outcome in a more skillfull way to include non-violent ways.
If the practice ignores this aspect and is simply an allegory for what I consider to be a bastardization of philosophy and a revisionistic practice that dismissing the importance of the physical, then you are no longer practicing budo, martial art, or aikido, but something else.
Again, I have no issue with your intentions for peace, I think we'd share the same vision and endstate, but to me, what you are practicing has nothing to do with martial arts or budo. Budo has a very specific focus in its application. It is really a shame IMO that it goes misunderstood.
So, I think at this point, I have beat this to death and there really is nothing more I can say on the subject as it is very apparent to me that we are practicing two entirely separate things.
Thanks for the discussion and debate Graham.