Re: The Descent of Aiki
interesting and courageous attempt. When I think about these things I mostly get stuck one step earlier: that I am doubtful that descriptions (in language) of physical sensations - even when the applicability of those sensations can get tested - are probably never quite accurate enough to follow this stuff reliably through history, where we have only hearsay about application. They are necessarily heavily overshadowed by the (necessary) assumption that one's own experience is what is being described in the historical documents - or not. Which is impossible to verify. On top of that all the diverging interests of the people that told the stories then and do the research now...
Now I suppose it can be verified that a certain minute movement has been transmitted between two living people. But I am sceptical about historical reconstructions. More so when the original descriptions were in highly metaphorical languages, and embedded in complicated cosmologies.
So I often ask myself whether history here is really worth anything but as a source of personal motivation and inspiration.
Sorry for undercutting your questions... which I still think are interesting, but unanswerable. But I am looking forward to anybody else's attempts.