Re: Sword analogy
Well, I'd say there are certainly common themes throughout the martial arts. The beauty with abstract concepts like the ones you listed is that the mind can creatively apply them...that is, imagination and creativity go hand in hand with making sense of them.
Not quite sure what your message was about the yudansha talking about love and fancy technique. If you're saying Aikido technique is overly fancy, based on my personal experience, I'd have to disagree. Many people criticize the big circular movement we often practice with, but don't seem to understand that if you tighten those circles up, the effect is rather profound.
As for your analogy, I can't speak to the hierarchy. It seems to me much of what you decribed happens all at once. As we develop proficiency with the sword, we're developing proficiency with our body, of which the sword is but a tool.
Thinking about things like this is more fun than practical, though. It's good to exercise the mind and get it to think outside the box, but, speaking from a certain amount of experience in this regard, it's certainly no comparison to actually training.