“Nothing strengthens the ego more than being right. Being right is identification with a mental position—a perspective, an opinion, a judgment, a story. For you to be right, of course, you need someone else to be wrong, and so the ego loves to make wrong in order to be right. Not only a person but also a situation can be made wrong through complaining and reactivity.” Eckhart Tolle (from The Power of now)
The Ego is a tension. Period. We can feel a tension in the body. A massage therapist can feel it, press on it, and release it. But the Ego since its birth from infancy is experienced as a tension between me and the external world. This tension rises and falls, small and great, mild to a panic. We thing this is normal. If we were to have a mystical experience of absolutely no tension—the peace that passes understanding—it would be transformative because from then on we would know our sense of separate self is a painful tension. That is the motivation for the spiritual path to remove the tension permanently. But what we settle for usually, is temporary relief through short lived conquest or achievement of desire, which itself is a tension.