"…the ego ridicules the spirit and it should be the other way around…"
We don't realize this because we no longer remember a condition prior to it, but when the mind thinks or calculates it doubts the heart. This doubt casts a pall – a heaviness – over the heart, effectively ruling it out as a usefully functioning leader of action, requiring the mind to make decisions instead. This is disastrous because the mind, eminently capable of working things out in its own time – on its own – is hopeless at working in real time – its timing is always off because it neither listens like the heart nor transforms like the heart. The head uses time whereas the heart makes time.
The mind is naturally lazy and resents both the body and physical work. So, the first stage of taiji: relaxation, pacification, passivization, should be appreciated for what it is: only the first stage. The second stage is very much the opposite: getting into movement and intensity – tension, but a passing tension: energy. For this the work rate needs to be upped, not necessarily the hours but certainly the intensity, the passion, the speed. The Form is no longer a slow, flat, drift through space and time, but a breathing, heaving body, working faster (or slower) than the mind can manage (control). Movement for its own sake – energetic and energized. This is the martial aspect of taiji – fighting the enemy – your own mind; a fight from which spirit naturally rises. The sheer joy of physical work.