A person’s creative impulse is triggered by one or more externalities, and after conceptualization and artistic treatment, this results in a work of art. Such externalities include both natural sights and scenes from life which can be directly sensed. Ancient Chinese believed that creation resulted from externalities which evoked a desire to create, and that works of art and literature were the result of combining externalities with subjective thinking. This term emphasizes the fundamental idea that artistic creation is rooted in life.
All music originates in people’s hearts. Feelings arise in people’s hearts because externalities cause them to do so. Hearts are moved by externalities, hence they express themselves through music. (The Book of Rites)
People have the seven emotions of joy, anger, sadness, fear, love, loathing and desire. Different emotions are evoked by externalities. Once their emotions are aroused by externalities, people will think of ways to express their inner feelings, and all this happens naturally. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)