The term indicates that all things in heaven and on earth do not depend on external forces. Rather, they take shape and change by themselves independently. It was put forward by Guo Xiang in his Annotations on Zhuangzi. Specifically, the term contains three meanings. Firstly, all things in heaven and on earth form and change naturally. Secondly, all things in heaven and on earth form and change independent of one another. Thirdly, all things in heaven and on earth form and change suddenly, without any reason or purpose. The concept of self-driven development denies the existence of a creator. At the same time, it also denies that one thing causes the occurrence and existence of another. However, according to this concept, all things in the universe, naturally formed, co-exist in harmony.
All that which comes into existence on its own neither depends on external laws nor does it depend internally on itself. Without any reason it came into being by itself and remains independent. (Guo Xiang: Annotations on Zhuangzi)