The term has three different meanings. First, it means human emotions and desires, referring to the natural and instinctive reaction to external circumstances, not a learned response. Second, it refers to specific human emotions and desires, commonly known as the six human emotions: love, hatred, happiness, anger, sadness, and joy, or as the seven human emotions: happiness, anger, sadness, fear, love, hatred, and desire. Third, it means the true state of affairs, or actual situation. For centuries, scholars have had different interpretations on the first two meanings. Some advocated that emotions should be restrained or controlled, while others believed that emotions and desires were natural and should be properly guided.
What are human emotions? They are happiness, anger, sadness, fear, love, hatred, and desire that arise instinctively. (The Book of Rites)
If those in high positions act in good faith, the people will not dare to conceal the truths. (The Analects)