So Kirkland suggests Jing, Qi, Shen, De, and Dao as coming and going, thus externally gathered.
I may be reading too much Kirkland
I take the view (based on very little other than my own intuition) that its a matter of perspective. In ancient times the realm of the numinous or spirit was viewed as, as real as the ordinary world. It was a dimension into which to travel - just like you travel in the physical world. The shamanist view supports this - the cosmos is divided into various realms including the ghost/spirit and you travel there to do certain tasks, like healing or affecting your enemies and so on. The shaman has to purify and prepare him/herself to be acceptable to spirits and deities (te) as it is by their agency he/she gains powers. The whole thing is seen very much as something external, a spirit, coming and taking over the body of the shaman.
Neidan actually rejected this view and said it is about internal alchemy - in other words vital energies in the body being purified, sublimated and circulated etc. This actually reflects a shift in human consciousness/perspective about the world and themselves. To see it as internal and to some extent controllable is a much more empirical view - something akin to the shift towards rationality in the West.
However, in the end, what is outside and what is inside is a moot point. From the point of view of a sage what is 'outside'? If you see what I mean.
Not sure I expressed that properly - but there you go.