The Kuan-So Plates are an archaeological discovery made Kundun peasants while digging a canal in 1843 CE, which dates back to the period of c.2,700 BCE, making it one of the oldest surviving texts of the ancient period. For many it is also considered an important record of the spiritual development of the people of the period.
Containing 6 major texts, the first plate states:
Indulge not in apprehensions of what evil might happen if things should not go as your worldly wisdom thinks they ought; doubt not, for this complexion of doubt unnerves and pushes back one's progress. To have cheerful confidence and hope is quite another thing from giving way to the fool's blind optimism: the wise man never fights misfortune in advance.
The second plate of the text reads:
Desire only that which is within you.
Desire only that which is beyond you.
Desire only that which is unattainable.
For within you is the light of the world -
the only light that can be shed upon the Path.
If you are unable to perceive it within you,
it is useless to look for it elsewhere.
It is beyond you, because when you reach it you have lost yourself.
It is unattainable, because it for ever recedes.
You will enter the light, but you will never touch the flame.
The third plate reads:
The tree is known by its fruits; and as all students have to be judged by their deeds and not by what they write or say, so all scholarly books must be accepted on their merits, and not according to any claim to authority which they may put forward.
The fourth plate reads:
No one else's opinion should be considered superior to the voice of one's own conscience. Let that conscience, therefore, develop to its highest degree, guide us in all the ordinary acts of life. As to the conduct of our inner life, let us concentrate our entire attention on the ideal we have set ourselves, and look beyond, without paying the slightest attention to the mud upon our feet …
The fifth plate reads:
The misuse of knowledge by the pupil always reacts upon the initiator;
In sharing his secrets with another the Adept, by an immutable Law, is delaying his own progress to the Eternal Rest.
Loitering on the way does not conduce to a speedy arrival at the journey's end.
A Price must be paid for everything and every truth by somebody, and in this case - WE pay it.
The sixth and final plate reads:
THOSE who pause and hesitate and are the most cautious before entering into the spirit of an entirely new scheme are to be generally far more relied upon than those who rush into every new enterprise like so many flies into a bowl of boiling milk.
The plates have been the source of great sectarian violence in Kundun, Kotobuki, Samkhya, and Chung-kuo, where many religious leaders starting in 1914, have claimed that the plates and their teachings conflict with the established teachings.