'The Full Monty'; Vancouver, Canada‘Model’, a helpful pedagogic distinction, a classification of convenience and nothing more, can be a very loopy business. And why so? Because the very idea of ‘Model’ is itself a Modeled-View.

The Sanskrit word Maya [from the root Ma, ‘to build’] properly interpreted, is a reference to Modeled-Views. It is routinely translated in the literature as ‘Error’, as a form of ‘Illusion’. [Shankaracharya qualified it as: ‘Like an Illusion’.]

So is a ‘Modeled-Understanding’ erroneous? Are Models wrong? Absolutely not. For to say  ‘All Models are in Error’ is itself a statement that originates, can only originate, in a Modeled-View.

There is nothing erroneous or illusory about Model [there is nothing particularly ‘right’ or ‘real’ about them either]. The notions of Error and Illusion are themselves very much Modeled-Views. As is the very notion of ‘Modeled-View’.

‘All Models are Meaningless’-itself a Modeled claim. Work your way through that one. Or simply get to Shūnyam and you will find it has been worked through.


This ward Maya is consequential in the historical Literature. If you stop short of Shūnyam, are not yet gutted of the last shreds of modeled-view, it will take on a life of its own. So the hugely influential Vedanthins talk about an Inner Reality in counterpoint to an Illusory Outer World generated by Maya, a mysterious force that ‘is’ and ‘is not’ [a phrase borrowed from the Diamond Sūtra]. The Madhyamaka Philosophers can talk about ‘Two Truths’ and ‘Profound Liberation’. And so on.

To elaborate breezily on Model as an ‘Interpretation’ and equate a Modeled-Reality to an ‘Interpreted Reality’ is to miss the point. The very notion of ‘Interpretation’ is a Modeled-Idea. As is the notion of ‘Model’. [Fresh Academics and Deconstructionists are the most susceptible to such leaps.]


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