More obviously unique


The conventional guideline for correct language is to use the word unique without the qualifiers of more or less. It is a binary situation. Something is either unique or not, so adding more or less is unnecessary.

Unique. Don’t use qualifiers (more, most, less) with unique. It means without equal or the only one of its kind.

But from another perspective, it is obvious that everything is unique. Anything is uniquely itself, different from anything else. Even a thought is uniquely itself, arising here and now, even if its content looks similar to the content of a thought no longer here.

In that context, it does make sense to say that something is more unique or less unique. Everything is already unique, so we can instead focus on the degree of uniqueness and how obviously unique it is in a more conventional sense. Something that really stands out is more obviously unique than something that does not, so it is more unique, or strikingly or super or [any adjective implying degree] unique.

How does this relate to the usual topics of this blog?

For one, it illustrates how there is a grain of truth in the reversals of any statement, even in language guidelines…!

More importantly, it helps us explore how thoughts can make something look the same even if they clearly are not. Sameness comes only from the inside of a thought, and in our immediate awareness everything is new, fresh and different.

It helps us see how we sometimes adopt conventional guidelines, in language and otherwise, without questioning them, or see what is more true for us.

And it helps us notice how we relate to those conventional guidelines. What happens when I have the idea that I should follow the guideline? What is the worst that could happen if I don’t follow it? What comes up for me if I decide to follow what is more true for me? Who would I be if I didn’t have the idea that I should follow the guideline?

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