Buried for decades in a deep and stony prison, the high priest Tzinacàn at last deciphers the message hidden by his god on the living skin of his jaguar companion. Yet, he is no longer interested in deploying the power of his discovery to rescue himself. This bitter moment in Borges’s La escritura del dios (“The writing of the god”) presents a narrative deconstruction of metaphysical ideas that may well apply to their modern revival in the language of science, as the quest for simple universal rules and the construction of fur patterns as cellular automata are not too far from the cabbalistic concerns of the Mayan prisoner. Even the autopoietic construction of the living risks contributing to the modern process of recasting ontotheology as physiology.

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