Voyage Intemporel – Timeless Voyage – Buddhism in Space?

You can’t say it’s not imaginative. Voyage Intemporel is an early BD (1982) of Sergio Macedo’s that depicts a realm of celestial beings who take an interest in the spiritual evolution of life on Earth and become alarmed when humankind deviates off the plot down pathways of tyranny, war, and black magic. They intervene by facilitating the conception of a messianic individual, Yogan, who experiences enlightenment as a young man and becomes the leader of a cult of enlightened young hippies whose destiny ultimately lies beyond the earth. The English edition of the album is called Timeless Voyage.

Macedo’s visuals depicting the celestial realm are a weird mixture of Buddhist-style imagery – lotus flowers, stupas, radiant beings with glowing chakras – and science fiction: galaxies, asteroids, dinosaurs, spaceships. Moreover, Appel Guery’s text is laden with technobabble, especially the discourse of the celestial beings, who communicate in the tones of computer programs. In the early 1980s computers were just starting to become part of everyday life, so I suppose it rides the wave of the zeitgeist at that time to interpret a cosmic spirituality in quasi-materialist terms, i.e. as science fiction. For me the combination is pretty jarring.

I do wonder if there’s a clash of sensibility between writer and illustrator. Macedo’s other BDs are written by him as well as illustrated by him. They contain none of the science fiction apparatus of Voyage Intemporel and express a consistently spiritual interpretation of the world, in which he gives free rein to his delight in sensual images of paradise. The stories in those works are also more redemptive, if less ambitious in scale, than Guery’s dystopian vision of the future in which salvation must ultimately be reached via a flying saucer.

On a personal note: I couldn’t noticing that as Yogan gets older, and more spiritually empowered, his receding hairline exposes an ever more prominent frontal part of his cranium. It caught my attention because something similar has been happening to me the last couple of years, though I doubt that it possesses the same spiritual significance!

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