St. Augustine wrote, "Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his chamber.... He came to the marriage-bed of the cross, and there in mounting it, he consummated his marriage. And when he perceived the sighs of the creature, he lovingly gave himself up to the torment in place of his bride, and joined himself to [her] forever"
Now Augustine was hardly a Westian. But that's not my point.
My point is that West did not get this quotation from St. Augustine. He got it from Carl Jung, who got it from his student Marie-Louise von Franz. [NOTE: He may have gotten it from Fulton Sheen, who got it from Carl Jung. See ADDENDUM below - Kevin.]
How do I know this? I know this because this translation of Augustine includes an interpolation by von Franz, and also because this translation (along with the interpolated phrase) appears several times in Jung and is quoted by many authors thereafter, none of whom apparently bothering to check the von Franz translation against the original.
This supports my claim that West is influenced by the neo-Gnostic Jung and by Jung's New Age followers - and that his regard for the Fathers of the Church is filtered through them.
And who is Jung? He is one of the prophets of the New Age movement, and I know him of old. As I wrote recently in an email to a friend ...
I read the entire Collected Works of C. G. Jung before my conversion ... Jung was my only source of spiritual nourishment in those dark days, and I know him quite well. There's some good in Jung, and he himself had a kind of common sense when it came to certain things, and much of what he did served as a correction to the materialism and atheism of Freud - but at his core was not only Gnosticism, but a devotion to the occult in the form of alchemy and the "hieros gamos", the holy wedding, the "mysterium conjunctionis". In Jung's case, this meant a marriage of light and dark. Integrating the "shadow", or the dark side of our nature, was not only crucial to our own psychological development, Jung taught, but to God's. This is really Jung's central thesis: you might call it the Marriage of Heaven and Hell. When pressed, Jung would always say he wasn't talking about God as an objective being, but the symbol of God in our own psyches. But, in effect, the great thesis of his entire body of work is that we must integrate darkness with light - and if the demiurge Yahweh did that, the New Age (aion) would dawn: the morning star would rise in our hearts if and when we could engage in a kind of holy sex, not only physically (which is no big deal for a Gnostic) but spiritually, echoing God's union with the Virgin, which concealed the reconciliation of Yahweh with Satan and the marriage of good and evil, producing a deeper good that transcended "conventional morality".
The New Age is a dangerous thing. It is a blend of Gnosticism and the occult. It has nothing to do with the Real Theology of the Body, which is all about the profound sacramental grace of marriage and which is deeply and thoroughly Christian.
The appeal of West and Westianism is largely the secret thrill of esoteric Gnsoticism and New Age nonsense.
I've been there. I've done that. And I urge you all to stay away.
If you want to read Augustine, read him directly, not filtered through Jung and the Jungians.
If you want to read Pope St. John Paul II, do the same, and avoid the distortion of the lens used by the pop-Catholics of the TOB Institute.
*** ADDENDUM *** West claims he first heard this quotation from Bishop Fulton Sheen. It's possible Sheen got it from Jung. In fact Sheen seems to quote the same translation that includes the interpolated phrase. I've also been told that the quotation is not definitely by St. Augustine, but probably by Caesarius of Arles - and it has been recognized as "pseudo Augustine" for a long time.
But it's not surprising that Sheen read Jung without becoming a Jungian. John Paul II alludes to Jung in a footnote in his Wednesday Audiences. C. S. Lewis also alludes to Jung, but the theology of Sheen, JP2 and Lewis is light years from the theology of Carl Jung.
West, on the other hand, is deeply influenced by Jung's Neo-Gnostic nonsense. Dawn Eden talks about the connection a bit (see p. 29) in her master's thesis.
***ADDENDUM 2 ***
Reader Juniper points out that (in effect) "joined himself to her forever" is not interpolated, but that it follows the body of the quotation and should be joined to it by an ellipsis, which is missing in all online citations I can find. See his comment below.
And see as well my follow up here.