Hey BY, you're aware that Wilber makes a similar critique about his early work himself now, right? I think your criticism of the earlier stuff has a lot to it.
Wilber's recent stuff (last 8 years or so) doesn't put any of the spiritual states at the end of the developmental sequence. These days (since at least Boomeritis) he tends to arrange the structural stages and the states on this picture he refers to as the "Wilber-Combs Lattice"
I wasn't familiar with this lattice, and so went to the link provided to Wilber's intro essay "What is Integral Spirituality", published in 2005, so it represents very recent Wilber views. In it he says:
"Even transcendental knowledge is a four-quadrant affair: the quadranbts don't just go all the way up, they go all they way down as well. It's turtles all the down, and turtles all the way up."
That's clearly a dualistic viewpoint about transcendentalism, and it gives the impression that even non-dualism is not only dualistic, but quadristic in nature.
Wilber seems to be under the sway of both modernism and post-modernism. Atheism, if you will. He sees these disciplines as having swept the rug out from under even the greatest of spiritual traditions:
"We start with the simple observation that the "metaphysics" of the spiritual traditions have been thoroughly trashed by both modernist and postmodernist epistemologies, and there has as yet arisen nothing as compelling to take their place."
So this tells us where Wibler is coming from. He thinks that the great non-dual traditions need to by reworked to make them safe and acceptable to post-modernist minds. I disagree. I think post-modernism needs to get that poker out of its ass and bow its head to the floor, and recognize the greater meanings of the non-dual traditions. But that's as silly as saying that Kings and Princes and Presidents and Dictators need to bow down to non-dualism. It's not exactly going to happen.
Wilber also thinks that the postmodernists have come up with devastating critiques of non-dualism and transcendentalism that can't survive without his AQAL. That too is false. His AQAL does a disservice to both. I have nothing against postmodernism. Some of it is downright silly, but some of it is not. The problem is that it has very little application to non-dualist teachings. It doesn't arise from them, it doesn't address them, and only Wilber seems to think it must. Now, Wilber has tried to mix the two, he's done his best, but frankly it doesn't work. He treats non-dualism as if it is just one among many views. It isn't. It's a singular way of looking at reality, not a multiplex of philsophies. In WIlber's view, that's what makes it partial and in need of modification by other views, bringing it into the tent so to speak, trying to get it to talk to the other views. But this dog just won't hunt. Non-dualism isn't just another view. If non-dualism is true, then only non-dualism is true. If non-dualism is false, then why bring it into the tent at all? The non-dual truth states that all viewpoints are illusory, all philosophies are mere mind, all objects and experience are unnecessary apparitions in transcendental consciousness, and only the Singular Self is real.
The problem there is that by Wilber's AQAL model, this Self-Realization is just an extreme exclusivity of the UL quadrant. And I think that is how WIlber sees non-dualism, as "imbalanced" and in need of balance by the other quadrants. By non-dualism's teachings, the whole of AQAL ia an illusion, including the UL quadrant. I don't see how they are compatible. Putting transcendentalism into Wilber's model means changing it, modifying it using dualistic postmodern tools that make it into something that isn't non-dualism. Not that non-dual realizers much care what Wilber does, but Wilber ought to care what they teach if he is going to try to build a model that aims at non-dual realization. Which is what Wilber seems to be trying to do, ultimately, and also personally. I don't see that it works for either.
As I've said, Wilber is trying to have his cake and eat it. He believes passionately in both developmentalism and non-dualism, and the two simply don't mix, certainly not in the manner he has tried to conceive of. It might be worth a try to find commonality without changing either one in the process, but Wilber knows that won't work, so he thinks he can just change non-dualis into a new, improved, all-inclusive version and actually make things better. Sorry, this just screws up both sides of the equation.
It would be better for Wilber to keep his two passions separate. Its fine to pursue developmental growth. It's also fine to pursue non-dual realization. One won't reach the ultimate advances in either one this way, but one will at least not be greatly deluded about things. Those who become great realizers dont' do both, they just pursue non-dual realizaiton. And those who achieve great feats of development don't usually pay much heed to non-dual notions. They go for the dualistic achievements. Nothing wrong with that. We all do what we gotta do. But it's a formula for frustration to try to combine both.
Now maybe I'm missing some of the nuances of Wilber's new views. Maybe the piece I referred to was just not very complete. If anyone knows more about Wilber's views on non-dualism, let me know. For now though I can't really say I see any great change.