Human Instincts on the Inner Journey

How to Harmonize Our Animal and Spiritual Nature

Primal Power and Liberation

Escalating conflict, an epidemic of disconnection, global instability—everywhere we look we see the unconscious expression of our primal animal instincts playing out in harmful, distorted ways. When these powerful forces constrain the human heart, they cause personal suffering and societal polarization – even for those genuinely committed to spiritual growth.

But what if this intensity contains the exact energy we need to fuel our inner journey and collective evolution?

Most of us have not experienced the most real, liberated expression of our social, sexual, and survival instincts because we learn from culture and religion that our raw emotions and reactive behaviors are bad, good, or even something to be glorified. Now, when we need it most, it’s nearly impossible to find guidance on working with our innate impulses in a way that supports both our realization and how we embody it in our daily lives.

In response to this need, Diamond Approach founders, A. H. Almaas and Karen Johnson, have chosen to offer Human Instincts on the Inner Journey to the public for the very first time. Join them for this 18-module course to learn how to engage your primal power as a pathway to realization.

Getting it just with your mind is not going to work. If you could have thought your way there, you would have been there a long time ago. This work is what allows you to grow, to nurture that seed, to liberate it and bring it forward.”

A Note From A.H. Almaas

An important part of any spiritual teaching is working with our instincts, our inborn biologically based instinctual drives that are important for life and living.

Ten years ago, I offered this instincts material to students in the school as part of an advanced teaching. Even though it is about things everybody experiences all the time and is useful for anyone at any stage of their development, it’s difficult to find teachings to show you how to really work with your instincts. This is one reason why I decided we should make this teaching available to the public through Diamond Approach Online.

Liberation doesn’t happen by moving away from this animal part of ourselves. It happens by liberating the animal to develop into what it means to be a real human being in the world. This development takes our work, it takes attention. We are really opening up the package of ego and how it is sealed off from the true understanding of what it means to become more spiritual in our human beingness.

By engaging in this course, you’ll be going with us on quite a journey, quite an adventure that most people don’t take consciously. With full awareness and engagement, we are going to explore the very basic elements of being human. All of our instincts can be in support of a true life – a life that doesn’t separate between body and spirit, that doesn’t discriminate between one race against another, or one gender against another. Where life is just life that loves life.

A. H. Almaas

This groundbreaking program will help you...

  • Move beyond instinctual distortions and painful patterns caused by past conditioning
  • Harmonize your animal and spiritual natures to help you stay grounded and present in challenging times
  • Learn how to work with your instincts so they flow in healthy, spontaneous, and useful ways
  • Liberate the essence of your primal energy and experience it as fuel for the spiritual journey
  • Gain support for your self-realization and how you live your realization in your daily, human life
  • Connect with an international community of fellow seekers and expert teachers deeply committed to this essential exploration

"Liberation doesn’t happen by liberating from this animal part of ourselves. It’s liberating the animal to develop into what it really means to be a real human being in the world.”

What You’ll Receive When You Enroll...

Access to all 18 pre-recorded guided practices, teachings, and exercises that take the teachings from the intellectual to the experiential.

Five pre-recorded Q&C sessions with A.H. Almaas and Karen Johnson so you can explore the material more deeply.

Lifetime access to recordings of the course content and question and comment sessions so you can review the material for continued growth and integration.

Here’s What You’ll Explore in the Course

The Social Instinct

6 Modules

Human beings are social beings. We are biologically driven to connect, form, and sustain relationships. When this natural instinct is distorted, we see polarization, racism, inequity, painful relational patterns, and communication issues. When liberated, we have access to the powerful potentials hidden in these distortions and the fullness of our heart on a spiritual level. Here are the topics that will support us in developing our social instincts:

  • Module 1: The Enlightenment Drive
  • Module 2: Inclusive Transcendence 
  • Module 3: Dependency Need 
  • Module 4: The Drive for Intimacy 
  • Module 5: Intimate Relationship 
  • Module 6: Friendship  

The Sexual Instinct​

6 Modules

The relationship between sexuality and spirituality has been long debated and different traditions look at this in very different ways. In this course, we will engage with the sexual drive as a way to bring in spiritual energy. What does this vibrant, wild energy look like when liberated? What does this drive teach us about spiritual union and embracing the erotic as a vibrant, sparkling part of our lives? Join us to explore these questions and more in:

  • Module 7: Eros
  • Module 8: Drive for Pleasure
  • Module 9: Drive for Union
  • Module 10: Sexual Union
  • Module 11: Orgasm
  • Module 12: Sexual Tantra

The Survival Instinct

6 Modules

The survival instinct is the most fundamental and necessary of our biological drives. However, the power of this instinct often erupts as reactivity and aggressive behavior that have nothing to do with actual survival. Most of us don’t know how to realize the potential of this drive beyond striving for security and avoiding death. Working with the survival drive unveils the connection between life and death, our core fears, and the nature of consciousness itself. Here’s how we will dive into this ancient instinct:

  • Module 13: Survival Drive
  • Module 14: Sexual and Social Derivatives
  • Module 15: Instinctual Fear
  • Module 16: Self Entity Structure
  • Module 17: Love of Life
  • Module 18: Drive for Deathlessness 

Meet Your Teachers

A.H. Almaas (Hameed Ali)

A.H. Almaas

A.H. Almaas (pen name for Hameed Ali) is the founder of the Diamond Approach, a contemporary teaching that developed within the context of both ancient spiritual teachings and modern depth psychology theories. He has authored more than twenty books on spiritual realization including The Journey of Spiritual Love series, Keys to the Enneagram, the Diamond Heart series, The Pearl Beyond Price, and The Alchemy of Freedom. He is the founder of the Ridhwan School for Spiritual Development, an inner work school devoted to guiding students in the realization of their true spiritual nature.

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is the co-developer of the Diamond Approach as it is taught in the Ridhwan School today, having worked alongside Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) for the last 40 years. Karen was trained in art and dance and began the journey into the spiritual universe at 14 years old with the guidance of her parents. 

First, she was introduced to yoga and meditation and then learned about other forms of spiritual practice, which allowed her to develop her innate paranormal capacities. After attending California College of Arts and Crafts, she befriended Hameed Ali, and with him began a new trajectory into the secrets of the universe of Being, which became the Diamond Approach. Karen also received an MA in psychology at JFK University in 1990 and is the author of two books, The Jeweled Path: The Biography of the Diamond Approach to Inner Realization and The Power of Divine Eros: The Illuminating Force of Love in Everyday Life. She continues to venture into new explorations of the endless realms of our miraculous Nature. 


What is the Ridhwan School?

“Ridhwan” is a Sufi word. It means “satisfied and satisfying.” Our school, home to more than 4,000 students across the globe, has the potential to both help you to be fulfilled and to help others be fulfilled. Students learn to ground, sensitize, recognize, and trust the inherent guidance of Being.

What is the Diamond Approach?

The Diamond Approach is the core teaching of the Ridhwan School, a spiritual path that approaches our ordinary experiences, emotions, and sensations in a friendly way of understanding. This radical acceptance of our situation allows something to come through that puts us in touch with our spirituality.

In the Diamond Approach, everything we experience is utilized as a doorway to our spiritual nature. Rather than negating or seeking to transcend parts of our humanness that are considered barriers to realization, we learn to approach each aspect of our physical, emotional, and mental experience with acceptance and open curiosity to discover its truth. We do meditation and other exercises, but the main method is Diamond Inquiry™: non-judgment of what we’re experiencing, which brings crisp clarity into one’s own truth.

What’s included in the program?

When you register for the program, you’ll receive admission to all 18 modules in the course. You’ll participate in video teachings, guided practices, experiential exercises, and have the opportunity to learn from previous course participants during the pre-recorded questions and comment sessions. 

Are the sessions live or pre-recorded?

The course is pre-recorded and you are welcome to follow the 18-week structure or go at your own pace.

Will you be mailing anything to me or is everything digital?

Once payment is received you will receive an email with your login details, then you are officially in! You will receive everything in your email inbox, including instructions on how to access the course. 

Do you offer financial assistance such as scholarships for online courses?

Yes! To apply for financial assistance for any of our courses, click here to complete a scholarship application

What if I have questions?

We’re here to support you on your journey and help with any questions you may have about enrolling and accessing the course. For support please email Be sure to add this address to your contact list so we don’t end up in your Junk/Spam/Promotions folder. But please check there just in case!

Is there a refund policy?

Yes. If you are dissatisfied with the course —for any reason—simply contact us for a refund within 30 days of purchase.


Are You Ready to Explore Human Instincts on the Inner Journey?

Choose a Payment Option That is Right for You

Standard Tuition

Standard tuition is $225.

Reduced Tuition

In order to make online spiritual support more accessible to our global community, we also offer a reduced tuition option of $150 for anyone who needs it.

"Pay It Forward" Tuition

For those who are able to help, you can “Pay It Forward” by selecting the $300 tuition option and those additional funds go directly to provide scholarship opportunities for others.

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