This exposition retraces the four distinct lessons early man derived from his intimate contact with nature as individual and as species. Nature taught man four archetypal lessons centered on omnipresent phenomena: camouflage, metamorphosis, the limits of life, and symbiosis. Abundant evidence for these modes of perception, imagination, and thinking is found in ancient and modern writing. This text describes each lesson nature taught man and explains how each is distinctly present in language, writing strategies, literature, poetics, and literary theories. Together, these modes compose the epistemology man has used over the millennia.