But there is another aspect of love, which some may also have experienced, and which is likewise illustrated in a Persian text. This one is from an ancient Zoroastrian legend of the first parents of the human race, where they are pictured as having sprung from the earth in the form of a single reed, so closely joined that they could not have been told apart. However, in time they separated; and again in time they united, and there were born to them two children, who they loved so tenderly and irresistibly that they ate them up. The mother ate one; the father ate the other; and God, to protect the human race, then reduced the force of man's capacity for love by some ninety-nine per cent. Those first parents thereafter had seven more pairs of children, every one of which, however--thank God!--survived.
--p149, Myths to Live By, Joseph Campbell