Perhaps you've heard of Agape love. Perfect love.
Love for loves sake, self-sacrificing unconditional perfect love.
"The tradition of agape, or unconditional love, is not exclusive to any
one religion. Actually, it is a major underlying principle found in
religions worldwide. The concept of altruistic love is one that
challenges the spiritual person to "love your enemies," or to "love
without thought of return." It is a love that flows out to others in the
form of compassion, kindness, tenderness, and charitable giving." Sir John Templeton http://templetonpress.org/content/agape-love
Agape love comes from God. It is Gods nature (God is perfect Love and Agape love is the only true perfect love). As humans, we cannot be Agape love. We cannot generate Agape love ourselves because we are not Agape love. We are not God. We are human. We can generate only human love, and as humans we are conditional. We are constricted by time, a body, and this planet. Thus, we are constricted to many needs and are not capable of overcoming those on our own. Its not in our nature.
But God is unconditional. His nature is to be everywhere and in everything, and from him in him and through him all things have come to be. He is by definition, perfect Love, and so Agape love (perfect love) is by definition, God.
And God extends it to us.
And so, it is, through Gods grace, that we are able to participate in Agape love - not only by receiving Agape love from God whenever we choose to, but also by allowing Agape love to flow through us.
Emptying your heart and your thoughts of anything that could inhibit Agape love from being poured into you and flowing out of you, brings you closer to God.
The ancients were right when they taught to overcome thoughts in order to reach eternal bliss. It is only when you are empty that Agape love can fill you. And so, yes, it does bring you closer to God to be empty of thoughts that conflict with Agape love, and to open your heart to be filled with God.
I hope I try to do it every day.