You know, I've tried to control the thoughts and reactions. It doesn't work..
You haven't attained mastery of mind:
Right. There is no Master, no Overlord who can control the mind. Neither mine, nor Self for the Buddha.
"Master Gotama thinks whatever thought he wants to think, and doesn't think any thought he doesn't want to think. He wills any resolve he wants to will, and doesn't will any resolve he doesn't want to will. He has attained mastery of the mind with regard to the pathways of thought.
The above talks about it conventionally from our perspective, just like in DN11 where the Buddha has said that "I feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with the miracle of psychic power
." Obviously the Buddha, being an Arahant, cannot feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted (aṭṭiyāmi harāyāmi jigucchāmi
). It was said conventionally. Same is here.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Thought happens due to impersonal causes and conditions (mano + dhamma
), and not due to some Self. It is all fully conditioned and happens because that is the only way it could happen.
I don't think that there is a provision for achieving a Self that can replace bare conditionality.
"Bhikkhus, consciousness is not self. Were consciousness self, then this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' And since consciousness is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.'http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
Not even the Buddha could have it 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus
.' Same goes for other khandhas.