(Following a comment from 'David' yesterday...)
There seems to be a contradiction between the idea that we are all agents - with free will, able to make up our own minds etc; with the observation that we cannot control our own thoughts. in other words, we observe that thoughts come to us unwanted, intrusive thoughts - and that we cannot hold our attention onto things for very long, but our thoughts drift away onto other subjects.
The apparent contradiction is that agency seems to require control of thinking, yet we are not able to control our thinking.
My understanding is that this apparent contradiction arises from a false and incoherent model of thinking. 'Control isn't the right word' (because if thinking is controlled, then it is not free) but in this contradiction, we are assuming that freedom of thinking requires that consciousness always has full control of what we think (else it would not be free, but just controlled).
We are falling into a false dichotomy: either thinking is controlled, in which case it is not free; or esle thinking is not controlled, in which case it is random, purposeless. Or perhaps we are saying - either thinking is controlled and unfree; or else it is just epiphenomenal mental activity that just follows chains of inner association - in which case it is hardly 'thinking' at all.
Modern thinking allows only two options - caused/ controlled or uncaused/ random - neither of which is free.
Can I do better? Well, first - we are not always free agents; but we may sometimes be free agents. It is pssible for the human organism to be unfree in its behaviour (and thinking); or to be free.
But what is free, agent thinking?
That which does the free thinking is the Self. That which is conscious of the content of thinking is Consciousness, and Consciousness is different from the Self. Consciousness 'observes' thinking that is 'coming-out-of' the Self.
The Self is a divine entity, a Being - in physics terms the Self it is a self-generating process. (A process that generates itself.) That process is real thinking, free thinking.
Because the Self is self-generating, thinking is Not merely a product of external influences.
We cannot know what is going-on 'inside' the Self. If we could understand its 'inner workings', it would not be the Self, and it would not be free. Analysis must stop at the Self.
In other words, Beings are primary units of reality, ultimate units that cannot be further analysed. Reality is made-of Beings (among other things). Beings think (among other things).
Therefore the 'control' of thinking contradiction, arises from a distorted expression of our knowledge that the thinking of Beings is a primary reality, and that thinking is the primary manifestation of Beings.