I think one main objection to the idea of no control is that it seems as one friend asked me "it is all on automatic, and there is nothing to do to influence it for better or worse?"
This needs the whole of the Patthana to explain it so I just give some hints. Your comment about determinism/freewill earlier is the question that haunts all aspects of philosophy and always will. Even the Christians used to argue it; cf. the debates betwen Erasmus and Luther .
To some extent I think trying to go onto automatic or something because one knows that theoretically there is no-self is like talking about letting go: only words.
As you know the crucial factor in the eight fold path is samma-ditthi, right view; and as you also know this is understanding that comprehends the real nature of dhammas that arise at the 6doors. This type of insight depends most crucially on hearing correct Dhamma from the Buddha or his disciples and reflecting in a correct and profound way on it. There are other factors listed such as discussion on subtle points which are said to assist insight.
Now these factors all depend to some degree on conditions that arise now, however they are also conditioned partly by conditions from the past. Even hearing deep Dhamma is to some extent a matter of vipaka conditioned by kamma a past factor. How fast and how deep one understands what one hears is largely conditioned by pubbekata punnata (merit done in the past).
If one has studied Dhamma for some time there should be growing appreciation that hearing and considering it leads to more understanding and detachment: This then conditions effort to hear more, consider more and 'let go' more and these are new conditions arising in the present, but built on past ones. Nevertheless, it doesn't always work that way; why does one person go so fast, so far and another doesn't. Venerable Sunnakhata was the Buddha's attendant before Ananda. He listened to Dhamma and attained Jhana, even to the degree of having special powers of hearing. But he eventually left the Buddha, spoke badly of the Dhamma, and followed ascetics who used to live a life of severe ascetism, copying dogs (dog-duty ascetics). Why, when he had all this going for him? The commentary says that this man had lived 500 consecutive past lives as a ascetic and had these tendencies. Even the Buddha's teaching couldn't overcome them. And so we see how dependent past factors are in conditioning behaviour. Of course Sunnakhata made choices, he had volitional control over what he did but what he couldn't see was that ditthi (wrong view)and lobha were underlying all his choices; such a hard delusion to see through.
In fact no one can stop volition because it is a conditioned dhamma. But when volition, along with other dhammas, is properly understood (a long process) there is detachment from taking volition for self. Sometimes because the results from this profound path are not quickly apparent one might lose confidence and look for something faster. However, I think other ways are dependent on conditions too. And if those conditions should be interrupted one might find that while they thought they were getting to the disease they were really only applying a palliative to the symptoms.
I do believe this rather radical way of seeing into the anattaness of all dhammas gradually gives a type of detachment that isn't shaken by anything. One doesn't expect any dhamma to give satisfaction because they are inherently unstable and every change, whether for better or worse, simply confirms this - at the micro and macro level. There has to be study directly of dhammas for any real insight - but this type of study is only real if it is done without desire. It goes against our natural instincts but the type of effort needed is something more profound than mere trying or watching.
While you are reading Dhamma there may be effort arising along with samadhi- concentration - that help any understanding that is arising.. These factors are conditioned by past paccaya (conditions), some of them very recent, and some I am sure from long ago when there was the development of wisdom in other lives. However , those past conditions aren't enough by themselves to invoke more insight and so other factors , especially hearing Dhamma, from the present are needed.
Also it is not that being in quiet places isn't helpful. In fact it can be very useful to be secluded and alone where there is time to devote oneself to contemplation. But this is a minor factor and not comparable to the main one of hearing Dhamma because without that ones 'contemplation' will be distorted by view. There are other factors helpful to wisdom also. Here is something from the Satipatthana sutta commentary: "Six things lead to the arising of this enlightenment factor(wisdom): Inquiring about the aggregates and so forth; the purification of the basis (namely, the cleaning of the body, clothes and so forth); imparting evenness to the (five spiritual) controlling faculties; avoiding the ignorant; associating with the wise; reflecting on the profound difference of the hard-to-perceive processes of the aggregates, modes (or elements), sense-bases and so forth; and the inclining (sloping, bending) towards the development of the enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects.
Inquiring about the aggregates and so forth means: seeking the meaning of the aggregates, the modes (or elements), sense-bases, controlling faculties, powers, enlightenment factors, way factors, absorption factors, the meditation for quietude, and the meditation for insight by asking for explanation of knotty points regarding these things in the Five Nikayas with the commentaries from teachers of the Dhamma.
Purification of the basis is the cleaning of the personal basis: the body, and of the impersonal basis: clothes and dwelling place. The flame of a lamp is unclear when its wick, oil and container are dirty; the wick splutters, flickers; but the flame of a lamp that has a clean wick, oil and container is clear and the wick does not spit; it burns smoothly. So it is with knowledge. Knowing that arises out of the mind and mental qualities which are in dirty external and internal surroundings is apt to be impure, too, but the knowledge that arises under clean conditions is apt to be pure. In this way cleanliness leads to the growth of this enlightenment factor which comprises knowledge.
Personal cleanliness is impaired by the excessive length of hair of the head, nails, hair of the body, by the excess of humours, and by the dirt of perspiration; cleanliness of impersonal or external things is impaired when robes are worn out, dirty and smelly, and when the house where one lives is dirty, soiled and untidy. So personal cleanliness should be secured by shaving, hair-cutting, nail-paring, the use of pectoral emetics and of purgatives which make the body light, and by shampooing, bathing and doing other necessary things, at the proper time. In similar way external cleanliness should be brought about by darning, washing and dyeing one's robes, and by smearing the floor of one's house with clay and the like to smoothen and clean it, and by doing other necessary things to keep the house clean and tidy. "endquote