I was wondering if somebody could explain to me the role that intention plays in nonself and the 5 skhandas. I am beginning to understand how our physical features (form), perceptions, feelings, consciousness and mental formations arise and cease on their own accord, and that even our "observing awareness" is nonself. So if all that "we" are arises and ceases from causes and conditions, then where does intention fit in? Are our intentions also the result of causes and conditions, are they part of the five skhandas (mental formations?), or do "we" create them through free will? I understand that Buddha emphasized free will as necessary for the formation of present kamma, but just can't see how that idea can be reconciled with the idea of nonself.
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)