Great to hear from you.
That's good. Much of this inquiry is about what cannot be found when really looked for. If that can be done so as to satisfy any doubt that a 'self' might be lurking somewhere behind the scenes, pulling strings and making things happen then the belief in a separate self can collapse.. What is more tricky for me is the thoughts that are (or seem) intentional -- it's harder to accept that those also come from nowhere. But at the same time I'm not seeing a creator or originator for them. So I'm getting a glimmer of understanding that it's just a habit of identifying with an imaginary creator of thoughts that perpetuates a sense of self.
A glimmer of understanding can be all it takes at first. So well done! Keep taking an interest in this line.
Nevertheless its worth looking at the reality that thoughts, including thought-images do appear. Is that clear?. A mental recreation of their image appears. It's hard to say where it is, I guess in the head is a reasonable description. Different than a direct experience of seeing
Can we agree that there is direct experience of thoughts appearing? ... It's just that whatever thoughts are ABOUT is not actually appearing. So that imagining a unicorn can be an experience of the appearance of an image of a horse with a horn... but not of a real live unicorn. There are many thoughts about all sorts of things and many of them refer back to 'I'... and the irony is that even that 'I' is like the unicorn... imagined but not really there. Not a thing.