The mind is powered mainly by the 3rd chakra at the solar plexus. And the mind field or mental body is a field that surrounds the entire body to some distance. Why then do we subjectively experience thoughts as being in the head?
Consider where we have our receptors for thinking.
We can describe the brain as a receptor or antenna for the mind. The brain is the physical interface for mental energy. Thus we recognize thinking as happening “in the head.” The movement of thoughts is not restricted to the brain though. Thoughts move through the “space” of the whole mind.
To explore this further, we can consider other forms of perception like sight. The eyes are one way to gather visual data about our environment. But the eyes don’t “see,” they just gather data. That data is sent to the visual cortex at the lower back of the brain. There it interfaces with the mind, is compared to prior experiences, processed, and filtered. The mind then assembles the filtered data into an image and merges it with other sensory data.
That image is then projected in consciousness and we experience the world around us. We move through consciousness, not an external world.
Mind isn’t really local either. It is a lively field within consciousness. Our brain works with a locally associated area of mind we experience as our own. We experience the “active” area as our mental body. Yet as our relationship with consciousness expands, so too does our mental space.
The “third” or inner eye can be considered another receptor. But perception is embedded in the process of experience in consciousness itself. This is partly how consciousness can discover its own nature deep within, irrespective of organs of perception.
Yet mind has the function of being the perceptual field. In other words, perception isn’t limited to our sense organs or our mind but mind is still the field on which our perceptions are experienced.
Even living beings like trees are developed enough to have perception without organs of perception. Their perception is more basic and relative to their speed of metabolism but it is present. A tree can perceive others around it, like a fuzzy movie with a slower frame rate.
To look at this another way, consider dreaming. We see during many dreams even though the eyes are closed. Instead, the data is coming from recent experiences being processed, unresolved past experiences, and general data that has come up recently. Emotions drive the agenda, assembling broadly related memes into an edited on-the-fly montage.
What is actually being processed is only generally related to the perceptions of the dreams although some of the content can have symbolic significance. As a lot of dreams are much like taking out the trash, I’m not a big fan of reading anything into them.
We can conclude though that perception is fundamentally a mental process as described by traditions such as Samkhya. Some of our senses are physical but it’s the mind that makes something of whatever input we have available.
When we step deeper into pure being and clear the layers of our physiology, we become less distracted by the content, recognize these mechanics, and take the mind less seriously. As who we know ourselves to be broadens, the value of mind we’re using to perceive the world becomes increasingly universal and less subject to our local bias.
By the time we’re in late Unity, whatever arises in consciousness can be known and thus perceived. Even things beyond the range of perception can be perceived.
When consciousness itself does the seeing, we come closer to home. When Divinity does the seeing, we see as God sees.