Rafael Couto Melsert, M.D., Homeopath and Hypniatrist – Instituto Brasileiro de Hipnose Holística – IBRAH
Rafael Couto Melsert, M.D., Homeopath and Hypniatrist – Instituto Brasileiro de Hipnose Holística – IBRAH
ABSTRACT: Living tissues emit very weak laser light that seems to have a strong impact on cell communication and integration. This paper proposes that such biophotons are the carriers of energy and information in any effective exchange between therapist and client. Their possible role in paranormal phenomena is beyond the scope of this paper.
KEY WORDS: Biophotons; coherence; resonance; mind; intention; memories; words.
Undoubtedly, regression therapy has benefits. But how and why? Recent scientific discoveries may begin to explain the physical basis of the interaction between mind and body and so throw a new light on how and why regression works. If these new findings and new ideas prove to be valid, we may learn to increase the power, confidence and safety of our therapeutic actions.
The Newtonian/Cartesian paradigm doesn’t explain the effectiveness of therapies that depend on ‘subtle energies’. Holistic approaches, on the other side, usually lack a scientific, physical basis. In regression therapy, mind (a ‘nest’ of quantum and non-local processes) and body interact continually. Photons, the tiniest quanta of electromagnetic force, could well support these actions, due to their quantum origin and notable effects. So we propose that biophotons – photons of biological sources – are the physical intermediary between intentional mind processes and somatic processes.
Mind and intention
It is beyond the scope of this work to demonstrate the existence of an independent mind field. Once we assume it, we can think of the mind as a wave field, ideally operating in coherence, harmony and resonance. When some intention is formed, the mind field is set into a specific range of vibrations. If the intention is coherent, it gets enough energy to resonate with other levels of the human being. A coherent intention may be either good or bad. In clinical practice, we see some people intending (even if unconsciously) aggression against others or themselves, while others intend to heal. It is the coherence that determines the effectiveness, not the moral quality. Good and Evil have both their effects.
The strength and persistence of our intention determine the strength with which resonance will be induced on all the subtle levels of our being. Intention decides manifestation. Any choice modifies the mind field – with a new wave spectrum – and thus a different resonance pattern. We may choose consciously or unconsciously. Our brain is optimized to deal with choices and possibilities, due to its manifold neural networks.
Intentions cover a wide spectrum of activities in health and disease. Conscious intention may direct physiological processes. Recent research suggests that healing may follow the mental intention of a remote therapist or through some alignment with a higher spiritual power. Wayne Jonas and Cindy Crawford published, in 2003, a scientific book about Healing, Intention and Energy Medicine, studying the multiple effects of intention on healing processes. They present, from pages 343 to 391, a comprehensive bibliography on spiritual healing and intentionality research. Daniel J. Benor is also producing a four-volume series to study the same subject of spiritual and energetic healing.
Dr. William Tiller, professor emeritus of Materials Science at the Engineering School of Stanford University researched human intention acting directly on both inanimate and animate systems. He experimented successfully with a group of scientists to have remote human intent influence a simple electric device (which he calls IIED – Imprinted Intention Electronic Device). When the device is switched on in laboratories far away from Dr. Tiller’s lab, it significantly influences target experiments like increasing or decreasing the pH of water by one full unit, in vitroenhancing of specific enzymatic and co-enzyme activity, or enhance the ATP/ADP ratio in cells of fruit flies larvae. At the beginning of the preface of his book Conscious Acts of Creation. The Emergence of a New Physics (Walnut Creek, CA: Pavior Publishing, 2001), he writes:
“This book marks a sharp dividing line between old ways of scientific thought and old experimental protocols,wherein human qualities of consciousness, intention, emotion, mind and spirit cannot significantly affect physical reality, and a new paradigm, wherein they can robustly do so!”
Dr.Tiller also wrote Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality and Consciousness (Walnut Creek, CA: Pavior Publishing, 1997). His newest book is entitled Some Science Adventures with Real Magic (Walnut Creek, CA: Pavior Publishing, 2005).
There is a web-based journal on Neurosciences and Quantum Physics, established in 2002 and named NeuroQuantology. It is directed to the interdisciplinary exploration of the relation between quantum physics and the nervous system. Both neuroscientists and physicists analyze the interrelationship of both areas’ literature.
In NeuroQuantology, 2003; 1:36-57, there is an article of Włodzisław Duch from Nicholas Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland, about Synchronicity, Mind, and Matter, from which we quote:
“Consider a living cell, for example, a brain cell. Many biochemical processes take place every second in a cell; many of them are controlled by photon emissions and absorption providing energy for reactions. This ultra weak radiation is very coherent (Popp, 1992; Chang, Fisch, & Popp, 1998). The pattern of these emissions and absorptions may be correlated in a very subtle way to many processes in nature, but it is not yet possible to measure such subtle effects in the laboratory.”
In NeuroQuantology, 2004; 1: 17-28, there is another article, of A.U. De and Dhananjay Pal1, from the Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Division, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, entitled Physics of consciousness and its model may provide guidelines to solve many scientific problems, which states:
“The Universe exists along with the “universal self-consciousness”. Consciousness that signifies the realization of existence is a functional state of mind, a constituent of the universal mind (UM). This UM is assumed here to be constituted by TCP (thought-carrying particles) and TRP (thought-retaining particles) which, in turn, are assumed to be the ultimate constituents of anything in this universe.
. . . These TCP and TRP behave, in general, like “biophotons” (Chang Jim-Ju, 1998; Popp F, 1994) in any living system and like other photons in any non-living system in the universe.
. . . The TCP being the carrier of the TF would have to behave, in this special case, like ‘bosons’ when TRP would have to function as ‘fermions’. In our proposition, these postulated TCP & TRP behave sometimes like ‘free particles’ and sometimes like ‘waves’ as it happens in the case of ‘light’ for which ‘consciousness’ may be thought to be a type of ‘mental light’.
Experiments conducted by Niels Birbaumer and his team at the University of Tubingen in Germany (Birbaumer, 1999), the research work of John Captain of Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia (Captain, 1999) and the experiments conducted by Dana Ballard, professor of computer science, and science graduate student, Jessica Bayliss of the University of Rochester clearly signify the existence of the “thought force” (TF) which is assumed here to be carried by the TCP (= biophotons or photons).
‘Thought’ of any living system is, therefore, a ‘force’. Although this ‘thought’ is possible only in the presence of the architecture of the ‘brain’ as well as consciousness, yet it is to be understood that this “thought force” (TF) is applicable not only to any biological system but also to any inanimate object as well.
. . . Several researchers have suggested that quantum mechanics might be biologically relevant. An early conjecture along these lines is Frohlich’s theory (Frohlich, 1983) that collective vibrant modes (coherent phonons) in biological membranes can create conditions similar to a Bose-Einstein condensate, leading to ordered, cooperative behavior in which the vibrant energy is concentrated into the lowest mode. The underlying intuition is that the structures formed by Bose-Einstein condensates (which are ultimately composed of these TCP & TRP) are the building blocks of mental life; in relation to perception they are models of the world, transforming a nice view, say, into a mental structure which represents some of the inherent qualities of that view.
DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSION
It has been experimentally observed (Chang 1998; Popp 1994) in the field of “biophotonics” (Jezowska-Trzebiatowska 1987; Popp 1992; Popp 1992b) that living beings including human being emit microwaves constantly and regularly in a particular pattern which may be responsible for maintaining not only the “metabolism” along with “consciousness” but also for maintaining the universal existence. This microwave radiation is due to the emission of a type of photons usually called “biophotons” (Chang 1998; Popp 1994) which, in our view, are nothing but the postulated TCP and TRP.“
In NeuroQuantology (2005; 2: 111-118) the same authors De and Pal, working upon a Consciousness Model and thought-retaining and carrying particles, discourse:
“John Jeffreys and Roger Traub (1996) have discovered a unique method of communication between brain cells in which messages are passed via crossed lines. They observed high frequency brain waves, which could not depend on conventional interactions between neurons. This observation also signifies the existence of the activities of TCP/TRP as ‘biophotons. It is now possible by the modern technique to image brain activity associated with a range of mental tasks including the “thought process”. Specific thoughts and brain processes have been associated with specific activity in localized regions of the brain. In order to prove the “Words and Rules” of Steven Pinker (1999), it has been observed that images obtained through the fMRI technique showed regular and irregular verbs got computed at different parts of the brain during the ‘thought process’. This ‘thought process’, in our proposition, is conducted by the TCP and retained by the TRP as they are assumed to carry and retain the ‘mental functions’.”
From the conclusion of a work published on Medical Hypotheses, 2004; 62: 169-172, Grass and Kasper, from the Department of General Psychiatry, University of Vienna and Klima, from the Atomic Institute of the University of Vienna, state:
“From the listed experiments we see that there is strong evidence for a photon mediated cell to cell communication, also intracellular processes could be regulated by these mechanisms. If cell communication/regulation happen by biophoton signals as a general principle many phenomena would have to be reconsidered in the light of this hypothesis. Especially, the physiology of the CNS would have to be seen in a different way.”
A process named ‘acoustical holography’ utilizes sound waves to cause a movement on a surface, which is used as the basis for an optical hologram. Essentially, it converts a pattern of sound waves reflected from an object in space to a pattern of light waves that reconstructs the shape of that object. It transforms a meaningful pattern in space and time between two levels of vibration, two different media. Similarly, therapist words may stimulate a therapeutic pattern, mediated through biophotons nested on cells from auditory system and its projections towards central nervous system. Larry Dossey, a world-known physician, is an old times researcher about non-local mind phenomena. He devoted one of his many books to the power of words on healing processes.
Recent discoveries by the Russian scientist Peter Gariaev led him to propose a theory of the DNA-wave biocomputer. He suggests that there are genetic “texts” similar to natural context-dependent texts in human language; that the chromosomes are both sending and receiving these genetic texts, encoding and decoding them and that the chromosome continuum acts like a dynamical holographic gate, displaying or transducing weak laser light and electro-acoustic fields.
Based on the research about biophotons conducted by Prof. Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp, Prof. Dr. Traian D. Stanciulescu, of “Al. I. Cuza” University & National Inventics Institute and of the National Romanian Association for Complementary Therapy, in Iasi, Romania, developed the Biological Lasers Theory (BLT). This theory postulates that emotional and intellectual activities of human beings generate a psycho-noetic coherent (laser-like) light. In cooperation with the physicist Prof. Dr. Paul Constantinescu, he also constructed the Photonic Energy-Information Theory (PEIT), which states that the electromagnetic radiation carries a magnetic quantum of information (biton) and an electric quantum of energy (ergon), both coexisting coherently. In other words, light, an electromagnetic radiation, has besides its classical duality of wave/particle the duality of magnetic (informational) component and its electric (energetic) one. In his recent work The Therapeutic Power of Exorcism: A Semio-Logical Recuperation, Prof. Stanciulescu states that a special therapeutic place is occupied by techniques based on ‘the power of the word’, which can be applied to exorcism.
Biophotons are a coherent and ultra-weak electromagnetic radiation emanating from cells of biological organisms. Apparently, they simultaneously carry energy and information, both responsible for communication and integration at the cell level. Organisms emit and receive electromagnetic signals in biocommunication, but those biophotons are difficult to detect. They are in the optical range of the spectrum – what we call light. All living cells emit biophotons all the time. They are too weak to be seen, but ultra sensitive devices, called photomultipliers, can detect them. This emission gives clues about the processes inside living cells. Healthy and cancer cells of the same type, for example, have markedly different biophoton emissions. Biophotons are spontaneously emitted by biological systems, but can also be induced by an exposure to light of specific wavelengths.
The biophotons’ energy is stored almost exclusively inside the double helix of DNA molecules, being constantly released and absorbed during biochemical processes, as a dynamic web of light. It is now suspected to be the organism’s main communication network. Due to their coherence, biophotons can produce interference patterns like lasers do, sustaining holographic processes inside the brain, such as consciousness or memories, as postulated by people like the neurophysiologist Karl Pribram.
Biophotons were discovered in 1923 by the Russian medical scientist Professor Alexander G. Gurvitsch, who called them ‘mitogenetic rays’. They were rediscovered in the 1970’s by the German biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp, who proved their existence, their origin from within the DNA, and later their laser-like coherence. He suspected they controlled the biochemistry of life. Other reputable scientists, like Herbert Froehlich and Ilya Prigogine, a Noble Prize laureate, confirmed the importance of this discovery. Their studies indicate that biophotons can carry information through the whole organism, and also external, possibly enabling extra-sensory exchanges of energy and information with other organisms.
The spectral distribution of biophotons covers, at least, the range from 200 to 800 nanometers, from near infrared to ultraviolet. Their intensity is extremely low, about 20 orders of magnitude weaker than common fluorescence of photo phosphorescence, but is about 1010 times higher than the thermal radiation at body temperature. The probable number of biophotons in a definite interval follows a Poissonian distribution, which is a condition for the coherence of an electromagnetic field. Instead of following an exponential decay, stimulated biophoton emission (called delayed luminescence) follows rather a hyperbolic pattern. According to Dr. Popp, this is a sufficient condition for a coherent light field. The explanation in terms of chemiluminescence did not deal with the bio-informational aspect. Biophoton emission requires two phases: energy exciting an electron to the next level and its falling back, sending out a biophoton.
Some experiments revealed that ill people may be healed remotely by those who transmit coherent states of information via biophotons. So, biophotons may even be carriers of psi information, by a coherent coupling between two conscious organisms. The characteristic time constant for electromagnetic emissions and absorptions at visible wavelengths is 1 nanosecond. So, 109 chemical reactions per second can, in principle, be catalyzed by absorption and emission of a single biophoton in a single cell (where the typical number of chemical reactions is 105 per second), if this biophoton pertains to a coherent field. The necessary activation energies can be delivered by biophotons at the right place, at the right time and to the specific biochemical reaction. Common thermal photons cannot trigger biochemical reactions in an organism. So biophotons may control cell physiology.
Biological systems can be treated as macroscopic quantum systems, as far as coherent biophotons are in action. Interference wave patterns from biophoton emissions also supports the notion of macroscopic coherent states. Dr. Popp proposed that, in a healthy organism, constructive interference tends to occur inside cells, while destructive interference occurs outside them. Biophoton emission from the human body is being increasingly studied due to its diagnostic importance. We should remember that photons from the sun enable photosynthesis. Energy stored in plant cells makes life possible on Earth.
In general terms, coherence is the property of connectedness, coordination, synchronization and harmony between processes, situations, events or ideas. It causes things to resonate as a whole. In its most strict physical meaning, coherence is the property of two or more electromagnetic waves with the same wavelength and the same vibration plan, but with constant phase differences, which enable them to pass in a given time interval through the same space region. The energy in a coherent system is increased and available for various processes. Coherence is crucial to the understanding of things like holography and memory formation. We can compare a coherent macroscopic system to a large orchestra, where besides a common objective, connectedness and cohesion, individual performers have some freedom to improvise.
Zurek, W. H., in “Algorithmic Randomness and Physical Entropy.” Phy. Rev. A 40 (1989): 4731-4751, states: “The organism is, in the ideal, a quantum superposition of coherent activities over all space-times, this pure coherent state being an attractor, or end state, towards which the system tends to return on being perturbed.“
Roeland van Wijk, from the Department of Molecular Cell Biology of Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and from the International Institute of Biophysics, Neuss, Germany, states about coherence, on the Introductory Remarks to “Biophotonics and Coherent Systems”, Proceedings of the 2nd Alexander Gurwitsch Conference and Additional Contributions, Moscow University Press, 2000, page XIII:
“But a return to this idea of the cell as a whole seems one that presently lies far outside of our mainstream biological paradigm. Nevertheless, the Kuhnian revolution in which we are now embedded urges to find ways to nurture this return.
We have some good looking candidates. Among these is the new approach to apply non-equilibricity and coherence in biology. The study of coherence is a decisive step, in particular the coherent state in biological systems. The word “coherence” is not new in physics, in particular in the development of laser. In laser technology, it usually means that waves work in the same wavelength and same phase. In quantum physics, coherent state is a state with the lowest vacuum fluctuations and the best communication with the lowest coast of energy. In biological systems, coherent states means each unit keeps its independence and has all the possibilities of cooperation with others at the same time. It reveals very interesting harmony and holistic phenomena in living systems. This approach is based on the initial version of the Gurwitsch morphogenetic field.”
R. P. Bajpai, from the Institute of Self-Organizing Systems and Biophysics, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India and also from the International Institute of Biophysics, Neuss, Germany, discourses, on Chapter 10 – Implications of Biophotons and their Coherent Nature, of “Biophotonics and Coherent Systems”, Proceedings of the 2nd Alexander Gurwitsch Conference and Additional Contributions, Moscow University Press, 2000, p. 135:
“The linkage will be established bit by bit by investigating the implications of various properties of photons contained in biophoton signals. The properties of photons can be divided into wave properties, particle properties and quantum properties. The wave properties are velocity c, frequency ν, phase φ, polarization, amplitude (or intensity) and superposition of photon waves. The particle properties are emission in quantum jumps with energy hν, lifetime of the state undergoing transition in quantum jumps (≈ h / ∆ E), photo count statistics and energy and momentum transfer in the collision with a charged particle. Quantum properties are the non-classical effects, like coherence in space and time, detections bellow the noise level, photon bunching, teleportation, entangled states, delivery of different messages to different observes by a signal and non-locality. Different properties yield different types of information about the emitter and the emitting process. The variety and richness of information make a photon signal a desirable object for scientific exploration. A photon signal, in addition, can broadcast instructions and messages through amplitude and frequency modulation as well as through its shape and spectral distribution. This provides another reason for our interest in the study of biophoton signals of ultra weak intensities. The development of sensitive detectors and techniques for observing different properties of biophotons signals heightens this interest. The origin, source and purpose of biophotons will not remain a mystery for long.”
Resonance is a well-known concept, which doesn’t need to be highlighted here, but is also very important for transference of energy and information between processes vibrating at the same frequency or its harmonics.
THE PROPOSED MODEL
Inside every atom of the human body there are complex quantum, electromagnetic and biochemical processes. Ultimately, every biochemical reaction needs electromagnetic activation. Organisms produce holograms by biophotons, creating standing and moving electromagnetic wave patterns at different frequencies, triggering different biochemical transformations. Consequently, electrostatic or even electrodynamic fields may manifest themselves at a wide range of frequencies. These interference patterns, holograms, and standing waves could make us consider biological material systems as holograms of ‘frozen light’.
This biophotonic holographic network may be the gate through which we connect with higher dimensions. We may see, for example, the seven principal chakras like a system with seven levels or fields of manifestation, related to each other by harmony, like a Fourier Trigonometric Series. Actions on one level resonate on other levels. Biophotons can be seen as a morphogenetic field and so be approached as the etheric field. There is, definitely, a Fourier relationship between form and wave spectra. Mathematically, every form contains a spectrum of waves.
Biophotonic interactions transform incoherent wave patterns into a coherent physiological system, not just at the physical body level, but at the subtle levels as well. By this process, an organism, consisting of a multiplicity of organs, tissues, cells, molecules, atoms, subatomic particles, energy and information, can develop and function as a whole. Resonance and coherence enable the organism to have energy at will, since they occur at all levels, transferring energy and information at the lowest cost. This whole process operates by fields that impose order at each level. Fields exist within fields, which exist within fields, and so on infinitely. They establish a hierarchy on self-organizing systems. By overdrive suppression, high frequencies dominate the lower ones.
Water molecules may be, at physical body level, the basis for this coherence/resonance process. They establish regions of stable coherence that are specific in structure and vibration and have enough energy to not be disrupted by random forces. These coherent clusters of water can resonate with other levels of subtle manifestation, like the works of Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrated. Anyone involved in bodily based therapies knows the powerful effect that a single light touch may have on triggering a cathartic process, unblocking stored energy. Also the well-known effect of hypnosis on real or even virtual allergic skin reactions shows the very strong mind-body connection.
During regression therapy, stored or blocked memories and energies again fully utilize the body to express themselves. During the session, the physical body really (or virtually) becomes ‘alive’. There must be biophoton emission and absorption for this to work. Every thought, intention, emotion or sensation is accompanied by electromagnetic activity in the brain, an organ that, though only 2 percent of body weight, consumes 20 percent of all the oxygen we take in. According to Prof. Vladimir Voeikov, from the Department of Biorganic Chemistry of Faculty of Biology of Moscow State University, this consumption cannot be explained by the amount of mitochondria in brain cells. We need alternative biochemical explanations for the mass/oxygen consumption ratio of the brain, like Reactive Oxygen Species, a pathway of free radicals through different biochemical steps, almost all resulting in biophoton emission. So this paper postulates the following hypotheses:
Biophotons have all the properties to be considered the ‘hardware’ of regression therapy, obeying the commands of the ‘software’ coming from subtle layers, e.g. intention. Informationally, they may retrieve memories or contents from the subconscious, but also connect all human dimensions and levels of manifestation. They may physically actualize any ‘hidden’ or ‘blocked’ process. Energetically, they can – laser-like – virtually excise the boundaries of undesirable blocked energies, cathartically opening their content. All of this occurs through holographic patterns, coherence and resonance.
Biophotons may act in at least two ways on regression therapy procedures, networking body, emotion, mind, intention and intuition:
- Through the ancient and well-known chakra system, a holographic network through all levels of manifestation of human beings, connected to the nervous and the endocrine system. Since biophotons are emitted from the ultraviolet to the infrared, they can at least interact with all the main chakras through color.
- Through bioelectromagnetic connections with the central nervous system, in particular with the limbic system (hippocampus, amygdale and hypothalamus); the hypophysis; the thalamus (integrative station of sensorial pathways) and the pineal gland (linked to circadian rhythms, light and melatonin production). The processes inside the amygdale, for example, reunite emotions and emotional memories, also eliciting responses of the autonomic nervous and endocrine systems.
When we are alert, in ordinary consciousness, our brain acts like a band pass filter, blocking the access and expression of almost all unconscious material. In relaxation or trance, the attention shifts and the band pass filter narrows, easing access to and expression of unconscious material.
Therapists who deliberately and intentionally use their voice during the regression, do emit biophotons that, by resonance, stimulate the emission of biophotons by the client’s energy and information systems. Exchange of electromagnetic energy and information between people is amply demonstrated in the studies of the HeartMath Institute, especially by Dr Rollin McCraty.
As biophotons have a flat spectrum and follow the rule f (w) = constant (where f describes the probability of occupying the phase space cells of energy), and since clients shift their attention (lessening the conscious filter and opening access to unconscious processes), the biophotons emitted by the will, intention and words of the therapist may resonate with the clients and stimulate emission of their biophotons.
Some possible frequencies of biophotons emission are blocked with the client, because of traumatic nuclei or psychological complexes. They can be perceived by the absence of resonance in therapist’s biophotonic field. They can then be accessed by overdrive suppression from biophotonic frequencies emitted by the therapist.
Traumatic nuclei or psychological complexes are sustained by energetic processes and contain information as well. Clinical psychologists know that these processes maintain or even increase their energy and information through time. One explanation of this retention or grow is the formation of standing waves, which are produced by a constructive and reinforced interference pattern. The incident and reflected waves, traveling in opposite directions (perhaps indicating a mind dissociation at the origin of the problem), must keep a definite phase difference between them to get the standing pattern. So, we can say that they are coherent processes and, in consequence, they can ideally operate on a holographic pattern or on a laser-like nature, meaning that resonance between biophotons and the traumatic nuclei or psychological complexes is fully possible.
Once biophotons impinge on traumatic nuclei or psychological complexes, they can act like an energetic surgical blade, excising the boundaries of stored energy and giving birth to cathartic phenomena. Or they can support information fields, bringing harmony and coherence to those nuclei or complexes. Or both can act, at the same time. So, once biophotons are electromagnetic waves, we can, in agreement with Dr. Stanciulescu’ theory, accept that their electricity carries the energy, like a laser blade, and the magnetism carries the information, or organizing field.
In summary, biophotons can be therapeutically emitted to drain, clean and organize the energetic and informational content of traumatic nuclei and of psychological complexes. They do the ‘hardware’ work, which is directed by mind’s software.
An evaluation of a Regression session with SPECT technology has already been made by Peres and Newberg, who found that regression therapy stimulates brain areas of memory rather than association. Although technically difficult, I would propose here a study of regression sessions, where both client and therapist will be monitored by both SPECT and Gas Discharge Visualization technique (GDV), developed by Dr. Konstantin Korotkov, to evaluate brain effects associated with subtle levels.
Rafael Couto Melsert
Phones: +55 21 25376487, +55 21 94472117