Answer: We don’t examine such discernments before the Machsom, before the spiritual barrier. Before it, we don’t see anything and have no understanding or recognition as to where the serpent is and where it isn’t. Believe me, it is in your best and purest thoughts and desires, where you think that you love and devotedly care about others, that the serpent is.
Just like in history, at the time of the exile in Egypt, the serpent is not revealed among common people, neither the Jews nor the Egyptians. Only Moses, Pharaoh, the Creator, and several Egyptian priests, Pharaoh’s counselors, and those who were close to him saw the serpent. It is only among them that the serpent is revealed and becomes a staff, and then the staff becomes a serpent again; it is only when a person attains such high levels.
The serpent doesn’t appear purposelessly, but only as tiny snakes on the animate level. The real serpent, however, is two-legged, and you have not met it yet. It is only on the upper levels that the essence of the snake is revealed. A very strong Light is needed to show us how opposite our desire to receive is from the Light. The Light has to reveal its full infinite depth and the power of its love and bestowal so that in contrast to all that, we will feel how opposite our egoistic nature is from it.
The real two-legged serpent is revealed only after the Machsom. Until then, during the time of preparation, only small snakes bite us. Each time something disturbs you and repels you from connecting with the friends, from unity, from cooperation, from the right intention—this is the revelation of the small siblings of that serpent, and they eat you up like worms.
From the 3rd part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/29/13, The Study of the Ten Sefirot