One Hand Clapping and JollyBlogger are disagreeing on what the intermediate state is like for believers. Donald argues that we are not Cartesian souls encamped within bodies but body-soul unities, and thus when we're unbodied we won't really exist for a time until the resurrection. David argues that we will be fully conscious in the intermediate state, awaiting resurrection. I disagree with both of them. What seems to be the best way to take all the biblical data is to see the intermediate state as a genuine state with some level of consciousness but not with anything like the kind of consciousness we have in our embodies state. It's hard to get any sense of what level or kind of consciousness this will be without making interpretive decisions on which passages one takes as primary, and I'm not going to do that here. My main point is to argue for something in between the views of David and Donald.
I think this is one of those issues where each view has some scripture that seems to contradict it. I'm not going to deal with the details of any passage, though if people want to raise details in the comments, I'll be happy to engage with those then. Donald raised a number of linguistic and cultural issues that I also don't want to deal heavily with. That's also fair game in comments. I wanted to focus this post on two issues.