The Norsmen called themselves Guðborinn - decendants of the Gods. In the sagas, the pagan kins counted their ancestral lines back to the Gods; to Óðinn and Freyr. The Christians did not understand our concept of being Guðborinn. They ridiculed and smeared, in their total lack of understanding and attemps to destroy paganism, and portrayed the pagan "savages" as believers of their direct ancestors being human-shaped cartoon Gods flying around in chariots or with the wings of falcons, fighting Trolls, humiliating fair maidens, constantly divine drunk with a satanic moral. Later, those still not capable to understand, kept on smearing - launching theories that our Gods in fact were Asian immigrants, conquerors and warlords, fueled on the basis of false Indo-European invation theories.
Our Gods are our ancestors and forces of our Nature. They are the real world we are living in, they are us. They help those who help themselves, without good versus evil, sin or a fantasy heaven or hell. Only balance and honor.
In ones lifetime the Norsmen would strife to be an Ásmegín (the might of the Gods) and thus become the Gods themselves. The immitation of the Gods was to become them. To become as synchronous with our Nature as possible.
This is the very core of our history, of being honorable, honest, kind, modest, strong and brave, with no fear of death or destiny. This is the very core in the strife to become better, to become the best version of yourself. To become an idol for your decendants. To walk as you have ten thousand honorable ancestors behind you, accumulated in you - the Ásmegín - the divine power of the breathing (Ás). To be remembered. To return. To eat of the golden apples of Iðunn, and live forever.
Guðborinn incapsulates elite cultivation. It incapsulates the strong.
Those foreign powers that could not understand it, ridiculed, smeared and tried to destroy it - have always cultivated the weak.
"There is no death for the honorable,
only a change of bodies"
"Only a fool would pray to the Gods,
for things he can achieve himself"